After a successful career in the theatre, Robert Ludlum launched his career as a bestselling writer with THE SCARLATTI INHERITANCE in 1971, the first of t
Ludlum goes full throttle in this frantically paced, if somewhat hollow, tale of one man's efforts to thwart the forces of world domination. That man is Nick Bryson, a retired operative for the Directorate, the most secretive of the world's many private intelligence agencies. Now working in the peaceful halls of academe, Bryson is stunned when the CIA informs him that the Directorate, to which he pledged his loyalty for nearly 20 years, was actually a Russian front. Worse yet, the organization seems to be stockpiling weapons for a secret assault on the West. When Bryson agrees to help the CIA bring down the Directorate, he's hurled into a series of hair-raising episodes that take him from one world capital to another. With assassins snapping at his heels, Bryson watches in horror as tragedy follows him wherever he goesÄan anthrax outbreak in Vienna, a passenger train blown up outside Paris, a jetliner falling from the sky over New York City. Could these terrorist attacks be the work of the Directorate, Bryson wonders, or should they be attributed to the Prometheans, another shadowy intelligence outfit that seems to be the force behind a new international surveillance agency? Catapulting from one action sequence to the next and culminating in a spectacular finale in Seattle, the story is an exciting showcase for all the latest spy gadgetry, but it has little of the contemplative quality and social context of Ludlum's finer efforts. Ludlum's cautionary themeÄthat technology will soon allow for surveillance on a scale that grossly infringes on personal privacyÄgets lost in the barrage of flying bullets and explosions. Bryson himself is a dynamo and lots of fun to watch in action, but his almost superhuman endurance and intelligence seem more suited to that other heroic gentleman of adventure, Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt, than to a Ludlum hero. Major ad/promo. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
After 22 novels, Ludlum (The Hades Factor) delivers yet again a topnotch international thriller sure to please fans of popular entertainment. Trust no one. These are the words that Nicholas Bryson, former deep-cover black ops specialist for a shadowy group called the Directorate, must live by when he learns that the covert agency he has served for much of his life, and which has forced him out after a disastrous mission, is not what he had always thought. Instead of being a hero, he learns that he was used as a pawn by forces inimical to the United States. With his life now a massive deception, he is driven by revenge and a need to understand the past into a desperate search for those responsible. But what he discovers is much worse than anything he might have imagined. This is a rousing thriller with all the trademarks of a Ludlum best sellerDheart-pounding chase scenes, devastating double-crosses, gut-wrenching twists, fast-paced action, fierce confrontations, pressure that ratchets up to an explosive conclusion, and, as always, authentic international locales, high-tech gadgetry, and sophisticated spycraft. Highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/00.]DRonnie H. Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.