Robert Ludlum, a US Marine in the Second World War, was born in New York City, raised in Short Hills, New Jersey and educated in Connecticut. A former actor and theatrical producer, at forty he decided to change careers and try his hand at writing. Thereafter, publication in 40 countries, 32 languages, and sales of 220 million copiies worldwide. Robert Ludlum died in 2001.
Ludlum's latest tells of a CIA agent who infiltrates a neo-Nazi group.
'Turbo-driven narrative - a potent blend of violence and treachery.' Mail on Sunday
While Ludlum's readers will probably scoop up his latest thriller come what may, they may be disheartened to find it has a virtually suspenseless plot. Brilliant deep-cover American agent Harry Latham is captured and implanted with a mind-control microchip after he penetrates the secret Austrian headquarters of a contemporary movement to restore the Nazis to world domination. Programmed with false information incriminating legions of high-level officials around the free world, Harry is allowed to escape. Debriefed by the CIA in London, he contacts his brother Drew, also a secret agent for American Consular Operations in Paris. After revealing the name of one Nazi, Harry is assassinated by the sinister Brotherhood of the Watch, prompting Drew‘aided by Karin de Vries, the beautiful and mysterious widow of Harry's former partner‘to assume his identity. Dodging bullets from a seemingly endless series of assassination attempts, Drew and Karin, who become lovers, try to save the world‘or at least London, Paris and Washington, from pollution of their water reserves by toxic attack via Nazi aircraft. Ludlum's first novel, The Scarlatti Inheritance, which appeared nearly a quarter century ago, dealt with Nazis. That his latest does, too, offers scant testimonial to his thematic imagination. His prose hasn't improved in the interim, either; it's still generic and blustery, if capable of hurtling across pages. What has changed is his plotting, once as dizzying yet as balanced as a gyroscope but now wobbly and predictable at the same time. That said, his fans probably won't care that there's absolutely nothing here that Ludlum hasn't done before. BOMC main selection; major ad/promo; audio rights to BDD Audio. (June)