It seems to me that Robert Ludlum who, during the 70's and 80's could do absolutely NO wrong when it came to writing the best spy novels EVER, is still living IN the 70's...as far as writing goes. Let's face it, NONE of Ludlum's novels are gonna win any awards based on the dialogue of his characters...b-u-u-u-t if you are searching for the guy who could propel a novel based upon sheer narrative talent alone, Ludlum would win hands down.
As I read 'The Apocalypse Watch' I kept getting the distinct impression--at first--that this was a direct sequel to the wonderful 'Holcroft Covenant'...but that isn't quite the case. Then after reading a bit further, I felt that this was a quasi-re-write of 'Covenant' instead...but again, that isn't quite the case, either. As far as plot goes, it wasn't exactly Ludlum's most original, but I have to say, it certainly moved with the usual pace of his average thrillers. As I read this book, I felt somewhat saddened that truly one of the great Adventure/Thriller authors of all-time had begun to reach that point where his edge, his ability to be fresh has started to come to an end. What seems to have started with 'The Scorpio Illusion' has now continued with 'The Apocalypse Watch' and although I have high hopes for his future novels, it DOES appear that the 'absolute master of the superthriller' has seen the decline of his ability to dominate the audience he himself helped to create. But even so, I still enjoyed this book more than a LOT of other novels released in the past 5 years or so that were hailed as genius literary works of art. In my opinion, Ludlum just cannot escape his earlier novels, and his faithful reading audience has a very difficult time indeed reading his books without comparing them to his other tremendously entertaining novels. If we could do that, his novels (including his more recent ones) would stand up rather well.