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The Sigma Protocol Hardcover – October 30, 2001

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Editorial Reviews Review

Robert Ludlum's trademark skills of intricate plotting, breakneck pacing, and high-wire drama are all on display in this gripping thriller. After his twin brother dies in a plane crash, Ben Hartman reluctantly takes his place in the investment firm started by their father, a Holocaust survivor. But then an old college buddy tries to kill Ben on a crowded Zurich street, setting off a chain of events that ultimately leads Ben into the thick of a worldwide conspiracy. Behind it is Sigma, a multinational cartel built on the rubble of World War II by industrialists and financiers bent on exploiting wartime technology and protecting their wealth from the threat of communism.

Accompanied by a beautiful American justice department agent, Ben eludes the assassins on his trail and follows Sigma's tentacles across Europe, to Brazil, Washington, and finally to a sanitarium known as the Clockworks in the Austrian Alps, where the horrifying agenda of a perverted new world order is revealed. Ludlum, who died between the writing and publishing of this book, was a master of the genre he helped popularize, and The Sigma Protocol shows him at the peak of his craft. --Jane Adams

From Library Journal

Anna Navarro, special agent for the Justice Department, has been assigned to investigate the deaths of several eminent men, all advanced in age and all connected to a mysterious group called Sigma, founded in the last years of World War II. An accident brings her together with Ben Hartman, an American investment banker who is in Zurich investigating the death of his twin brother and finds himself the target of an assassination attempt. Who is Sigma, and why are some of its members being killed? More importantly, what grand project is in the works? Readers may find the answer to these questions simplistic: Sigma is a partnership of high-ranking statesmen and industrialists, put together not only to spirit wealth out of Germany at the end of the war but also to stop communism's spread. Sigma's goal is to make the world safe for capitalism, a corporation whose board of directors is in charge of Western history itself. Unfortunately, Ludlum's latest novel (he died in March but left outlines for more posthumous thrillers) is not one of his better efforts. Even the sparks that eventually fly between Anna and Ben seem tepid.
- Ronnie H. Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (October 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312276885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312276881
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,292,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Robert Ludlum was the author of twenty-seven novels, each one a New York Times bestseller. There are more than 225 million of his books in print, and they have been translated into thirty-two languages. He is the author of The Scarlatti Inheritance, The Chancellor Manuscript, and the Jason Bourne series--The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum--among others. Mr. Ludlum passed away in March, 2001.

Customer Reviews

This book kept me glued to the pages from beginning to end.
Sometimes the events seem so implausible that the reader goes beyond the usual suspension of disbelief and the story becomes too unbelievable to generate much emotion.
Mark Block
Sigma Protocol is as good as some of Ludlum's earlier books.
Suzanne Vitale

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By taking a rest HALL OF FAME on November 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The death of Robert Ludlum was a great loss to the genre of writing that was synonymous with his name, and other greats in the Genre's Pantheon, like John Le Carre. The masters of these books are in no way limited to the two I mention; different readers will all have their favorites.
The reason for the question mark at the beginning of my comments is for several reasons which I believe are important to his admirers from his earliest books, and to those readers experiencing his work for the first time. The final version of this book was completed some three months after the author's death. There is no question that the book is vintage Ludlum, however for his long time readers, evidence of the pen of another will be apparent. There is sardonic dialogue that does not read as his, and the female character, while very well done, is not a pure Ludlum creation in my opinion either.
Nowhere will you find any evidence that this was published posthumously. Every detail on the jacket is in the present tense when referring to Mr. Ludlum. The reason I find this bothersome is that Mr. Ludlum is alleged to have completed 11 additional outlines for books prior to his death. I do not know what constitutes an outline, however it is not a book, and I hope the publishers will be completely candid regarding who was involved in writing these future books. I don't believe anyone can impersonate his style, so whatever may be forthcoming may be great or poor, what they will not be are true Robert Ludlum Novels.
"The Sigma Protocol", is a work that will bring long time admirers back to many of his earlier works. The first work I ever read was his novel, "The Matarese Circle", and this book is almost as good as my initial experience, and other of his works considered to be among his best.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Siddhanti R B on December 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Robert Ludlum, one of the most popular authors of best selling thrillers passed away early this year. With 23 novels, over 200 million copies in print, Ludlum's contribution to the genre of action thrillers is indeed worth reckoning.
I pay my humble tributes to this talented writer who has kept book lovers like me hooked to his writings for over 20 years.
As a reviewer and a critic, I have found Ludlum taxing the gullibility of his readers with his bizarre, outrageous plots, implausible storylines, and his constant fixation on "conspiracy by a super-secret, ultra powerful, underground organisation" which has been repeated so many times that it has become a bore.
Nevertheless, as a reader, Ludlum has never ceased to fascinate me with complex plots, twists and turns, fast paced action, violence, heroics, nerve wrecking drama,intrigue,nail biting suspense, and his ability to keep the adrenaline pumping, readers on tenterhooks, making his books "unputdownable"!
This book, the last of the author is another such thriller about a secret organisation SIGMA.
Ben Hartman, a young business tycoon from America on a holiday in Europe, gets caught in a web of intrigue and suspense when suddenly he is being persued by a gang of ruthless killers. He finds that his twin brother, who had died years ago in Europe in an 'accident', was privy to some secrets. His investigations make Ben aware of SIGMA. Ben decides to keep digging till he unravels the truth.
Anna Navarro, a beautiful young woman, is an agent of US Government investigation agency, on a mission to investigate a string of deaths in Europe of once powerful, influential, old men, discovers that a group of people are being systematically eliminated by an unknown assassin/s.
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Nick G on October 31, 2001
Format: Hardcover
American investment banker Ben Hartman arrives in Zurich for a much needed ski vacation. This trip marks the first time Ben has been to Switzerland since the death of his brother some four years earlier. Within minutes of his arrival he spots a man that looks familiar, it turns out to be Jim Cavanaugh, a friend he went to school with fifteen years ago. After greeting his friend, a gun is pulled, several bystanders are dead, and Ben realizes his former friend was trying to kill him.
Going to the police will prove to be a difficult task for the dead body of Jim Cavanaugh is missing, and the gun used in the attack has now been planted in Ben's suitcase. While the Switzerland police question Ben as their main suspect, Ben has his lawyer looking into the back-round of Jim Cavanaugh, only to find the man never attended college with Ben, and as far as anyone can see he never existed!
Across the globe, Department of Justice field agent Anna Navaro is called to investigate a large number of deaths of old men all over the world. The deeper Anna looks into each death she finds one link, a code word `SIGMA'. As her investigation continues, a relentless killer will be tracking her every move, and every step she takes he will be one step ahead.
By chance Ben and Anna will be drawn together, and two seemingly unrelated cases will become one, as well as Ben realizing his brother's death may be connected to the chaos known as `SIGMA', for in that one word is the power to change everything they thought they knew about themselves, friends, family, and the fate of the world.
`The Sigma Protocol' is THE BEST novel Robert Ludlum has written in years. Fast-paced and totally engrossing it grabs you by the throat on page one and DOES NOT LET GO.
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