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.