American investment banker Ben Hartman arrives in Zurich, the first time he's been back to Switzerland since his twin brother died there in a tragic accident four years ago. But when Ben chances upon Jimmy Cavanaugh, an old college friend, Cavanaugh draws a gun and tries to kill him. In minutes, several innocent bystanders are dead, as well as Cavanaugh, and Ben is on the run, plunged into an unspeakable nightmare.
U.S. Department of Justice field agent Anna Navarro is being stalked by a relentless killer, managing to survive only by a combination of luck, skill, and her own quick wits. The attacks on her are somehow related to her current assignment: investigating the sudden, seemingly unrelated deaths of a number of very old men around the world. The only thing that connects them is an ancient CIA file bearing the code word Sigma.
Brought together by accident, Ben and Anna realize that their only hope of survival lies with each other. Together they race to uncover the long-hidden diabolical secrets of Sigma - secrets that threaten everything they think they know, everything they believed about their friends and families, everything they were taught about history itself. For behind Sigma lies a vast deception that is finally coming to fruition - and the fate of the world is in their hands.
©2001 by Myn Pyn LLC; (P)2001 by Audio Renaissance, an Imprint of Renaissance Media, Inc.
"Ludlum's trademark skills of intricate plotting, breakneck pacing, and high-wire drama are all on display in this gripping thriller." (Amazon.com)
"A memorable swan song." (Booklist)
I loved listening to this story. It grabbed me from the very beginning and kept me hooked all the way until almost the end. The plot was almost believable and conspiracy types might have even thought Ludlum was on to something. The plot spiraled down to a far-fetched and unbelievable ending however and ruined an otherwise excellent listening experience.
Once I got started, I found excuses to pick up my audible player and continue the drama: I was getting up at 5 am to ride my exercise bike (which I rarely do) and listen. I was ignoring the morning radio news during my commute to listen. I took a long walks on the weekend to listen. When it was over, I was happy I had my life back.
This was my 3rd encounter with a Ludlum book and it reads just like the first two. While engaging and exciting, the end left me wanting something a bit more original than the ususal gift-wrap, disney ending. If you are happy enough with the Cussler/Ludlum/Koontz serial novels then you will likely enjoy this one just fine.
I understand that, to enjoy a novel like this, one must suspend disbelief. Usually, I am pretty good at that . . . but this novel asked me to both suspend disbelief and intelligence.
Unfortunately, even if I could have suspended disbelief, most of the plot "twists," well, weren't. For the most part, the plot became fairly predictable. I am no genius, but what was surely supposed to be the biggest surprise in the novel, I saw coming from miles away.
I have enjoyed many of Ludlum's novels, but this one was very disappointing. The novel started fast and wonderfully, but fell miserably short of its initial promise.
I will not be surprised if the story is true, there are alot of facts pointing to the truth of this story, except with a different flavor. A very engaging story, as I heard it on my way back and forth to work. Being an analytical and picky reader, two thumbs up to the author.
I had real difficulty following the story line with this book. I typically enjoy Ludlum books, but this one was very slow through the first 75% of the story. I forced myself to finish it and it did get much better in the last quarter. His character development of the main guy wasn't that good either. In just a matter of days, he goes from being a complete knucklehead concerning "spy stuff", to a highly aware, self sufficient operative. Really, didn't it take Bourne a few years of training to develop his "Spy Sense". This guy seemed to get it just because the story line needed him to have it at that time. You might want to put this one on your "Listen if I really can't sleep" list.
This story, as many of Ludlum's stories, is great! Your world is manipulated by Ludlum as if it were a dream, I can't tell you the story, you would not be surprised by the twisted mind of Robert Ludlum... This is so excellent!
Why does Mr. Ludlum require his characters to be saints? Not only is the main male protagonist "burdened" by his wealth and ashamed of his pampered lifestyle, he is also the great-white savior of inner-city school children. And his main female protagonist has nobly overcome the hardships of poverty in some generic achievement of the American Dream. Don't his characters have any human flaws, such as lust, selfishness, jealousy, greed, pettiness or just a mix of disdain and love for friends, family and themselves? It would be more powerful to see an ordinary being tested by worldwide plots instead of the constant flow of saints conquering sinners. The world is gray, except in Mr. Ludlum's novels.
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