Title: The Sigma Protocol
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 2001
Book Condition: As New
Dust Jacket Condition: As New
Edition: First Edition - First Printing.
Jacket in new mylar cover. 535 pages. Ludlow's last novel. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 008849
Synopsis: Now comes The Sigma Protocol, a new breakneck novel of intrigue, conspiracy, and terrifying deception.
American investment banker Ben Hartman arrives in Zurich for a ski holiday, the first time he's been back to Switzerland since his twin brother died there in a tragic accident four years earlier. But his arrival in Zurich triggers something far more sinister than his brother's fate. When Ben chances upon Jimmy Cavanaugh, an old college friend, Cavanaugh promptly pulls out a gun and tries to kill him. In a matter of minutes, several innocent bystanders are dead - as well as Cavanaugh - and Ben has barely managed to survive. Plunged into an unspeakable nightmare, Hartman suddenly finds himself on the run.
Department of Justice field agent Anna Navarro is being stalked around the world by a relentless killer, managing to survive the killer's attacks only by a combination of luck, skill and her own quick wits. These attacks are somehow related to her current assignment: investigating the sudden - and seemingly unrelated - deaths of a number of very old men throughout the world. The only thing that connects them is a file in the CIA archives, over a half-century old, marked with the same puzzling code word: SIGMA. But someone or something is always seemingly one step ahead of her, the survivors are rapidly dwindling, and her own life is in ever increasing danger.
Brought together by accident, Ben and Anna soon realize that their only hope of survival lies with each other. Together they race to uncover the diabolical secrets long hidden behind the code word, Sigma. Secrets that threaten everything they think they know about themselves, everything they believed true about their friends and families, and everything they were ever taught about history itself. For behind Sigma lies a vast deception that is finally coming to fruition and the fate and future of the world is in their hands.
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
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