The Prometheus Deception

Robert Ludlum, Author
Robert Ludlum, Author St Martin's Press $27.95 (509p) ISBN 978-0-312-25346-2
Reviewed on: 10/02/2000
Release date: 10/01/2000
Compact Disc - 978-1-4272-0129-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-55927-608-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-55927-610-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-55927-609-2
Hardcover - 727 pages - 978-0-7838-9314-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 576 pages
Paperback - 978-0-312-28725-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 576 pages - 978-0-312-98108-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 576 pages - 978-0-312-98188-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 648 pages - 978-0-312-94336-3
Paperback - 978-0-7838-9315-0
Paperback - 618 pages - 978-1-4091-1775-9
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Ludlum goes full throttle in this frantically paced, if somewhat hollow, tale of one man's efforts to thwart the forces of world domination. That man is Nick Bryson, a retired operative for the Directorate, the most secretive of the world's many private intelligence agencies. Now working in the peaceful halls of academe, Bryson is stunned when the CIA informs him that the Directorate, to which he pledged his loyalty for nearly 20 years, was actually a Russian front. Worse yet, the organization seems to be stockpiling weapons for a secret assault on the West. When Bryson agrees to help the CIA bring down the Directorate, he's hurled into a series of hair-raising episodes that take him from one world capital to another. With assassins snapping at his heels, Bryson watches in horror as tragedy follows him wherever he goes--an anthrax outbreak in Vienna, a passenger train blown up outside Paris, a jetliner falling from the sky over New York City. Could these terrorist attacks be the work of the Directorate, Bryson wonders, or should they be attributed to the Prometheans, another shadowy intelligence outfit that seems to be the force behind a new international surveillance agency? Catapulting from one action sequence to the next and culminating in a spectacular finale in Seattle, the story is an exciting showcase for all the latest spy gadgetry, but it has little of the contemplative quality and social context of Ludlum's finer efforts. Ludlum's cautionary theme--that technology will soon allow for surveillance on a scale that grossly infringes on personal privacy--gets lost in the barrage of flying bullets and explosions. Bryson himself is a dynamo and lots of fun to watch in action, but his almost superhuman endurance and intelligence seem more suited to that other heroic gentleman of adventure, Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt, than to a Ludlum hero. Major ad/promo. (Oct.)
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