The Scorpio Illusion

Robert Ludlum, Author
Robert Ludlum, Author Bantam Books $23.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-09441-1
Reviewed on: 05/03/1993
Release date: 05/01/1993
If you took the bite and humor out of a Richard Condon novel, the result would be very like Ludlum's ( The Road to Omaha ) 18th book. As a child, beautiful Amaya Aquirre, witnessed the brutal murder of her Basque parents, after which she adopted the name of their killer, Bajaratt; the motto, Muerte a toda autoridad (death rules over everything); and the profession of mercenary terrorist. When her husband, a Palestinian terrorist, is killed, Bajaratt sends a signal to an underground organization named the Scorpios, to take ``the heads of the four great beasts,'' i.e., the leaders of France, England, Israel and the United States. A mistress of disguise, this ``pathological genius'' takes the plum assignment of killing the U.S. president. Cutting a bloody swath through the Caribbean, Florida and Washington, she finally wangles a private meeting with him. But British and French Intelligence have hired her nemesis and one-time lover, retired American Naval Intelligence officer Tye Hawthorne, to follow her bloodsoaked trail and, inevitably, nail her. Instead of conveying tension, the book has the elements of a soap opera: lots of shouting, too much psychobabble, some grief therapy and plenty of misunderstandings. Despite the huge body count, as a thriller it falls flat. Major ad/promo; author tour. (June)
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