While Ludlum's readers will probably scoop up his latest thriller come what may, they may be disheartened to find it has a virtually suspenseless plot. Brilliant deep-cover American agent Harry Latham is captured and implanted with a mind-control microchip after he penetrates the secret Austrian headquarters of a contemporary movement to restore the Nazis to world domination. Programmed with false information incriminating legions of high-level officials around the free world, Harry is allowed to escape. Debriefed by the CIA in London, he contacts his brother Drew, also a secret agent for American Consular Operations in Paris. After revealing the name of one Nazi, Harry is assassinated by the sinister Brotherhood of the Watch, prompting Drew--aided by Karin de Vries, the beautiful and mysterious widow of Harry's former partner--to assume his identity. Dodging bullets from a seemingly endless series of assassination attempts, Drew and Karin, who become lovers, try to save the world--or at least London, Paris and Washington, from pollution of their water reserves by toxic attack via Nazi aircraft. Ludlum's first novel, The Scarlatti Inheritance, which appeared nearly a quarter century ago, dealt with Nazis. That his latest does, too, offers scant testimonial to his thematic imagination. His prose hasn't improved in the interim, either; it's still generic and blustery, if capable of hurtling across pages. What has changed is his plotting, once as dizzying yet as balanced as a gyroscope but now wobbly and predictable at the same time. That said, his fans probably won't care that there's absolutely nothing here that Ludlum hasn't done before. BOMC main selection; major ad/promo; audio rights to BDD Audio. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995 Release date: 05/01/1995 Genre: Fiction
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