The Prometheus Deception

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Overview

Robert Ludlum is the acknowledged master of suspense and international intrigue. For over thirty years, in over twenty international bestsellers, he has a set a standard that has never been equaled. Now, with the Prometheus Deception, he proves that he is at the very pinnacle of his craft.

Nicholas Bryson spent years as a deep cover operative for the American secret intelligence group, the Directorate. After critical undercover mission went horribly wrong, Bryson was retired to ...

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Overview

Robert Ludlum is the acknowledged master of suspense and international intrigue. For over thirty years, in over twenty international bestsellers, he has a set a standard that has never been equaled. Now, with the Prometheus Deception, he proves that he is at the very pinnacle of his craft.

Nicholas Bryson spent years as a deep cover operative for the American secret intelligence group, the Directorate. After critical undercover mission went horribly wrong, Bryson was retired to a new identity. Years later, his closely held cover is cracked and Bryson learns that the Directorate was not what it claimed - that he was a pawn in a complex scheme against his own country's interests. Now, it has become increasingly clear that the shadowy Directorate is headed for some dangerous endgame - but no one knows precisely who they are and what they are planning. With Bryson their only possible asset, the director of the CIA recruits Bryson to find, reinfiltrate, and stop the Directorate. But after years on the sidelines, Bryson's field skills are rusty, his contacts unreliable, and his instincts suspect.

With everything he thought he knew about his own life in question, Bryson is all alone in a wilderness of mirrors - unsure what is and isn't true and who, if anyone, he can trust - with the future of millions in the balance.

With everything he thought he knew about his own life in question, Bryson is all alone in a wilderness of mirrors - unsure what is and isn't true and who, if anyone, he can trust - with the future of millions in the balance.

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Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune
Rarely has any writer of espionage novels come up with such an ambitious design that churns on so many levels.
Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
Reading a Ludlum novel is like watching a James Bond film: The action is so slickly paced, the political details so all-consuming, the weapons and women so blatently steeped in sex appeal...all in the name of discovering a truth that involves complicated weapons, wiley governments, and buxom blondes. Hey, works for us. B+
— (Entertainment Weekly)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
After 22 novels, Ludlum (The Hades Factor) delivers yet again a topnotch international thriller sure to please fans of popular entertainment. Trust no one. These are the words that Nicholas Bryson, former deep-cover black ops specialist for a shadowy group called the Directorate, must live by when he learns that the covert agency he has served for much of his life, and which has forced him out after a disastrous mission, is not what he had always thought. Instead of being a hero, he learns that he was used as a pawn by forces inimical to the United States. With his life now a massive deception, he is driven by revenge and a need to understand the past into a desperate search for those responsible. But what he discovers is much worse than anything he might have imagined. This is a rousing thriller with all the trademarks of a Ludlum best seller--heart-pounding chase scenes, devastating double-crosses, gut-wrenching twists, fast-paced action, fierce confrontations, pressure that ratchets up to an explosive conclusion, and, as always, authentic international locales, high-tech gadgetry, and sophisticated spycraft. Highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/00.]--Ronnie H. Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
New Yorker
...his most ingenious novel yet...In just a few scenes...Ludlum instills a year's worth of Harvard Business Reviews, and provides a dead-on picture of contemporary corporate strategy...Ludlum has been among the very few novelists who have taken the trouble and write about such market forces. Two hundred million copies later, the market has returned the compliment.
From the Publisher
"Rarely has any writer of espionage novels come up with such an ambitious design that churns on so many levels." —Chicago Tribune

"Ludlum stuffs more surprises into his novels than any other six pack of thriller writers combined." —New York Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312978365
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 10/14/2001
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 6.74 (w) x 4.06 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Ludlum
Robert Ludlum is the author of twenty-two novels published in thirty-two languages and forty countries. Read by hundreds of millions world-wide, his books include The Scarlatti Inheritance, The Chancellor Manuscript, The Acquitaine Progression, The Icarus Agenda, and The Bourne Identity. He divides his time between homes in Florida and Montana.

Biography

Robert Ludlum was the author of 21 novels, each a New York Times bestseller. There are more than 210 million of his books in print, and they have been translated into 32 languages. In addition to the Jason Bourne series—The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum—he was the author of The Scarlatti Inheritance, The Chancellor Manuscript, and The Apocalypse Watch, among many others. Mr. Ludlum passed away in March, 2001.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Jonathan Ryder and Michael Shepherd
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 25, 1927
    1. Date of Death:
      March 12, 2001
    2. Place of Death:
      Naples, Florida

Read an Excerpt



Chapter One

Washington, D.C.
Five weeks later


The patient was conveyed by a chartered jet to a private landing strip twenty miles northwest of Washington, D.C. Although the patient was the only passenger on the entire aircraft, no one spoke to him except to ascertain his immediate needs. No one knew his name. All they knew was that this was clearly an extremely important passenger. The flight's arrival appeared on no aviation logs anywhere, military or civilian.

    The nameless passenger was then taken by unmarked sedan to downtown Washington and dropped off, at his own request, near a parking garage in the middle of an unremarkable block near Dupont Circle. He wore an unimpressive gray suit with a pair of tasseled cordovan loafers that had been scuffed and shined a few too many times, and looked like one of a thousand midlevel lobbyists and bureaucrats, the faceless, colorless staffers of a permanent Washington.

    Nobody gave him a second look as he emerged from the parking garage, then walked, stiffly and with a pronounced limp, to a dun-colored, four-story building at 1324 K Street, near Twenty-first. The building, all cement and gray-tinted glass, was scarcely distinguishable from all the other bland, boxy low-rises along this stretch of northwest Washington. These were the offices, invariably, of lobbying groups and trade organizations, travel bureaus and industry boards. Beside its front entrance a couple of brass plaques were mounted, announcing the offices of INNOVATION ENTERPRISES and AMERICAN TRADE INTERNATIONAL.

    Only a trained engineer withhighly rarefied expertise might have noticed a few anomalous details—the fact, for example, that every window frame was equipped with a piezoelectric oscillator, rendering futile any attempt at laser-acoustic surveillance from outside. Or the high-frequency white-noise "drench" that enveloped the building in a cone of radio waves, sufficient to defeat most forms of electronic eavesdropping.

    Certainly nothing ever attracted the attention of its K Street neighbors—the balding lawyers at the grains board, the grim-faced accountants in their ties and short-sleeved shirts at the slowly failing business consulting firm. People arrived at 1324 K Street in the morning and left in the evening and trash was deposited in the alley Dumpster on the appropriate days. What else did anybody care to know? But that was how the Directorate liked to be: hidden in plain view.

    The man almost smiled to himself when he thought about it. For who would ever suspect that the most secretive of the world's covert agencies would be headquartered in an ordinary-looking office building in the middle of K Street, right out in the open?

    The Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Virginia, and the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Maryland, were housed in moated fortresses that proclaimed their existence! Here I am, they seemed to say, right here, pay no attention to me! They virtually dared their opponents to breach their security—as inevitably happened. The Directorate made those so-called clandestine bureaucracies look about as reclusive as the U.S. Postal Service.

    The man stood inside the lobby of 1324 K Street and scanned the sleek brass panel, on which was mounted a perfectly conventional-looking telephone handset beneath a dial pad, from all appearances the sort of arrangement that appears in lobbies in office buildings around the world. The man picked up the handset and then pressed a series of numbers, a predetermined code. He kept his index finger pressed on the last button, the # sign, for a few seconds until he heard a faint ring, signifying that his fingerprint had been electronically scanned, analyzed, matched against a preexisting and precleared database of digitized fingerprints, and approved. Then he listened to the telephone handset as it rang precisely three times. A disembodied, mechanical female voice commanded him to state his business.

    "I have an appointment with Mr. Mackenzie," said the man. In a matter of seconds his words were converted into bits of data and matched against another database of precleared voiceprints. Only then did a faint buzzing in the lobby indicate that the first inner set of glass doors could be opened. He hung up the telephone receiver and pushed open the heavy, bulletproof glass doors, entered a tiny antechamber, and stood there for a few seconds; as his facial features were scanned by three separate high-resolution surveillance cameras and checked against stored, authorized patterns.

    The second set of doors opened onto a small, featureless reception area of white walls and gray industrial carpeting, equipped with hidden monitoring devices that could detect all manner of concealed weapons. On a marble-topped console in one corner, there was a stack of pamphlets emblazoned with the logo of American Trade International, an organization that existed only as a set of legal documents and registrations. The rest of the pamphlets were given over to an unreadable mission statement, filled with platitudes about international trade. An unsmiling guard waved Bryson past, through another set of doors and into a handsomely appointed hall, paneled in dark, buried walnut, where about a dozen clerical types were at their desks. It might have been an upscale art gallery of the sort one might find on Fifty-seventh Street in Manhattan, or perhaps a prosperous law firm.

    "Nick Bryson, my main man!" exclaimed Chris Edgecomb, bounding from his seat at a computer monitor. Born in Guyana, he was a lithe, tall man with mocha skin and green eyes. He'd been at the Directorate for four years, working on the communications-and-coordination team; he fielded distress calls, figured out ways to relay information to agents in the field when it was necessary. Edgecomb clasped Bryson's hand warmly.

    Nicholas Bryson knew he was something of a hero to people like Edgecomb, who yearned to be field operatives. "Join the Directorate and change the world," Edgecomb would joke in his lilting English, and it was Bryson he had in mind when he said it. It was a rare event, Bryson knew, that the office staff saw Bryson face-to-face; for Edgecomb, this was an occasion.

    "Somebody hurt you?" Edgecomb's expression was sympathetic; he saw a strong man who had been hospitalized until recently. Then he continued hastily, knowing better than to ask questions: "I'll pray to Saint Christopher for you. You'll be a hundred percent in no time."

    The Directorate's creed, above all, was segmentation and compartmentalization. No one agent or staffer should ever know enough to be in the position to jeopardize the security of the whole. The organizational chart was shrouded even to a veteran like Bryson. He knew a few of the desk jockeys, of course. But the field personnel all operated in isolation, through their own proprietary networks. If you had to work together, you knew each other only by a field legend, a temporary alias. The rule was more than procedure, it was Holy Writ.

    "You're a good man, Chris," Bryson remarked.

    Edgecomb smiled modestly, then pointed a finger upward. He knew Bryson had an appointment—or was it a summons?—with the big man himself, Ted Waller. Bryson smiled, gave Edgecomb a friendly clap on the shoulder, and made his way to the elevator.


"Don't get up," Bryson said heartily as he entered Ted Waller's third-floor office. Waller did anyway, all six feet, four inches and three hundred pounds of him.

    "Good Lord, look at you," Waller said, his eyes appraising Bryson with alarm. "You look like you came out of a POW camp."

    "Thirty-three days in a U.S. government clinic in Morocco will do that to you," Bryson said. "It's not exactly the Ritz."

    "Perhaps I should try being gutted by a mad terrorist someday." Waller patted his ample girth. He was even larger than the last time Bryson had seen him, though his avoirdupois was elegantly sheathed in a suit of navy cashmere, his bull neck flattered by the spread collar of one of his Turnbull & Asser shirts. "Nick, I've been tormenting myself since this happened. It was a serrated Verenski blade from Bulgaria, I'm told. Plunge and twist. Terribly low-tech, but it usually does the job. What a business we're in. Never forget, it's what you don't see that always gets you." Waller settled weightily back in the tufted-leather chair behind his oak desk. The early-afternoon sun filtered through the polarized glass behind him. Bryson took a seat in front of him, an unaccustomed formality. Waller, who was normally ruddy and seemingly robust, now looked pallid, the circles under his eyes deep. "They say you've made a remarkable recovery."

    "In a few more weeks, I'll be as good as new. At least that's what the doctors tell me. They also say I'll never need an appendectomy, a side benefit I never thought of." As he spoke, he felt the dull ache in his lower-right abdomen.

    Waller nodded distractedly. "You know why you're here?"

    "A kid gets a note to see the principal, he expects a reprimand." Bryson feigned lightheartedness, but his mood was tense, somber.

    "A reprimand," Waller said enigmatically. He was silent for a moment, his eyes settling on a row of leather-bound books on the shelves near the door. Then he turned back and said in a gentle, pained voice: "The Directorate doesn't exactly post an organizational chart, but I think you have some inkling of the command-and-control structure. Decisions, particularly ones concerning key personnel, do not always stop at my desk. And as important as loyalty is to you and to me—hell, to most of the people in this goddamned place—it's coldhearted pragmatism that rules the day. You know that."

    Bryson had only had one serious job in his life, and this was it; still, he recognized the undertones of the pink-slip talk. He fought the urge to defend himself, for that was not Directorate procedure; it was unseemly. He recalled one of Wallet's mantras: There's no such thing as bad luck, then thought of another maxim. "All's well that ends well," Bryson said. "And it did end well."

    "We almost lost you," Waller said. "I almost lost you," he added ruefully, a teacher speaking to a prize student who has disappointed him.

    "That's not pertinent," Bryson said quietly. "Anyway, you can't read the rules on the side of the box when you're in the field; you know that. You taught me that. You improvise, you follow instinct—not just established protocol."

    "Losing you could have meant losing Tunisia. There's a cascade effect: when we intervene, we do so early enough to make a difference. Actions are carefully titrated, reactions calibrated, variables accounted for. And so you nearly compromised quite a few other undercover operations, in Maghreb and other places around the sandbox. You put other lives in jeopardy, Nicky—other operations and other lives. The Technician's legend was intricately connected to other legends we'd manufactured; you know that. Yet you let your cover get blown. Years of undercover work compromised because of you!"

    "Now, wait a second—"

    "Giving them `defective munitions'—how did you think they wouldn't suspect you?"

    "Damn it, they weren't supposed to be defective!"

    "But they were. Why?"

    "I don't know!"

    "Did you inspect them?"

    "Yes! No! I don't know. It never crossed my mind that the goods weren't as they were represented."

    "That was a serious lapse, Nicky. You endangered years of work, years of deep-cover planning, cultivation of valuable assets. The lives of some of our most valuable assets! Goddamn it, what were you thinking?"

    Bryson was silent for a moment. "I was set up," he said at last.

    "Set up how?"

    "I can't say for sure."

    "If you were `set up,' that means you were already under suspicion, correct?"

    "I—I don't know."

    "`I don't know'? Not exactly words that inspire confidence, are they? They're not words I like to hear. You used to be our top field operative. What happened to you, Nick?"

    "Maybe—somehow—I screwed up. Don't you think I've gone over it and over it in my mind?"

    "I'm not hearing answers, Nick."

    "Maybe there aren't any answers—not now, not yet."

    "We can't afford such screwups. We can't tolerate this kind of carelessness. None of us can. We allow for margins of error. But we cannot go beyond them. The Directorate doesn't tolerate mistakes. You've known that since day one."

    "You think there was something I could have done differently? Or maybe you think somebody else could have done it better?"

    "You were the best we ever had, you know that. But as I told you, these decisions are reached at consortium level, not at my desk."

    A chill ran through Bryson upon hearing the bureaucratese that told him Waller had already distanced himself from the consequences of the decision to let him go. Ted Waller was Bryson's mentor, boss, and friend, and, fifteen years ago, his teacher. He had supervised his apprenticeship, briefed him personally before the operations he worked on early in his career. It was an immense honor, and Bryson felt it to this day. Waller was the most brilliant man he'd ever met. He could solve partial differential equations in his head; he possessed vast stores of arcane geopolitical knowledge. At the same time his lumbering frame belied his extraordinary physical dexterity. Bryson recalled him at a shooting range, absently hitting one bull's-eye after another from seventy feet while chatting about the sad decline of British bespoke tailoring. The .22 looked puny in his large, plump, soft hand; it was so under his control that it might have been another finger.

    "You used the past tense, Ted," Bryson said. "The implication being that you believe I've lost it."

    "I simply meant what I said," Waller replied quietly. "I've never worked with anyone better, and I doubt I ever will."

    By temperament and by training, Nick knew how to remain impassive, but now his heart was thudding. You were the best we ever had, Nick. That sounded like an homage, and homage, he knew, was a key element of the ritual of separation. Bryson would never forget Waller's reaction when he pulled off his first operational hat trick—foiling the assassination of a moderate reform candidate in South America. It was a taciturn Not bad: Waller had pressed his lips together to keep from smiling, and to Nick, it was a greater accolade than any that followed. It's when they begin to acknowledge how valuable you are, Bryson had learned, that you know they're putting you out to pasture.

    "Nick, nobody else could have accomplished what you did in the Comoros. The place would have been in the hands of that madman, Colonel Denard. In Sri Lanka, there are probably thousands of people who are alive, on both sides, because of the arms-trading routes you exposed. And what you did in Belarus? The GRU still doesn't have a clue, and they never will. Leave it to the politicians to color inside the lines, because those are the lines that we've drawn, that you've drawn. The historians will never know, and the truth is, it's better that way. But we know that, don't we?"

    Bryson didn't reply; no reply was called for.

    "And on a separate matter, Nick, noses are out of joint around here about the Banque du Nord business." He was referring to Bryson's penetration of a Tunis bank that channeled laundered funds to Abu and Hezbollah to fund the coup attempt. One night during the operation more than 1.5 billion dollars simply disappeared, vanished into cyberspace. Months of investigation had failed to account for the missing assets. It was a loose end, and the Directorate disliked loose ends.

    "You're not suggesting that I had my hand in the cookie jar, are you?"

    "Of course not. But you understand that there are always going to be suspicions. When there are no answers, the questions linger; you know that."

    "I've had plenty of opportunities for `personal enrichment' that would have been far more lucrative and considerably more discreet."

    "You've been tested, yes, and you've passed with flying colors. But I question the method of diversion, the monies transferred through false flags to Abu's colleagues to purchase compromisable background data."

    "That's called improvisation. It's what you pay me for—using my powers of discretion when and where necessary." Bryson stopped, realizing something. "But I was never debriefed about this!"

    "You offered up the details yourself, Nick," said Waller.

    "I sure as hell never—oh, Christ, it was chemicals, wasn't it?"

    Waller hesitated a split-second, but just long enough that Bryson's question was answered. Ted Waller could lie, blithely and easily, when the need dictated, but Bryson knew his old friend and mentor found lying to him distasteful. "Where we obtain our information is compartmented, Nick. You know that."

    Now he understood the need for such a protracted stay in an American-staffed clinic in Laayoune. Chemicals had to be administered without the subject's knowledge, preferably injected into the intravenous drip. "Goddamn it, Ted! What's the implication—that I couldn't be trusted to undergo a conventional debriefing, offer the goods up freely? That only a blind interrogation could tell you what you wanted to know? You had to put me under without my knowledge?"

    "Sometimes the most reliable interrogation is that which is conducted without the subject's calculation of his own best interest."

    "Meaning you guys thought that I'd lie to cover my ass?"

    Waller's reply was quiet, chilling. "Once assessments are made that an individual is not one hundred percent trustworthy, contrary assumptions are made, at least provisionally. You detest it, and I detest it, but that's the brutal fact of an intelligence bureaucracy. Particularly one as reclusive—maybe paranoid is the more accurate word here—as we are."

    Paranoid. In fact, Bryson had learned long ago that to Waller and his colleagues at the Directorate, it was an article of faith that the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and even the National Security Agency were riddled with moles, hamstrung by regulation, and mired in an arms race of disinformation with their hostile counterparts abroad. Waller liked to call these, the agencies whose existence was emblazoned on Congressional appropriations bills and organization charts, the "woolly mammoths." In his earliest days with the Directorate, Bryson had innocently asked whether some measure of cooperation with the other agencies didn't make sense. Waller had laughed. "You mean, let the woolly mammoths know we exist? Why not just send a press release to Pravda?" But the crisis of American intelligence, in Waller's view, went far beyond the problems of penetration. Counterintelligence was the true wilderness of mirrors. "You lie to your enemy, and then you spy on them," Waller had once pointed out, "and what you learn is the lie. Only now, somehow, the lie has become true, because it's been recategorized as `intelligence.' It's like an Easter-egg hunt. How many careers have been made—on either side—by people who have painstakingly unearthed eggs that their colleagues have just as painstakingly buried? Colorful, beautifully painted Easter eggs—but fakes nonetheless."

    The two had sat talking through the night in the below-ground library underneath the K Street headquarters, a chamber furnished with seventeenth-century Kurdish rugs on the floor, old British oil paintings of the hunt, of loyal dogs grasping fowl in their pedigreed mouths.

    "You see the genius of it?" Waller had gone on. "Every CIA adventure, botched or otherwise, will eventually come under public scrutiny. Not so for us, simply because we're on nobody's radar." Bryson still remembered the soft rattle of ice cubes in the heavy crystal glass as Waller took a sip of the barrel-proof bourbon he favored.

    "But operating off the grid, practically like outlaws, can't exactly be the most practical way to do business," Bryson had protested. "For one thing, there's the matter of resources."

    "Granted, we don't have the resources, but then we don't have the bureaucracy, either, the constraints. All in all, it's a positive advantage, given our particular purview. Our record is proof of it. When you work in ad hoc fashion with groups around the world, when you don't shy from extremely aggressive interventions, then all you need is a very small number of highly trained operatives. You take advantage of on-the-ground forces. You succeed by directing events, coordinating the desired outcomes. You don't need the vast overheads of the spy bureaucracies. All you really need is brains."

    "And blood," said Bryson, who had already seen his share of it by then. "Blood."

    Waller had shrugged. "That great monster Joseph Stalin once put it quite aptly: you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs." He spoke about the American century, about the burdens of empire. About imperial Britain in the nineteenth century, when Parliament would debate for six months about whether to send an expeditionary force to rescue a general who had been under siege for two years. Waller and his colleagues at the Directorate believed in liberal democracy, fervently and unequivocally—but they also knew that to secure its future, you couldn't play, as Waller liked to say, by Queensbury rules. If your enemies operated by low cunning, you'd better summon up some good old low cunning of your own. "We're the necessary evil," Waller had told him. "But don't ever get cocky—the noun is evil. We're extra-legal. Unsupervised, unregulated. Sometimes I don't even feel safe knowing that we're around." There was another soft rattle of ice cubes as he drained the last drops of bourbon from the glass.

    Nick Bryson had known fanatics—friendlies and hostiles both—and he found comfort in Waller's very ambivalence. Bryson had never felt he'd fully had the measure of Waller's mind: the brilliance, the cynicism, but mostly the intense, almost bashful idealism, like sunlight spilling through the edge of drawn blinds. "My friend," Waller said, "we exist to create a world in which we won't be necessary."

(Continues...)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 40 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 28, 2010

    Not Ludlum's best

    The plot was decent, very Ludlum-esque. Characters were not developed well and the ending was anticlimactic. Disappointing wnen compared to his earlier works such as parsifal mosaic, gemini contenders and bourne idenity. A marginal read for Ludlum fans.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2002

    Predictable, no deception here!

    Way too long. Way too predictable. I knew what was coming the whole way. There are several empty pages at the end of the book, past the epiloge. I guess this is where I can write down notes for the technical inaccuracies. Page 346, an AH-64 Apache helicopter has no capacity for carrying passengers. It is a two-seater (tandam) gunship. Page 448, the book makes a reference to a building "in the shadow of the World Trade Center", then on page 523 the book talks about "another world trade center". It can't sit in the shadow of a building that is not there. I have read every RL novel, this is by far, the one I like the least. As far as the issue of the "privacy of citizens" is concerned. It is not a new concept. This is not a cutting edge novel based on issues of today.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2013

    I purchased this book because it was written by Robert Ludlum. I

    I purchased this book because it was written by Robert Ludlum. If it was, indeed, written by Mr. Ludlum, it totally lacks the true Ludlum touch. First off, it doesn't begin to read to read like any Ludlum book I ever read. The main character is two dimensional, to say the least. He's a character I can't begin to identify and is way too comic book-esque for my tastes. This super-hero goes from one major wound to the next with no recovery time between act between very contrived action scenes that are almost impossible to believe. I labored through half the pages in this book before I could begin to warm up to Mr. Bryson (out hero). There's way too much introspection by Bryson in a convoluted plot that is so predictable that it induced far too many yawns and drooping eyelids. Along the way, we're regaled by reprises from "The Matarese Circle", "The Bourne Identity" and a few other books written by Mr. Ludlum. Technical faux pas abound, and there is far too much unnecessary and boring detail about the technology of the day, much of it that either makes no sense or is inserted as what appears to be the author's attempt at showing us how very superior the author is to us ordinary creatures in terms of his technical knowledge. I for one don't particularly care to be educated (sometimes incorrectly) by text that only interrupts the flow of the story at hand while lending no particular excitement to that story. This is not Ludlum at his best. Frankly, I have my doubts that "The Prometheus Deception" is Ludlum at all, except perhaps as an old outline for a book Mr. Ludlum was planning to write. If Robert Ludlum actually did write this book before his unfortunate death in the same year it was published, it is a poor swansong at best.

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  • Posted January 14, 2012

    Best selling best seller!

    This book is the epitome of all stories on international espionage and cloak and dagger thrillers, I have read Nick Carter, James Hadley Chase, Sidney Sheldon, Ian Fleming's James Bond etc etc but this Ludlum book is far above their class. Unfortunately it has no sequel like Jason Bourne series which are coincidently being destroyed by one Eric Lustabader, the spirit of Ludlum will not forgive Lustabader for the rubbish he has made out of a wonderful story, I wonder who assigned him to do that. Anyway I think Nick Bryson and Prometheus Deception deserve a good Hollywood script and a well budgeted film. I wish I had the funds to finance such a project! Please get someone to write a sequel so that Bryson can deal with Ted Waller!

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  • Posted August 27, 2011

    Excellent Read

    This book will keep anyone entertained, without sacrificing good story for action sequences.

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  • Posted February 23, 2010

    A great thriller!

    A must read for Ludlum fans! Easily the best book published after the death of the acclaimed author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2008

    Good Book - Recommend

    I recommend reading this book. The action is fast-paced, story enthralling, typical Ludlum.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2007

    gr8 for a 1st ludlum reader...

    well, i thought why not start reading some new author.. so i took ludlum's prometheus deception.. wow!! what a book..till the very end i couldn't actually believe what was happening, everything was so twisted yet so clear that it too good 2 b true... excellent book with a gr8 fittingly finish...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2003

    her alibi revisited

    this book shows the same type person that is in her alibi that was also an author. It shows an individual who sounds like he is out of a comic book it is the worst book I have ever read....

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2002

    Keeping the Cold War Hot

    Robert Ludlum gives us America's answer to James Bond in his 'Nick Bryson.' There is no shortage of action, unlikely alliances and double-crosses, as Ludlum weaves fictionalized current events and personalities with references from the annals of espionage. From the midst of Arab terrorists, the Al-Nahda, on Africa's North Coast, Bryson travels to the clandestine corridors of the Directorate headquarters in Washington, D.C., and the ivy-covered, insulated walls of academia in Pennsylvania. Ferreted out of deep cover retirement by the CIA, Bryson is off to the high seas near the coast of Spain, other Western Europe stops and Russia in search of the truth about to whom his allegiance has been pledged in recent years. Along the way, he rediscovers romance and uncovers a nefarious plot by big money and corrupt politicians to rob U.S. citizens of their privacy. A global whirlwind filled with action and intrigue. - by Robert John Estko, author of the suspense novel, 'Evil, Be Gone'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2002

    Superb

    Only upon reading this book will you understand true deception.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2002

    great book

    this one of the best books written by rl.the action is fast placed and the description of weapons is superb. a must read for everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2001

    Enjoyable

    This was my first time reading Ludlum. The privacy issue is scary since Congress (today) is considering legislation that would encrouch upon Americans right to privacy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2001

    Move over David Bourne...there's a new kid in town!

    Not since the Bourne Identity, have I enjoyed a Ludlum novel so much. Some of the works in between were predictible and contrived. 'Road to Omaha' in my estimation was an embarrassment; I could not bear to finish it. This was well worth waiting for. It has the sort-of-predictable characters (yeah, so Nick and David Bourne share a few lives with their favorite cats), but it also has a neat twist to the 'who's who' in espionage such that you really can't tell the good guys from the bad...and then you find out...they pretty much ALL bad. I don't have bad dreams from reading Ludlum novels, but he does tell a good story and, if you're not paying attention, you will get left behind.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2000

    Fantastic Reading

    I found this book, as with all Ludlum books, riviting. I quote someone else when I say you could sprain your wrist turning the pages and this is no exception. I am always in a hurry to find out the end but at the same time I hate for one of his books to come to an end. I have also read another of his recent books 'The Hades Factor' and all I can say is that this is another page turner. I recommend both of these books very highly. I really love to read any Ludlum books. I have several of my own and after a few years I re-read them. Hope to see another soon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2001

    Ludlum at his best!

    I've read all of the Ludlum books and put this up with the best of them. It reminds me of some of his earlier works that I loved so much. I'm impressed that he keeps turning out excellent books and I hope he lives past 100 and KEEPS WRITING. Thanks Robert.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2001

    Best book since the Bourne Series

    This is Ludlum's best book. I was glued to the book and could not put it down. I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes suspense and action. It was wonderful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2000

    Fact or Fiction?

    A twisting tale, that could happen. Corporate control, privacy invaded, deception the key. An excellently crafted book, by the master. Again, Fact or Fiction?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2000

    Fine work

    I, frankly, haven't liked Ludlum's lastest novels. So I was really thrilled to see this novel succeed so well. It's like seeing Clint Eastwood come back with SPACE COWBOYS after having nothing good out since UNFORGIVEN. This book is a true international thriller, since it goes all over the globe. A great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2000

    Deception written Well.

    This book gets five stars from me hands down.

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