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The Bancroft Strategy
By Robert Ludlum

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The Bancroft Strategy

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The Bancroft Strategy
By Robert Ludlum
Little, Brown and Company Large Print(2006)
Distributed by Thorndike Press
ISBN: 1-59722-393-X
Genre: Thriller

Reviewed by Sheldon Ztvordokov - November 27, 2006

The Bancroft Strategy is a brisk thriller that finds Todd Belknap, a.k.a. The Hound, on the hunt for his friend, Jared Rinehart, who has gone missing in Lebanon. Belknap is a former Cold War spy who was sacked after a failed mission. He takes it upon himself to find Rinehart, a fellow spy, after the agency he works for simply writes the agent off as a loss. Rescuing Rinehart will be one of the hardest tasks that Belknap has ever done. He not only has to discover who Rinehart's abductors are and why they wanted him in the first place, but also, why the agency was so willing to leave Rinehart to his fate. Worse, at every turn, there are those that would see him dead in a heart beat.

In the wake of Belknap's investigation he leaves behind a plethora of bodies and unanswered questions. It is while seeking the kidnapped Rinehart that Belknap meets, Andrea Bancroft, a beautiful woman and financial analyst who is working on a mystery of her own. In order to be awarded a huge inheritance, Bancroft is required to serve as a board member for the Bancroft Foundation. It is while carrying out this duty that she comes to suspect that the foundation might be in cahoots with a mysterious cabal known as Genesis bent upon world domination. Belknap and Bancroft soon find it beneficial to join forces, as it becomes apparent that Rinehart's disappearance is somehow connected to Genesis and the Bancroft Foundation. Working together, they struggle to find the missing agent, discover the secret behind the foundation, and stay alive!

As you would expect from a Ludlum book, this story is filled with numerous chases throughout Europe, a high body count, a good dose of international espionage, and of course a lovely girl to team up with our esteemed hero. While Robert Ludlum's name appears as the author of The Bancroft Strategy, he is not the actual author. This is yet another book that was written after the author's death, and published under his name. It is apparent from the story's plot, that the basic idea was Ludlum's. However, it is hard to tell how much, if any, of the actual writing is from the author's own hand. All the books written after his death are supposedly based upon notes, outlines, or book drafts left by the author. From this material the book is either ghostwritten, or edited, to create a finished product. In this case, the 'writer' has done a good job of matching Ludlum's writing style and cadence, and the story itself is one of Ludlum's staple plot lines. All in all, The Bancroft Strategy offers readers a stimulating and fun read, full of twists, turns, and a fair share of red herrings.

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