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The Prometheus Deception
By Robert Ludlum

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The Prometheus Deception
By Robert Ludlum
G. K. Hall - Large Print, (2000)
ISBN: 0-7838-9314-0
Genre: Mystery - Suspense, Thriller

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - October 1, 2001

Robert Ludlum is a well-respected figure in the spy thriller genre, and in The Prometheus Deception he adheres to his normal standards of excellence. Giving the reader a fast pace, heart pounding ride that never slacks its pace from beginning to end. In this complex tale full of double blinds and red herrings, the reader, like the characters involved, are often left guessing, "Just who are the good-guys?" An answer that Ludlum holds before you like a carrot until you have rocketed to the very end of this marvelously crafted story.

Nicholas Bryson is a spy's spy. For years he has worked as a deep-cover operative for the ultra secret intelligent agency known only as the Directorate. For years Bryson has been their star operative. That is until a tiny mistake lands him in the hospital with stomach sliced open. In honor to his years of dedicated service, Bryson is offered the opportunity to become a college professor, or to be permanently silenced. For a man of action, this is a hard decision to make, but make it he does, and begins a second career as a respected teacher.

But, just as he is beginning to adjust to his new life, he is thrust back into the world of espionage, in a most disheartening manner. He is told, by the CIA that the Directorate is really a Russian operation, and all the years that he spent defending his country had really been spent aiding the Russians! This information sends Bryson on a hair-raising expedition to learn the truth. Could he really have been a Russian stooge? To find out, Bryson is going to have to infiltrate the organized that he had once belonged to, that is of course, if he can find the Directorate. His only clue is that they seem to be amassing weapons.

As he begins his new assignment, Bryson must overcome his years of inactivity, to readjust his body to the stresses and strains of a job in which any misstep can mean instant death. And, being rusty, Bryson makes a pretty hefty misstep, and were it not for the timely intervention of Layla, a beautiful and deadly Mossad agent his mission would have ended before it even got started. Together they follow the weapons trail, each for their own reasons. Alone they are insignificant, but together they are a formidable force. But can Bryson really trust her? And if not her, is their anyone in his topsy-turvy worlds that he can trust?

This is a violent book, a book that many readers may find hits too close to home. This book includes, among other things, bombings in Washington, D.C., and airplanes that are bombed, and crash, killing all aboard. In an eerie precursor to current events, the CIA director in this book says, "We're in the middle of a global war against terrorists, and the bad guys are winning..." (Pg. 310). Besides the terrorist derived events, there is also a lot of shooting, explosions, some minor torturing, and other similar actions that we have come to expect in spy thrillers full of chase scenes.

I have to say that this is one of the best Ludlum books that I've read in awhile. It is well plotted, and the plot so twisted that every time you think you know who is who, he shakes the mix, and you're back to square one. You really get to empathize with Bryson for his confusion over what had happened in his past, and what he learns during his quest for the truth. The more he learns, the more he questions his own sense of reality in this deeply layered thriller. The Prometheus Deception will enthrall you in this hair raising tale of international espionage, a tale in which no one is who they appear to be. And, more than once makes you shake you head and wonder, just how it is that Bryson body can take such a pounding and keep on going...


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