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The Sigma Protcol
By Robert Ludlum

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The Sigma Protcol

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The Sigma Protcol
By Robert Ludlum
Thorndike Press, 2002
Large Print Edition
ISBN: 0-7862-3893-3
Genre: Thriller

Reviewed by Sheldon Ztvordokov - April 4, 2005

The Sigma Protcol is pure Robert Ludlum. This is one of the last books that he wrote before his death, and it harkens back to the style of writing and plotting that he used in some of his earlier books such as The Bourne Identity and The Gemini Contenders. The story has a finely honed plot that proceeds at breakneck speed. You'll find yourself having to pause to catch your breath on more than one occasion while reading this book - that's how well Ludlum pulls you into the story!

Ben Hartman is on holiday in Zurich when an inopportune meeting with Jimmy Cavanaugh, an old acquaintance, turns into a bloody shoot-out. Not surprisingly, Ben soon finds himself being hunted by both the 'bad guys' and the police who want to question him about the shootout that left several bystanders dead. Ben soon falls in with the beautiful Anna Navarro, who is being hunted by an unknown assassin. Anna is an agent for the American Department of Justice and she had been investigating the deaths of several men connected with the mysterious group called Sigma. She soon finds that the only chance she has of staying alive is by joining forces with fellow American, Ben.

As Anna and Ben try to stay one step ahead of their respective killers, they discover that they have both fallen afoul of the Sigma, a fiendish cartel consisting of former Nazis and modern capitalist financiers, which strives to protect its members' prestige and wealth while also following their own agenda. To save themselves, Anna and Ben must root out and dismantle the Sigma - before it can set its devilish plans into motion, and before our two heroes are killed. To complicate matters, Ben is a financier and the son of Jewish immigrants that fled Nazi Germany, and his identical twin brother was killed, in Switzerland, four years earlier.

In trying to stop the Sigma, Anna and Ben find themselves racing across much of Europe and throughout parts of the United States. Along the way they engage in several gun battles, car chases, and other hair raising adventures that make this book very hard to put down because something is always just about to happen! From the start, you know that the members of Sigma are bad, and that they have some nefarious plan up their sleeve, but Ludlum makes you wait until nearly the very end to find out just how devious their plan really. Along the way, Ben and Anna grow closer, although this romantic angle is never full developed. As well, Ben uncovers some family secrets and the truth behind the death of his twin brother, who died four years earlier.

This is an amusing, action-packed story that is great fun to read. It is not a work of high literary merit - if that is what you are looking for, look elsewhere. What Ludlum provides is hard-hitting action, crisp dialog, conspiracy theories galore, and a labyrinthine story line that will hold your interest until the very last line. Another must read for all Ludlum fans and fans to be.

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