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The Sigma Protocol [Mass Market Paperback]

Robert Ludlum
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)

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Mass Market Paperback, Oct. 13 2002 --  
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Book Description

Oct. 13 2002
After phenomenal bestseller upon bestseller, Robert Ludlum's books still "dominate the field in adventure-drenched thrillers" (Chicago Tribune). Now Ludlum's books are at an all-time high in this new breakneck classic of international intrigue, terrifying deception, and two random strangers who unwittingly hold the fate of the world in their hands...

In Zurich, Switzerland, American investment banker Ben Hartman has arrived on holiday when he chances upon old friend Jimmy Cavanaugh-- a madman who's armed and programmed to assassinate. In a matter of minutes, six innocent bystanders-- and Cavanaugh-- are dead. But when his body vanishes, and his weapon mysteriously appears in Hartman's luggage, Hartman is plunged into an unfathomable nightmare, and suddenly finds himself on the run. Meanwhile in Washington, D.C., Anna Navarro, field agent for the Department of justice, has been asked to investigate the sudden-- seemingly unrelated-- deaths of eleven men throughout the world. The only thing that connects them is a secret file, over a half-century old, linked to the CIA, and marked with the same puzzling codename: Sigma.

But as Anna follows the connecting thread, she finds herself in the shadows of a relentless killer who is one step ahead of her, victim by victim. Together she and Hartman must uncover the diabolical secrets long held behind the codename, Sigma. It will threaten everything they think they know about themselves and confirm their very worst fears...

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From Amazon

Robert Ludlum's trademark skills of intricate plotting, breakneck pacing, and high-wire drama are all on display in this gripping thriller. After his twin brother dies in a plane crash, Ben Hartman reluctantly takes his place in the investment firm started by their father, a Holocaust survivor. But then an old college buddy tries to kill Ben on a crowded Zurich street, setting off a chain of events that ultimately leads Ben into the thick of a worldwide conspiracy. Behind it is Sigma, a multinational cartel built on the rubble of World War II by industrialists and financiers bent on exploiting wartime technology and protecting their wealth from the threat of communism.

Accompanied by a beautiful American justice department agent, Ben eludes the assassins on his trail and follows Sigma's tentacles across Europe, to Brazil, Washington, and finally to a sanitarium known as the Clockworks in the Austrian Alps, where the horrifying agenda of a perverted new world order is revealed. Ludlum, who died between the writing and publishing of this book, was a master of the genre he helped popularize, and The Sigma Protocol shows him at the peak of his craft. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Anna Navarro, special agent for the Justice Department, has been assigned to investigate the deaths of several eminent men, all advanced in age and all connected to a mysterious group called Sigma, founded in the last years of World War II. An accident brings her together with Ben Hartman, an American investment banker who is in Zurich investigating the death of his twin brother and finds himself the target of an assassination attempt. Who is Sigma, and why are some of its members being killed? More importantly, what grand project is in the works? Readers may find the answer to these questions simplistic: Sigma is a partnership of high-ranking statesmen and industrialists, put together not only to spirit wealth out of Germany at the end of the war but also to stop communism's spread. Sigma's goal is to make the world safe for capitalism, a corporation whose board of directors is in charge of Western history itself. Unfortunately, Ludlum's latest novel (he died in March but left outlines for more posthumous thrillers) is not one of his better efforts. Even the sparks that eventually fly between Anna and Ben seem tepid.
- Ronnie H. Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre Ludlum First-Read Dec 27 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Sigma Protocol was my first Robert Ludlum novel. I enjoy watching the Bourne Identity series movies and thought I might enjoy to read one of his stories.

This is a long read at just over 650 pages although the plot does move fairly quickly. I can't really say that any of the plot developments surprised me, aside from the identity of the main antagonist. And even so, I was able to guess the resolution to the story long before it unfolded on the pages.

The actual premise for the villain organization named SIGMA, is not realistic. Upon examining the purpose of this organization after I finished the book, I could only ask myself, "Why?"

I will likely read Robert Ludlum again and give him another chance, despite reading some reviews that this was some of his best work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
...'The Sigma Protocol' is like taking a time machine back to when Ludlum could do no wrong when it came to writing books which took your average everyday person (or maybe above average spy) and placed them in impossible situations against a global conspiracy which threatened peace on either part of or all of the planet. I am happy to say that whether or not a shadow writer helped to fine tune whatever script Ludlum left before he passed away makes no difference to me. All the elements of what made him my all-time favorite thriller author are still in place in 'The Sigma Protocol'. Fast pacing. Incredibly choreographed chase scenes that rival ANYTHING ever put on film...oh, and the bodies pile up. Make NO mistake about that...when it comes to reading a book by Robert Ludlum, you can ALWAYS expect bullets to be flying, many of which hit their targets, producing dead folk left and right. While this may not sit well with those who are allergic to graphic violence, it was always one of the things that I enjoyed about these books. Are some of the characters less than two dimensional? Yes...but you can say the same about pretty much all of his books. Some of the dialogue can sound forced and Ludlum always put way too many !!exclamation points in his stories, and sometimes the swearing got waaay out of hand to the point that it no longer served any purpose because the characters were using it so often that it no longer made a difference to the story. All this aside, taking the novel as a whole, 'The Sigma Protocol' is another winning entry in Ludlum's long list of adventures in global conspiracies!! I very much look forward to 'The Janson Directive'!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Ludlum book- DEFINITELY NOT THE LAST!!! April 14 2002
I found out Mr. Ludlum passed away in the last year. I thought- why not read one of his books? I sort of wanted to at best. What I got into COMPLETELY took me by surprise.

THIS MAY BE THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ!!!!! Imagine Ben Hartman seeing one of his old high school buddies who he hasn't seen in the past 15 years in Europe. Now imagine your "buddy" pulling a gun out to try to kill you. Ben luckily survives and then the "turn-your-world-upside-down-trying-to-figure-out-what-in-the-world-is-going-on" world tour is on. You see, all Ben thought he understood about his life has been mostly a big lie. Friends are now your enemies. And total strangers hold your life in their hands.
Everybody you speak to seems to be gunned down by some secret shadow group simply called- SIGMA. Axis, Allies, Nazis, megacorporations, money, good guys, and bad guys all on the same side? This isn't possible- is it??? What Ludlum eloquently gives the reader is COMPLETELY mind-numbing. This can't be happening? Can it? Yet he intricately weaves his tale to be not only possible, but entirely plausible!!
Don't take my word for it. Read this COMPLETELY ABSORBING book. I certainly know this will not be my last Ludlum book. 23 more books to go? I can't wait.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable story, but a damn great book! July 30 2002
By A Customer
Just the beginning of the story will never keep you away from it. Each chapter will keep you want to read the following chapter. You're hooked! The actions were written as vividly as possible. Hooray for Ludlum, he kept me guessing until the end. And you never thought that the story would end that way, just like the movie: Sixth Sense w/ Bruce Willis. Believe me, read this book. The stylish writing style and suspenseful, gripping thriller about WWII, Industrialists, The world, and how history can be concocted to be imparallel with what were taught in school. Are we living in a blossoming history, untouched or compromised? Read this book and it will make sense. One word of advice, don't get succumbed to ideology presented to this book, it seemed surreal. Goodluck!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME Feb. 2 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I started reading this book when my dad brought it home a while ago from a trip to, guess where? switzerland! yeah. so i read the first few chapters and was totally hooked, but didnt get time to read the rest. now the time has arose that i can read it for my english class and i jumped at the chance to finish it. yes it is long, and a bit confusing but it is one of the best books i've read. i highly reccomend it, especially if you have free time and your mind is wandering. This is a good place to put a bored brain to work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Grand Slam Thriller May 26 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was very long and descriptive. However, it is action-packed with many plot twists and turns.
Anna Navarro is a Justice Department agent who is given the assignment of finding out why a group of elderly men around the world are getting killed. These men belonged to a highly secretive organization known as Sigma. In the interim, Ben Hartman is a thirty-ish banker on a ski trip and as he is about to depart, an old college "friend" notices him in a hotel lobby and makes an attempt on his life but fails.
Anna and Ben accidentally meet each other about a third way through the novel and discover that they both have a lot in common which is the desire to learn more about Sigma and some of its past and present members.
This was a great novel with lots of good history on the many doctors who performed human experiments during (...) Germany. Of course, some of it is fiction but much of it is not after I had done my own research on the topics in this book. If you do not read any other Ludlum novel, please find time to read the Sigma Protocol.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Action Packed
Not a bad summer read. Lots of action if that's what you are looking for. I think it would make a better movie than a book as there wasn't much depth to characters.
Published 14 months ago by sara
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine Ludlum Farewell
Good book on-par with some of Ludlum's earlier efforts. An entertaining read, a bit slow in some areas but overall a good farewell from Ludlum (R.I.P.).
Published on July 8 2004 by John
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting classic Ludlum
The late Robert Ludlum was the true master of the international thriller. Upon opening one of his weighty volumes, a reader was assured of being transported all over the world... Read more
Published on Feb. 24 2004 by Larry
3.0 out of 5 stars Starts Out Slow, Speeds Up, and Ends Ubruptly
I had never read a Ludlum book before, but after seeing "The Bourne Identity", I thought I'd give him a try.
It took me some time to get into the book. Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2004 by Russ
4.0 out of 5 stars All The Usual Ingredients
THE SIGMA PROTOCOL has the usual elements readers have come to expect from Robert Ludlum over the years. It's an action-packed, intricately plotted thrill-ride of a book. Read more
Published on Dec 10 2003 by AntiochAndy
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, thought-provoking read
This is one of those books that you just can not put down. There are so many twists, you just got to keep reading to find out what is about to happen. Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2003 by Markus Egger
1.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointed
I tried my best to enjoy Ludlum's Sigma Protocol, but towards the end I found myself struggling to finish the book. Read more
Published on Aug. 26 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Typical, entertaining Ludlum book.
The good news: this is an honest to goodness, real live Ludlum book. Many of Ludlum's later books are "co-authored" and are not really done by Ludlum. Read more
Published on Aug. 26 2003 by kireviewer
2.0 out of 5 stars Probably not Ludlum's best...
I wouldn't recommend the Sigma Protocol unless you have already read (and enjoyed) some of Ludlum's other works. Read more
Published on Aug. 5 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars No More Ludlum Books!
He just needed a payday to put his name on this garbage. Did anyone at St Martin's Press read this before they fired up the presses? I doubt it. A must miss!
Published on July 22 2003 by Amazon Customer
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