If you like Ludlum, read one of his later works.
"The Scarlatti Inheritance" showcases all his flaws as
Ludlum can indeed handle certain techniques of a suspense
novel -- the buildup of tension, the explosive scene, etc.
Unfortunately, his flaws ruin the pleasure of reading this book.
* His characters are paper-thin.
* He's sloppy with background details. In this particular book,
for example, historical details are wrong and/or misinterpeted,
and the German dialog is grammatically and/or idiomatically incorrect.
* Excess reliance on "deus ex machina" plot devices.
Summary: If you like the type of suspense Ludlum writes,
you'd be better off reading someone like Trevanian.