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Colorado Congressman Evan Kendrick is trying to live out his term quietly when a political mole reveals his deepest secret: Kendrick was the anonymous hero who freed the hostages held by Arab terrorists in the American embassy in Masqat, and then silently disappeared. Now, brought into the light, Kendrick is a target, pursued by the terrorists he once outwitted. Together w Colorado Congressman Evan Kendrick is trying to live out his term quietly when a political mole reveals his deepest secret: Kendrick was the anonymous hero who freed the hostages held by Arab terrorists in the American embassy in Masqat, and then silently disappeared. Now, brought into the light, Kendrick is a target, pursued by the terrorists he once outwitted. Together with the beautiful woman who saved his life, Kendrick enters a deadly arena where the only currency is blood, where frightened whispers speak of violence yet to come, and where the fate of the free world may ultimately rest in the powerful hands of a mysterious figure known only as the Mahdi.   Praise for Robert Ludlum and The Icarus Agenda   “[Robert] Ludlum is light-years beyond his literary competition in piling plot twist upon plot twist, until the mesmerized reader is held captive. . . . Ludlum pulls out all the stops.”—Chicago Tribune   “[An] intricate story of conspiracies within conspiracies . . . Once you start reading you just can’t stop.”—Library Journal   “Readers will be hooked.”—The New York Times


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Colorado Congressman Evan Kendrick is trying to live out his term quietly when a political mole reveals his deepest secret: Kendrick was the anonymous hero who freed the hostages held by Arab terrorists in the American embassy in Masqat, and then silently disappeared. Now, brought into the light, Kendrick is a target, pursued by the terrorists he once outwitted. Together w Colorado Congressman Evan Kendrick is trying to live out his term quietly when a political mole reveals his deepest secret: Kendrick was the anonymous hero who freed the hostages held by Arab terrorists in the American embassy in Masqat, and then silently disappeared. Now, brought into the light, Kendrick is a target, pursued by the terrorists he once outwitted. Together with the beautiful woman who saved his life, Kendrick enters a deadly arena where the only currency is blood, where frightened whispers speak of violence yet to come, and where the fate of the free world may ultimately rest in the powerful hands of a mysterious figure known only as the Mahdi.   Praise for Robert Ludlum and The Icarus Agenda   “[Robert] Ludlum is light-years beyond his literary competition in piling plot twist upon plot twist, until the mesmerized reader is held captive. . . . Ludlum pulls out all the stops.”—Chicago Tribune   “[An] intricate story of conspiracies within conspiracies . . . Once you start reading you just can’t stop.”—Library Journal   “Readers will be hooked.”—The New York Times

30 review for The Icarus Agenda

  1. 4 out of 5

    Deathbysexiness

    I read this for the first time over ten years ago. Its a quite dense tome, and my copy had very tiny type-script lettering but I remember thinking that R.L. must be really smart to have written something like this, I was so impressed by his depth of imagination and flair for the dramatic ( what can I say, I was 13). Now years later, I'm still impressed, by his flamboyance and blatant over-the-top hero! I keep returning to this book every couple of years, and its like its new again..and I can't he I read this for the first time over ten years ago. Its a quite dense tome, and my copy had very tiny type-script lettering but I remember thinking that R.L. must be really smart to have written something like this, I was so impressed by his depth of imagination and flair for the dramatic ( what can I say, I was 13). Now years later, I'm still impressed, by his flamboyance and blatant over-the-top hero! I keep returning to this book every couple of years, and its like its new again..and I can't help but cast the characters I think should play it because it reads like a movie - albeit an old, Hollywood, CIA-Espionage movie.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    This novel is frustrating, insubstantial and very very improbable. A caucasian US Congressman dons dark makeup to pass for an Arab, infilrates a terrorist organization in Oman, convinces them he is a fellow terrorist, and somehow foils their plot. All this despite his obvious non-native accent which isn't even mentioned by Robert Ludlum. He then keeps the entire caper a secret until one covert agent recognizes him from a photograph. The only interesting plot involves a secret star chamber-like or This novel is frustrating, insubstantial and very very improbable. A caucasian US Congressman dons dark makeup to pass for an Arab, infilrates a terrorist organization in Oman, convinces them he is a fellow terrorist, and somehow foils their plot. All this despite his obvious non-native accent which isn't even mentioned by Robert Ludlum. He then keeps the entire caper a secret until one covert agent recognizes him from a photograph. The only interesting plot involves a secret star chamber-like organization scheming to select the next US President. Once again logic holds no sway in this universe because the secret organization is apparently risking their lives and reputations for entirely altruistic reasons, with no personal benefit expected or desired from the new administration. Please stay away unless you enjoy smacking your forehead with the palm of your hand every 20 pages.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tahazen

    I lasted about 50 pages (approx. a tenth of book). Had to mercifully put it down. It's bad. The writing is static, the characters are asinine (the protagonist is a Caucasian US Congressmen who 1. speaks a foreign language, 2. speaks Arabic fluently, and 3. represents a rural Colorado district -- because you know rural Colorado districts always elect junior politicians that are fluent in Arabic. And to top it off, the protagonist literally dons skin coloring to look like an Arab and then infiltra I lasted about 50 pages (approx. a tenth of book). Had to mercifully put it down. It's bad. The writing is static, the characters are asinine (the protagonist is a Caucasian US Congressmen who 1. speaks a foreign language, 2. speaks Arabic fluently, and 3. represents a rural Colorado district -- because you know rural Colorado districts always elect junior politicians that are fluent in Arabic. And to top it off, the protagonist literally dons skin coloring to look like an Arab and then infiltrates the country of Oman -- ridiculous). The characterization of the Arab World is appalling. The author tries to validate this by scattering transliterated Arabic words throughout the text showing that he did his homework but it's the same depicted Arab world that's been regurgitated time and time again: a backwards society, engulfed in religious fanaticism, the backdrop of oil and shady business sheikhs. blah blah blah. Don't read this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    maybe 4 & 1/2. The first half left me wondering how well the author portrayed the Arab world, but it moved quickly. The last half was so intriguing and thought provoking that I couldn't put the book down, and it's a very long book! I kept stopping to discuss some of the ideas with my sounding board, my husband. It's disturbing to read that there could be a government within the government (so to speak) that causes us to pit ourselves against ourselves. So often we believe what we read in the new maybe 4 & 1/2. The first half left me wondering how well the author portrayed the Arab world, but it moved quickly. The last half was so intriguing and thought provoking that I couldn't put the book down, and it's a very long book! I kept stopping to discuss some of the ideas with my sounding board, my husband. It's disturbing to read that there could be a government within the government (so to speak) that causes us to pit ourselves against ourselves. So often we believe what we read in the news, or possibly WANT to believe, that we miss the disturbing manipulations of hidden people in control. I see our own government being manipulated by the rich and powerful and feel hopeless in any good resolution. This was a very, very good read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marc Diepstraten

    I'm re-reading Ludlum. He's often copied, borrowed from, outright stolen from, but nobody comes close. He crams more ideas in one book, than any other writer out there. Story unbelievable? Who cares! It is a fun, well written wild ride of a book, and at 770+ pages over all too soon. Nobody does (did) it better. Highy recommended.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Katherine "Kj" Joslin

    Robert Ludlum and I are breaking up. I am serious, no counseling... I am really pissed. This book was awful, characters were flat and stereotypical. The book was WAYYYYYYYY too long and verbose, please pay someone to throw out every sentence that includes a descriptor of a person rather than a name (stated the angry pink haired, sassy lady). Honestly, I loved The Bourne books and I will likely read another Ludlum book but this one was horrible. I only finished it because I am in a reading challe Robert Ludlum and I are breaking up. I am serious, no counseling... I am really pissed. This book was awful, characters were flat and stereotypical. The book was WAYYYYYYYY too long and verbose, please pay someone to throw out every sentence that includes a descriptor of a person rather than a name (stated the angry pink haired, sassy lady). Honestly, I loved The Bourne books and I will likely read another Ludlum book but this one was horrible. I only finished it because I am in a reading challenge. Don't let friends read CRAPPY books! #RobertLudlumNeededAVacation

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kip

    Airplane fodder... Ludlum writes great thrillers. Picked up this oldie but goodie on the cheap at a yard sale or something. As I was reading this I thought, "Hmmm, this could make a good movie. Maybe two movies given the depth." When I finished it I looked around to see if there was a sequel. Imagine the representative from Colorado as the president... What I found was the prequel, currently in production as a movie! Leo DiCaprio as the lead. Ugh. A little dated by today's standards in terms of tec Airplane fodder... Ludlum writes great thrillers. Picked up this oldie but goodie on the cheap at a yard sale or something. As I was reading this I thought, "Hmmm, this could make a good movie. Maybe two movies given the depth." When I finished it I looked around to see if there was a sequel. Imagine the representative from Colorado as the president... What I found was the prequel, currently in production as a movie! Leo DiCaprio as the lead. Ugh. A little dated by today's standards in terms of technology and communications, but well-written and fast-paced. Kept me up well into the night after my plane trip :) * Couldn't finish ** I had nothing else to do *** Passed the time, would be **** for genre / author fans **** Everyone could enjoy this book ***** Everyone should read this book, I'll read it again

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michael Kubat

    Good writing (of course,it's Ludlum). But... Amazingly convoluted plot, and so loo-o-ong. By the time I reached page 400, I was crawling on the floor from sheer exhaustion, checking every 30 minutes how many pages I still have to battle through. (The total in this edition is 678.) More than once, I considered dropping the book, but that would probably have put a hole in the floor (just kidding). By the time I finished, I was seeing double and my tongue was hanging out of my mouth. Not that it's n Good writing (of course,it's Ludlum). But... Amazingly convoluted plot, and so loo-o-ong. By the time I reached page 400, I was crawling on the floor from sheer exhaustion, checking every 30 minutes how many pages I still have to battle through. (The total in this edition is 678.) More than once, I considered dropping the book, but that would probably have put a hole in the floor (just kidding). By the time I finished, I was seeing double and my tongue was hanging out of my mouth. Not that it's not a good story with a credible plot and totally believable characters. But it should really be two separate books.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

    I keep forgetting that I need to concentrate if I'm planning to read a book by Robert Ludlum. Seem to spend half my time confused about what is going on. Enjoyable book in 2 halves - 1st half concentrates on a crisis in the Middle East and then the 2nd on the repercussions when the hero returns home and is catapulted to the top of political life.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mark Speed

    So much for the suspension of disbelief. An unbelievable character in an unbelievable plot doing unbelievable things. I could only get through this novel by treating it as satire, and laughing with the author and publishers who conspired to make the critics believe it was a thriller.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bev Taylor

    the past's brutal vengeance ...... kendrick sold his business that had made millions in the middle east after an enemy, known only by name, destroyed one of his buildings and withing it over 70 of his employees and their children whom he considered his family remaining anonymous, with the knowledge of the american govt. but no recognition, he returned to masqat, living and befriending the locals and eventually helped free the hostages being held in the american embassy by arab terrorists. his la the past's brutal vengeance ...... kendrick sold his business that had made millions in the middle east after an enemy, known only by name, destroyed one of his buildings and withing it over 70 of his employees and their children whom he considered his family remaining anonymous, with the knowledge of the american govt. but no recognition, he returned to masqat, living and befriending the locals and eventually helped free the hostages being held in the american embassy by arab terrorists. his last act was to have killed the man responsible for his 'family's' killings fast forward and he is now a congressman but with no intention to stay one. however an undercover group have other ideas and he finds that his past is being manipulated into the limelight tgis has devastating effect on those he knows and is close to and also opens a way for him to correct the corruption being caused bu greedy people and arms dealers. blood is the name of the game great characterisation - u will love manny! - and obviously a lot of research has been carried out in the making of this novel book one i fund my attention drifting as there were so many characters and it was not clear who was whom and on what side book two i found dragged and i was surprised on 2 points - i would have thought the computer was the obvious place to look especially as it could be hacked. also nobody seemed to have mobile phones .... strange use of punctuation marks - usually describing the activities kendrick was in. almost childish - think of enid blyton! bev

  12. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Tan

    Good read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shaked

    Has to be one of the most idiotic books I've ever read. It twists historic events, antisemetic at some points, the dialogues are not natural, the sotry line is not believable, it's not funny when it tries to be and fails to create even for a second. I abondened it the moment I got my hands on a different book. This book is comparable to reality TV. It's THAT stupid.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    12/23/09 This looks like my next read. Mom got me an autographed copy a number of years ago -- well before I appreciated the value of reading. I'll let you know what I find. 12/26 I wouldn't have recognized the names of most of the places in this book 30 years ago, when it was written, but with the new world order, I'm becoming too sadly familiar with terrorism and its locales. Even 20 years later, terrorism hasn't changed much! 1/11 This is a long book! I hope to finish by the end of January! Go 12/23/09 This looks like my next read. Mom got me an autographed copy a number of years ago -- well before I appreciated the value of reading. I'll let you know what I find. 12/26 I wouldn't have recognized the names of most of the places in this book 30 years ago, when it was written, but with the new world order, I'm becoming too sadly familiar with terrorism and its locales. Even 20 years later, terrorism hasn't changed much! 1/11 This is a long book! I hope to finish by the end of January! Good though! 1/27 Finished! Awesome read. Great story about international terrorism that is even more relevant today than it was 30 years ago. This has the suspense that you'd expect in current mystery thrillers and perhaps even more depth. I definitely would recomment this one.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nick Lo

    My first Ludlum, which at 900+ pages, was a meaty start (in fact I read a few other books while reading this one). I was a little nervous there'd be a jingoistic undertone to the story but nope, there is a lot of exploration of all sides, particularly with regards to character development. Like a few other reviewers I was fairly ho-hum that the blue-eyed lead character, US Congressman Evan Kendrick, would've made a convincing Arab, but I ran with it and I'm glad I did. It became one of those boo My first Ludlum, which at 900+ pages, was a meaty start (in fact I read a few other books while reading this one). I was a little nervous there'd be a jingoistic undertone to the story but nope, there is a lot of exploration of all sides, particularly with regards to character development. Like a few other reviewers I was fairly ho-hum that the blue-eyed lead character, US Congressman Evan Kendrick, would've made a convincing Arab, but I ran with it and I'm glad I did. It became one of those books where as you get to the end the world has to just stop while you find out what happens next. I'll be reading more Robert Ludlum...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chloe Stowe

    Take out the romance angle and there's a good story here. (Please note that this is coming from a romance author so...)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    A good, entertaining book and sadly the plot close to what the world is experiencing because of terrorism.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    Evan Kendrick was a successful energy executive in the middle east who left because of the violence there and became a Congressman. He wants to bring down the Mahdi who he thinks killed his associates and he thinks is financing fundamentalists who are holding American hostages so that he could own a monopoly on Middle East business. The Mahdi streamlines his organization so if governments fall he is there to pick up the pieces. Evan wants to destroy the Mahdi in order to avenge his friends and s Evan Kendrick was a successful energy executive in the middle east who left because of the violence there and became a Congressman. He wants to bring down the Mahdi who he thinks killed his associates and he thinks is financing fundamentalists who are holding American hostages so that he could own a monopoly on Middle East business. The Mahdi streamlines his organization so if governments fall he is there to pick up the pieces. Evan wants to destroy the Mahdi in order to avenge his friends and so he can return to his profitable enterprise in the middle east. Omani government is scarred of confronting fundamentalist since there family is at stake. Omani Sultan does not want to attempt a rescue because he is scarred he would be branded a terrorist by the West. In an attempt to capture the Mahdi, Evan goes into undercover and places himself in league of the Mahdi's top lieutenant Azra. Since terrorist have different goals where one man does it for religious fundamentalist reason while Azra does it to free Palestinians from Israeli occupation others like the Mahdi seem to fund terrorism so the Western world does not invest in the Middle East which in the end makes him have a monopoly in the Middle East business. The cycle of hate in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is all consuming and not an easy thing to entangle. Aziza became a terrorist when Israeli policy disallowed his father from becoming a doctor and later killed both this parents in Shatila. While a IDF Jewish commando became a commando when two of his brothers were killed by Palestinian terrorists. Khalehla is a half-breed who was raped in college by Jewish colleagues for being an Arab and now she is trying to stop Arab wars while fostering a spirit of cooperation by Arabs and non-Arabs through her work in the CIA. The Mahdi is a rogue Nation of Islam black man from Chicago who was captured and scheduled to be executed after he aligned himself with terrorists to scare off investors from investing in the middle east. BOOK TWO: In the US, there exist 5 of the most important power brokers that have tapped congressman Evan Kendrick pluck him from obscurity to become a VP candidate in order to assassinate the popular President and make the VP President, Even though Evan wants to just pass time in Congress in obscurity, Inver Brass is pushing him into the spot light. His fame started when he called into question the entitled blank check that Pentagon feels it deserves. Private military sub-contractors receive a lot of money for sub-par goods. Inver Brass is afraid of the cult of personality that the current President engenders and sycophants that surrounds him so they launch project Icarus to have Evan be their Presidential candidate. The money contributors know that they can manipulate the VP to do their will thus wanting to crush any challengers to his ascent including evan Kendrick Its clear to the Inver Brass, that Evan's independent streak might backfire if he knew that a cabal placed him in the Presidency because for him it will seem as though it is the result of corruption of a rigged system. Milo counters that Evan will only run for VP if he believes his talents are need by the country. To this goal, they will simply state that the only rational man in the administration of the President, the Secretary of State is retiring so they need someone to replace him so Evan has to run for VP. Milos realizes that the Inver Brass traitor is Eric Sundstrom, the inventor, who seems to be in cahoots with Ardis to elect the VP over Evan. Sundstrom does not want defense cuts because it would directly impact his space research. He wants to stop Invers Brass because he believes that their decision are regressive in their views of how government funding of the military plays a role in research. In his successful assassination of Sundstrom, Milos also died. Through Milos death, MJ Payton finds out the head of Invers Brass is Winters. Recognition in politics implies power. Inver Brass know this so after Evan was appointed to the oversight committee on intelligence, they leaked classified information on his hand in Oman. The press made him a reluctant hero by demonizing Arabs as a race thereby cutting his to his Arab friends and not allowing him to return to business in the middle east. It was Winter's who pushed the President to give Evan the Congressional Medal of Honor. Dennison is the a**hole chief of staff who was a former military officer captain of industry. He is goal-oriented in his quest to campaign for a second term Reaganesque President. The deal that Dennison and Evan brokered b/c they are both candid to each other and the world at large is after Evan receives the "medal of Freedom award" he will disappear from the limelight in exchange for Dennison on investigating who leaked the story about his heroics in the middle east and for his independence on what he says on the hill and independence on how he votes on bills. Weingrass is being followed by the VP FBI special unit force with the go-ahead by perhaps one of the members of Inver Brass unknown by Milos. The Presidential contributors will try to mortally injure Weingrass so Evan will be forced out of VP contention. When Adrienne Rashad aka Khalehla met Evan and they mutually learned that they were not responsible for the leak, she confessed her fear that her cover for herself and informants that she cultivated in the middle east could be exposed. She states that the biggest asset that CIA covert operation has is a sense of trust between her covert officer and her informant. So she agreed to stay and help Evan in his quest to find who blew his cover and to what purpose it was blown. Khalehla and Evan understood what happened between them was a momentary need to be comforted another human being in the midst highly intense spy world. Evan and Rashad are both goal-oriented individual in where accomplishing the mission is all important. As a spy Rashad does not want to become attached to anyone, unfortunately for her, she and Evan mutually fell in love with each other. MJ Payton was the Egyptian middle east point man in that he had contacts within all the opposition groups and fund their programs to fight amongst themselves. His "niece" Rashad wants to talk to him about leak in the CIA on top secret information. They mutually came to the conclusion that Evan is being pushed into the forefront of politics by unknown force but to what purpose. With Evan's permission, Rashad and MJ are setting up a suveilllance team to find out the reason this high powered force wants Evan. Rashad surmises that someone in the highest levels of government allowed terrorist to pass immigration and gave logistical support to them in order to kill Evan. It was Ardis,the VP chief of staff, who let the Arab terrorist in the country so he husband, the defense contractor could gain money from having a hawkish government. Andrew died having a heart attack because he did not get a return on investment via Evan's death. The CIA finally figures out that there are two distinct powerful factions that wants to hoist Evan into the VP slot and another that wants him dead. MJ asked the President for sweeping CIA powers to investigate the Evan, Arab terrorist, Ardis connection, and to suppress the new targeting Evan to rob terrorist operation from publicity that they crave and to give them time to catch the terrorist and those that finance them. Terrorist terrorize people by making killings that maximize exposure while those that give financial/logistical support want Evan killed. Operation Azra headed by Ahbyahd wants publicity for striking Evan Kendrick down at the heart of America. Arab terrorist killed CIA operatives guarding Evan's homes and targeted Weingrass in Evan's Colorado home in retaliation for the Oman effort that got leaked to the media. Weingrass ended killing 3 terrorist. After the first attempt failure, Ahbyahd makes a bold attack on the CIA guarded home of Evan in Mesa Green that failed. Even though Manny vitally injured from the second attack, he convinces Evan to let the powers-that-be sweep him into a VP slot. Apparently, the hawkish contributors of government want to assassinate the Secretary of State for supporting a non-proliferation treaty. They succeeded in blowing up the western wing of Cypress hotel. Milos and Rashad meet up and discuss Evan. Milos asks Rashad not to tell Evan that he is manipulated. Milos says that all Inver Brass did was to create a situation for Evan to shine. Rashad acquieses to Milos request b/c cannot go back to the middle east b/c the crazies will kill him so he needs Secret Service protection 24/7 and the only way he can get that is through being VP. After the 1st assault on Mesa Verde, a "doctor" gave Manny a virus infection that causes blood clots in his lungs via a deal with Ardis and he would die within 3 to 4 months. So even before the 2nd assault on Mesa Verde, Manny was dying from a communicable disease. Knowing the extent of powerful opposition against him led by Bollinger's contributors, Congressmen Evan was pissed off and want to infiltrate Bollinger's inner circle in order to know who was in it. He does this by pretending that he is motivated by a pure profit motive and will take the VP slot only as a way to gain international influence for his business venture. While the VP's inner circle stays to talk to Evan and help him gain economically, Bollinger leaves so he can claim deniability of a bribe taking place. I see no harm in short term govt subsidies to industry that need it such as clean energy since Republican's basically subsidized defense contractors for along time. I think that there two phases in every govt. contractor need; the first deals with promise of funds to allow a favored industry to grow while the 2nd phase is cutting of funds to get rid of contractor's waste and allow market forces to defense contractor more efficient. Defense contractors live on govt largesse and thus support the neoconservative position of America spending the most money on defense to keep our edge. After an agreement to get a direct line of credit, Evan attacked Lyon when the VP met with him. Evan was later kidnapped and hid on an island off the coast of Mexico. On his way to his execution, Evan killed the secret service Mafia that was assigned to kill him. With possible death to himself, Evan risked his life and escaped in order to isolate the communication of the island and the VP contributors such as Crayton Grinnell who orchestrated the assassination of the Secretary of State. Through Rashad. CIA knew that Evan was captured and the enemy forces will make it look like he was murdered by Arabs. They have a warrant to search the VP home for clues to his whereabouts. MJ Payton hates this part of his job where he must destroy a good and decent man b/c the means that he uses for justifiable ends was wrong. After he meets with Winters and says that he will expose him to the President and members of Congress, Winters commits suicide. Payton wrongly assumes that that is the end to Invers Brass. Once MJ Payton gives the President his report on the government within the government, the President gave a great performance so everyone in his cabinet understands that they cannot resign and he expects them to be accountable to the country via doing their job correctly with his personal oversight. He also plans to change the VP from Bollinger to Evan Kendrick. BOOK 3 Evan wants to do a sting operation to take down the worlds number one arms smuggler, Hamendi. Arms smuggling consists of 3 steps: 1) arms dealer knows that there are real funds that are present 2) a corrupt intelligence officer or a senior defense contractor executive sign off on the plan that reroutes at sea the arms into the buyers hands instead of the intended "friendly nation" that the arms was suppose to go to 3) what kind of arms can purchased by the buyer at a substantial mark-up. The sting operation called for Evan, Rashad, and the Sultan of Oman plan is to use the $50 million line of credit that the VP contributors gave him in order to buy weapons from Hamendi and sabotage the weapons so the terrorist will hunt down Hamendi. A special ops unit comprised of Israeli, sympathetic Palestinians, and Omani special forces will ambush the shipment in order to sabotage it before it docks in terrorist haven of Southern Yemen. Once the terrorist in Southern Yemen sampled the goods and found them defective they became pissed. While both Grinnell and Hamendi both almost escape by claiming the Jew sabotage the shipment, Evan quickly stabbed Grinnell and shoots Hamendi. After which, he wrote a not in Arabic that claims all weapon smugglers cannot be trusted so later 7 arms smugglers were killed by terrorists. I think it is instructive how different Arab heads of state actually work with Israel in order to maintain stability in the Middle East while middle men in these countries cannot be trusted due to rampant corruption on their part. We can see this in Egypt today where the Muslim Brotherhood Morsi brokered a peace treaty between Israel and Gaza agitators. Through the computer genius, Invers Brass survives to do what it thinks is for the greater good of the country. The point man computer genius is now employed by the President. Both the President and Manny want Evan for VP because of his anti-corruption stance and his great character. Although Evan states that he does not agree with the President on many issues, the President still wants him because of his stalwart character not their difference on policy prescription. Even though he is sickened by a group of elitist contributors who cherry pick what they want to happen such as the elevation of Evan Kendrick to VP status and conversely those that he wanted to kill him, the President likes Evan's forthrightness. Basically, the President likes Evan but does not like how he was chosen. I think the President shares general distrust by Americans of cabal who can control the outcome of the world because all it takes is one man in the cabal to defect that would lead the US and the rest of the world into the wrong direction. Like the computer genius possibly contacting the Mahdi's son to be part of the cabal, then all hell breaks lose. Meanwhile, the Mahdi's son found the ledger in Bahrain of his father's contacts around the region in order to execute his father's plans of having sole control of the middle east.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Mayo

    This is the worst Ludlum novel I have read so far. It is a sequel, of sorts, to The Chancellor Manuscript. This plot is extremely convoluted. A congressman from Kansas, white, American to the core, is revealed as someone who in his past was able to pass himself off as Middle Eastern, infiltrate a terrorist organization, convince them he was one of them, and then outsmart them at every turn to rescue hostages. He then disappeared. But now that he has been revealed his life is at risk again and he This is the worst Ludlum novel I have read so far. It is a sequel, of sorts, to The Chancellor Manuscript. This plot is extremely convoluted. A congressman from Kansas, white, American to the core, is revealed as someone who in his past was able to pass himself off as Middle Eastern, infiltrate a terrorist organization, convince them he was one of them, and then outsmart them at every turn to rescue hostages. He then disappeared. But now that he has been revealed his life is at risk again and he must outsmart them a second time. The secret organization from The Chancellor Manuscript is back, this time with a traitor in their midst. The protagonist here is not at all believable, neither are any of his exploits. It is preposterous and at nearly 700 pages, too full of unnecessary plot twists and turns that in the end have nothing to do with the story.

  20. 5 out of 5

    David Conwill

    Either Ludlum was off his stride with this one or my tastes have changed since I read things like the Bourne series and Apocalypse Watch 20 years ago. I found the writing and characters over simplified and hard to believe. The story itself starts out as a espionage thriller which is awkward in a self-insert kind of way, then the middle third actually gets MORE awkward as it explores the fantasy Inver Brass organization, so when the story returns to action for the final third it's a welcome respi Either Ludlum was off his stride with this one or my tastes have changed since I read things like the Bourne series and Apocalypse Watch 20 years ago. I found the writing and characters over simplified and hard to believe. The story itself starts out as a espionage thriller which is awkward in a self-insert kind of way, then the middle third actually gets MORE awkward as it explores the fantasy Inver Brass organization, so when the story returns to action for the final third it's a welcome respite. Three stars because I did manage to make it all the way through and it would have been a good distraction on an airplane or something, but I found the whole thing far fetched and kind of cringe worthy.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ginny

    If you like conspiracy theories, you will like the main story line of this book. Reading reviews before starting this book I was a bit concerned as many people did not like the methods used to advance the story. Yes, there is a lot of improbable and down right impossible things going on, but hey, its fiction. I usually find Ludlum's books hard to get into and while this one was very long (677 pages) it moved right along and most of the dialog was good. I have had problems with his stilted dialog If you like conspiracy theories, you will like the main story line of this book. Reading reviews before starting this book I was a bit concerned as many people did not like the methods used to advance the story. Yes, there is a lot of improbable and down right impossible things going on, but hey, its fiction. I usually find Ludlum's books hard to get into and while this one was very long (677 pages) it moved right along and most of the dialog was good. I have had problems with his stilted dialog in the past.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kate Millin

    An ex building contractor who worked in the Middle East with his friend an Israeli architect has become a congressman as he was so angry about the corruption of his predecessor. He is not interested in fame and politics but a secret group have decided he needs to do more in politics in the USA - and start moving him towards the deputy top job. This is after the first phase of the book where he volunteers to go under cover into Oman because of an embassy hostage situation. He goes into danger and An ex building contractor who worked in the Middle East with his friend an Israeli architect has become a congressman as he was so angry about the corruption of his predecessor. He is not interested in fame and politics but a secret group have decided he needs to do more in politics in the USA - and start moving him towards the deputy top job. This is after the first phase of the book where he volunteers to go under cover into Oman because of an embassy hostage situation. He goes into danger and although he is brave he is also lucky with his friends and supporters.

  23. 5 out of 5

    David Cochrane

    Ludlum and Brick! Outstanding. This even lives up to the first three books of the Bourne series. I have yet to listen to the fourth written by another author. Fast paced collection of three books excellently tied together to weave a troubling yarn about the USA. If one is bothered by conspiracy theories one must remember this is fiction. Yet truth is stranger than fiction. Even if one has read the physical book one owes it to oneself to give this a listen. You will not regret it!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mark Rugless

    Entertaining... not as over the top as a Matthew Reilly story but certainly along the lines of a Raiders of the Lost Ark.. lots of action and twist in the 900+ page book. A great holiday read but don't look for anything to deep. Although written some time ago, current political events make it still relevant.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ris

    It's a mystery... not the genre, the writing. Pretty well developed characters, not a multitude of similar ones, good pacing, plenty of action in varied locales, intrigue but not so convoluted it's impenetrable, logical dialogue... why did it take me a month to read this? Heard the same thing from the person who told me about it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

    Evan Kendrick is a maverick. He ran companies in the Arab world, but has a Jewish mentor. He doesn't care about politics, but is a Congressman. And somehow he gets pulled into a conspiracy and saves the day. But the story is not so simple. Ludlum has plot after subplot, which keeps the reader interested.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carol Faulds

    I thought this was ok in parts but by today's standards in international thrillers, and espionage, and fast-paced global-terrorist novels, it seems a bit forced. Imagine putting on dark make-up in order to pass off a white man as an Arab!! Hmmm. Problems. But still, there is a certain fascination with the political dimensions of this: I found myself compelled to read on.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Vai Lolohea

    Very good book - thoroughly enjoyed. Didn't read quite to the end as the resolution I sought was before the very end of the book, and I wasn't so enthused to get to the very end (short attention span/impatience). Defs recommend for a quick and enthralling read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Carter

    Had a great thing going until we get towards the end. Takes on a few new unnecessary twists which led me thinking crap, is he really going to ruin this. I don't regret reading it like his books alot but disappointed towards the end. Parts 1 and 2 were great.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rosie

    A well written book. Enjoyed reading it.

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