Mystery Books for Sale

[ Home ]
[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]


by Robert Ludlum
Orion, November 2005
496 pages
ISBN: 0752857495

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

The first 50 or so pages of Robert Ludlum's THE AMBLER WARNING are absolute dynamite. A man escapes from a bizarre high-security island somewhere off the US coast. When he reaches the mainland and once the drugs that have kept him a zombie are out of his system, he starts to track his life. Except he doesn't exist and the face he sees in the mirror isn't the one he remembers.

If you're scratching your head and thinking that Ludlum died a couple of years back, you're correct. The small print tells us that his estate has worked with "a carefully selected author and editor to prepare and edit this work for publication."

I'd love to know which bits are actually Ludlum's. Aside from the breathtaking opening, there's also an ending which is equally thrilling. I realised what was going to happen at just the moment Hal did!

The middle of the book is the main problem, as it drags like anything, and I found I was skimming sections. It didn't seem to matter, though, which is a tad worrying and suggests the book could have taken a hefty edit without ruining the action.

The basic premise of the book is fairly straightforward -- man goes on the run to find out who he is. Hal's search for his true identity is padded out with finding out who he can and can't trust, and trying to stay alive as he careers round Europe and the US with the bad guys half a pace behind him.

The least interesting sections of the book by quite some way are those set in China, where it becomes obvious that the president's life is in danger. I did wonder if these had been added in after Ludlum's death to vary the political climate of the story.

One of the book's attractions is trying to work out if Hal is a good or a bad guy. And you just know that THE AMBLER WARNING, with its nailbiting top and tail, would make a fantastic movie.

Reviewed by Sharon Wheeler, November 2005

[ Top ]



Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]
[ Home ]