is your source for affordable electronic fiction


Powered by FreeFind

Site search
Web search

    Review of THE TRISTAN BETRAYAL by Robert Ludlum (see his website)

    St. Martin's Press, October 2003

    France has fallen, Hitler's Nazi Germany has gulped down half of Europe, and the Axis has formed a strong alliance with Russia, the only continental power with the strength to face Germany in the field. Although America has not yet entered the World War 2, F.D.R.'s spymasters know that the time will come when the U.S. will be drawn into conflict. But if only Britain remains as Germany's enemy, then defeat seems inevitable. American spy, Stephen Metcalfe is assigned a high-risk task--making contact with a Russian woman he once loved--a woman whose father is a Russian general and whose lover is a German diplomat, and using her to slip the Germans faked information about Russian military preparedness. Germany must be induced to attack Russia and give America the ally it needs.

    Metcalfe is pursued from Paris, to Moscow, and finally to Berlin by a German assassin intent on uncovering the plot and saving Germany from American tricks. In Russia, Soviet spies also converge on Metcalfe, themselves certain that Metcalfe intends to destroy their nation if he can. Somehow Metcalfe has to stay ahead of both Gestapo and Soviet intelligence--and against his own nation's willingness to sacrifice an asset if it will help the cause.

    Robert Ludlum was one of the greatest suspense authors ever before his death in 2001. THE TRISTAN BETRAYAL shows both Ludlum's incredible story-telling talents and the weaknesses of digging up and completing works that authors had decided not to pursue. The overall structure of TRISTAN is pure thrill. Metcalfe's adventures and the German assassin's pursuit compell the story forward. Ludlum's descriptions of occupied Paris, besieged Berlin, and terrorized Moscow are powerful reminders of Ludlum's narrative talent. But a key mark of a Ludlum book is the cleverness with which the hero overcomes obstacles. Here, all too often, Metcalfe uses the old gambit of pretending to know somebody higher up--someone who will be disturbed if annoyed at home. You can get away with this trick once or twice, but more often than that and it begins to sound like you're facing a bunch of losers. Ludlum would have rewritten these sections until they shone. Unfortunately, Ludlum wasn't able to do so and the book suffered as a result.

    THE TRISTAN BETRAYAL is Robert Ludlum at far from his best. Still, even adequate Ludlum is worth reading and TRISTAN makes for an exciting read.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 11/15/03

    Ready to buy it now? Click the buy now button.

    Visit to read more reviews or to purchase THE TRISTAN BETRAYAL from

    Rather buy it from Barnes and Noble?
    Click this link for THE TRISTAN BETRAYAL from Barnes &