The Tristan Betrayal Fiction Review : 2005/06/05
The Tristan Betrayal
by Robert Ludlum
New York: St. Martin's Press, 2003, 521 pp., $27.95, hardcover.
Well over 200 million Robert Ludlum books are in print, although many have discovered him only since the Jason Bourne movies were released. I began reading him in the late 70s, finding his blend of historical settings and edge-of-your-seat action to be irresistible. Ludlum passed away in 2001, so you may be wondering how he could release another novel in 2003. Elvis-like, his work goes on. It turns out that his estate has worked with an author and editor to prepare this work for publication. I have no idea how far along the original manuscript was in its development, but the story seems true to Ludlum's style.
Protagonist Stephen Metcalfe is a rich American playboy with as strong a sense of integrity about truth and justice as he is morally weak around women. Ludlum's characters are often driven by their passionate devotion to one special woman, and in Metcalfe's case, that woman is Soviet ballerina Svetlana Baranova. With most of the story taking place in the early 1940s, The Tristan Betrayal
immerses you in the murky world of spies, Nazis and Stalinists, where one never knows for sure who can be trusted and who is waiting to betray you. From Berlin to Moscow, the action is non-stop and the tension never slackens.
Without knowing I was reading the book, my brother Rick sent me a link
about some of the very issues The Tristan Betrayal
addresses. If you're interested in World War II-era history and intrigue, you'll find the article and book to be worthwhile.
Note: This is an adult read, due to some intense themes and horrible deaths. The language is tame for this genre.
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