Cover image for The Tristan betrayal
Title:
The Tristan betrayal
Author:
Ludlum, Robert, 1927-2001.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
521 pages ; 25 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780312316693
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Item Holds
Searching...
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
Searching...
X Adult Fiction Central Library
Searching...
Searching...
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Searching...
Searching...
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
Searching...
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

In the fall of 1940, the Nazis are at the height of their power - France is occupied, Britian is enduring the Blitz and is under the threat of invasion, America is neutral, and Russia is in an uneasy alliance with Germany. Stephen Metcalfe, the younger son of a prominent American family, is a well-known man about town in occupied Paris. He's also a minor asset in the U.S.'s secret intelligence forces in Europe. Through a wild twist of fate, it falls to Metcalfe to instigate a bold plan thatmay be the only hope for what remains of the free world. Now he must travel to wartime Moscow to find, and possibly betray, a former love - a fiery ballerina whose own loyalties are in question - in a delicate dance that could destroy all he loves and honors.


Author Notes

Robert Ludlum was born May 25, 1927 in New York City. He enlisted in the Marines at the age of eighteen and received a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1951.

He began acting professionally at the age of sixteen in the 1943 Broadway production of Junior Miss. He also had roles in summer stock and appeared in over 200 television dramas for such live programs as Studio One and Kraft Television Theater. He then tried producing with the 1956 Broadway production of The Owl and the Pussycat. He took the play, four years later, to his creation of Shopping-Center Theater at Playhouse-on-the-Mall in Paramus, New Jersey.

His first novel, The Scarlatti Inheritance, was published in 1971. His other works include The Matlock Paper, The Chancellor Manuscript, The Bourne Identity, The Scorpio Illusion, The Matarese Countdown, and The Bancroft Strategy. He also wrote under the pseudonyms Jonathan Ryder and Michael Shepherd. He died on March 12, 2001 at the age of 74.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ludlum, author of such best-sellers as The Bourne Identity, died on March 12, 2001. His output, however, has not slowed noticeably since his passing: this novel is the seventh published under his name since his death. Some of them had credited coauthors, but, presumably, all of them have been polished by editors or uncredited writers. His latest, the story of an American spy sent into Moscow during World War II, is in some regards far superior to most of the stuff Ludlum published during his lifetime. There is a level of detail here often missing from his early novels, suggesting the efforts of a meticulous ghostwriter. Similarly, the characters, including our hero, Stephen Metcalfe, the well-to-do American spy, tend to be more well defined than your typical Ludlum stick figure. On the other hand, the fast-paced plot reflects Ludlum's genuine knack for constructing good stories, and the dialogue, regrettably, is typically overwritten. (Civilization as we know it is being engulfed by Hitler's devouring maw, one character remarks.) The book's peculiarly fascinating lineage aside, here's what really matters: this is one of the better novels published under the Ludlum name. --David Pitt Copyright 2003 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

The author's death three years ago has not prevented St. Martin's from publishing recent material under his name. This WWII-era thriller opens in August 1991 as American ambassador Stephen Metcalfe arrives in Moscow, where Communist hard-liners are attempting to wrest control of Russia from the reform government. The fate of the country will be decided by an official known as the Dirizhor-the Conductor-and Metcalfe is the only man who can convince him to resist the forces of Stalinist darkness. Flash back to 1940, just after the Nazis have signed a nonaggression pact with the Russians. Young playboy/espionage agent Metcalfe is sent by American spymaster "Corky" Corcoran to the U.S.S.R. to enlist an old lover, Lana ("an extraordinary woman, impossibly beautiful, magnetic, passionate") in a scheme that if successful will change the course of history. Hot on Metcalfe's tail is assassin Kleist, a Nazi Secret Service agent who dispatches his enemies by garroting them with the E string of his violin. These principals and a host of others thrust and parry between Paris, Moscow and Berlin before a final confrontation in an enormous, mock factory fashioned of plywood and cleverly painted canvas. The factory, a bombing decoy, provides an apt metaphor for the book: a hollow, flimsy construct unable to hold the weight of a bloated plot and an army of cliched characters. All of Ludlum's trademarks are in evidence: one-sentence paragraphs, a plentitude of exclamation points, ridiculous dialogue ("Die, you bastard!") and the breathless use of italics to impart excitement, but in the end there are few surprises in this unsatisfying behemoth. Perhaps it's time to let the master rest in peace. (Oct. 28) Forecast: Ludlum's many fans may relish this gift from the grave, but others will find it thin fare, far from the author's best efforts. 750,000 first printing; major ad/promo campaign. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

To help win the war against the Nazis, Stephen Metcalfe must travel from occupied Paris to Moscow and make contact with a devious ballerina-who happens to be a former lover. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Moscow, August 1991 The sleek black limousine, with its polycarbonate-laminate bullet-resistant windows and its run-flat tires, its high-tech ceramic armor and dual-hardness carbon-steel armor plate, was jarringly out of place as it pulled into the Bittsevsky forest in the southwest area of the city. This was ancient terrain, forest primeval, densely overgrown with birch and aspen groves interspersed with pine trees, elms, and maples; it spoke of nomadic Stone Age tribes that roamed the glacier-scarred terrain, hunting mammoths with hand-carved javelins, amid nature red in tooth and claw. Whereas the armored Lincoln Continental spoke of another kind of civilization entirely with another sort of violence, an era of snipers and terrorists wielding submachine guns and fragmentation grenades. Moscow was a city under siege. It was the capital of a superpower on the brink of collapse. A cabal of Communist hard-liners was preparing to take back Russia from the forces of reform. Tens of thousands of troops filled the city, ready to fire at its citizens. Columns of tanks and armored personnel carriers rumbled down Kutuzovsky Prospekt and the Minskoye Chausse. Tanks surrounded Moscow City Hall, TV broadcasting facilities, newspaper offices, the parliament building. The radio was broadcasting nothing but the decrees of the cabal, which called itself the State Committee for the State of Emergency. After years of progress toward democracy, the Soviet Union was on the verge of being retumed to the dark forces of totalitarianism. Inside the limousine sat an elderly man, silver-haired, with handsome, aristocratic features. He was Ambassador Stephen Metcalfe, an icon of the American Establishment, an adviser to five Presidents since Franklin D. Roosevelt, an extremely wealthy man who had devoted his life to serving his government. Ambassador Metcalfe, though now retired, the title purely honorific, had been urgently summoned to Moscow by an old friend who was highly placed in the inner circles of Soviet power. He and his old friend had not met face-to-face for decades: their relationship was a deeply buried secret, known to no one in Moscow or Washington. That his Russian friend-code-named "Kurwenal"--insisted on a rendezvous in this deserted location was worrying, but these were worrying times. Lost in thought, visibly nervous, the old man got out of his limousine only once he glimpsed the figure of his friend, the three-star general, limping heavily on a prosthetic leg. The American's seasoned eyes scanned the forest as he began to walk, and then his blood ran cold. He detected a watcher in the trees. A second, a third! Surveillance . He and the Russian code--named Kurwenal--had just been spotted! This would be a disaster for them both! Metcalfe wanted to call out to his old friend, to warn him, but then he noticed the glint of a scoped rifle in the late-afternoon sun. It was an ambush! Terrified, the elderly ambassador spun around and loped as quickly as his arthritic limbs would take him back toward his armored limousine. He had no bodyguard; he never traveled with one. He had only his driver, an unarmed American marine supplied by the embassy. Suddenly men were running toward him from all around. Black-uniformed men in black paramilitary berets, bearing machine guns. They surrounded him and he began to struggle, but he was no longer a young man, as he had to keep reminding himself. Was this a kidnapping? Was he being taken hostage? He shouted hoarsely to his driver. The black-clad men escorted Metcalfe to another armored limousine, a Russian ZIL. Frightened, he climbed into the passenger compartment. There, already seated, was the three-star general. "What the hell is this?" Metcalfe croaked, his panic subsiding. "My deepest apologies," replied the Russian. "These are hazardous, unstable times, and I could not take the chance of anything happening to you, even here in the woods. These are my men, under my command, and they're trained in counterterrorist measures. You are far too important an individual to expose to any dangers." Metcalfe shook the Russian's hand. The general was eighty years old, his hair white, though his profile remained hawklike. He nodded at the driver, and the car began to move. "I thank you for coming to Moscow--I realize my urgent summons must have struck you as cryptic." "I knew it had to be about the coup," Metcalfe said. "Matters are developing more rapidly than anticipated," the Russian said in a low voice. "They have secured the blessing of the man known as the Dirizhor dn0 --the Conductor. It may already be too late to stop the seizure of power." "My friends in the White House are watching with great concern. But they feel paralyzed--the consensus in the National Security Council seems to be that to intervene might be to risk nuclear war." "An apt fear. These men are desperate to overthrow the Gorbachev regime. They will resort to anything. You've seen the tanks on the streets of Moscow--now all that remains is for the conspirators to order their forces to strike. To attack civilians. It will be a bloodbath . Thousands will be killed! But the orders to strike will not be issued unless the Dirizhor gives his approval. Everything hangs on him--he is the linchpin." "But he's not one of the plotters?" "No. As you know, he's the ultimate insider, a man who controls the levers of power in absolute secrecy. He will never appear at a news conference; he acts in stealth. But he is in sympathy with the coup plotters. Without his support, the coup must fail. With his support, the coup will surely succeed. And Russia will once again become a Stalinist dictatorship--and the world will be at the brink of nuclear war." "Why did you call me here?" asked Metcalfe. "Why me?" The general turned to face Metcalfe, and in his eyes Metcalfe could see fear. "Because you're the only one I trust. And you're the only one who has a chance of reaching him . The Dirizhor ." "And why will the Dirizhor listen to me?" "I think you know," said the Russian quietly. "You can change history, my friend. After all, we both know you did it before." Copyright 2003 by Robert Ludlum Excerpted from The Tristan Betrayal by Robert Ludlum All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.