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The Sigma Protocol

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  6,232 ratings  ·  193 reviews
Editorial Reviews
Robert Ludlum's trademark skills of intricate plotting, breakneck pacing, and high-wire drama are all on display in this gripping thriller. After his twin brother dies in a plane crash, Ben Hartman reluctantly takes his place in the investment firm started by their father, a Holocaust survivor. But then an old college buddy tries to kill Ben on a
Audio CD, Abridged, 6 pages
Published November 15th 2001 by Audio Renaissance (first published October 2001)
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K.D. Absolutely
This is my nth Robert Ludlum book but unlike those that I've so far read, this surprised me the most. Why? It's backdrop is the Holocaust. And for those who know me or those who regularly read my reviews, Holocaust novels have never fail to touch (choose one: grip, wretch, warm) my heart.

What will you do if the Jewish father that you loved all your life and who people respected and pitied because he claimed to be a Holocaust survivor was in fact, a Nazi torturer? And you found out this ugly inco
Mike Philbin
Jan 30, 2012 Mike Philbin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers of crumbling-rope-bridge fiction
Well, though there's a woman (Anna Vavarro) who works for US Intelligence it's not really a spy novel, though there's a wealthy businessman (Ben Hartman) it's not a legal/money laundering novel, though there's a background of international intrigue it's not simply about world domination as those who're following global governmental revelations would expect. It's a simple murder mystery that uses the main themes as a backdrop, nothing else.

But with a catch. Motive. There is none. Until... and it'
Nazis. I hate these guys. —Indiana Jones

Yeah, Ludlum is a famous author. And I loved The Eiger Sanction when I read it as a teenager. I know it's genre fiction, but I love a good escape, so I thought I'd give Robert Ludlum another try.

I suppose it's what it's supposed to be: fast-paced easy reading. But I was expecting more. It's not a total waste; it must have been a lot of work to put together that many pages. But come on, it's just not fair for a guy to get that rich for such basically medioc
Clint Morey
I first read a Robert Ludlum novel after watching The Bourne Identity movie. I started with the Bourne series of books and was hooked. If you're into thrillers, I would encourage you to read those books.

THE SIGMA PROTOCOL is a stand alone story and has a captivating beginning (as all thrillers should) placing the hero in an untenable position right from the start. From there, things only get worse for the hero. Trying to determine who the good guys and bad guys are is part of the fun for the rea
I didn't care for this Ludlum book as much as other ones. I originally got hooked on Ludlum by reading his Covert-One novels. The Sigma Protocol started out good, grabbing my attention and pulling me in, but I don't think the characters were realistic or compelling. I also found the whole thing to be a bit of a stretch. The biggest conspiracy in the history of the world is just a bit too much for me to swallow.

I will keep reading Ludlum, my next book is the Bourne Identity, I love the movies! I
Geert Daelemans
Such a shame...

While on vacation in Switzerland Ben Hartman, an American investment banker, suddenly stands face to face with his old school friend Jimmy Cavanaugh. They have hardly said hello when without any warning Jimmy pulls a gun on Ben. Thanks to his quick reflexes Ben manages to deflect the assault and kill his attacker. In the meantime, United States Department of Justice Agent Anna Navarro is on the trail of a series of seemingly unrelated deaths. When Anna and Ben's paths cross, they
Kenyon Harbison
A fast-paced, enjoyable, but cookie-cutter and simplistic thriller novel by the author of the "Bourne" series. Two plotlines intertwine, that of Ben Hartman (a handsome, tall, sophisticated, rich financial manager) and Anna Navarro (a smart, beautiful, independent-minded federal agent). Intrigue piles on intrigue. Surprise piles on surprise. Sympathetic supporting characters get killed. The two main characters are very often nearly, but never actually, killed. Etc., etc., etc.... The central con ...more
Now, here is a conspiracy of epic proportions.

Let us not debate, or wonder, how much research went into the novel, and hence how many iota of probable truths lay embedded deep within the "fiction".

But instead come to the obvious conclusion that an epic conspiracy involves an epic journey written in epic number of pages with epic length of dialogues necessitating epic boredom as an epic ingredient to the enjoyment of this epic.

Action comes only as an expendable change to heighten the epicness.

Ryan Mishap
I won't review all of his books as that would be pointless. These are like TV for me, but that isn't to say some aren't worthwhile. Ludlum successfully transitioned from doing spy books about the commies and the Nazis after the end of the cold war. Who were to be the new villains? Why, corporations of course. These later books usually involved people who weren't super-spies or ex-military, but "ordinary" (rich) guys who stumble on to some plot and have to figure it out while on the run from prof ...more
My usual ranking disclaimer: I rank most books as 3 stars on a bell-shaped curve, because I cannot differentiate between 3.00 and 3.99 – and 4 & 5-star ratings are reserved for books that people ought to read and books that people must read, respectively, and most books are pretty good. Despite all that, this is perhaps the best Ludlow novel I have read so far.
This novel starts out as two different stories, one featuring an American investment banker, Ben Hartman, who returns to Switzerland
Robert Ludlum is a master of the action-packed non-stop adventure novel, although The Sigma Protocol is arguable not one of his best. The plot follows the basic outline of the Bourne trilogy, with Ben being shot at for reasons unknown to him. His search for answers leads him to team up with a woman who is a Department of Justice agent, and the pair careen around Europe, with a short stop in South America, trying to keep their pursuer(s) from killing them. The action makes this a page-turner, but ...more
I gave 2 1/2 stars to The Sigma Protoco. It was an average who done it, good story but too complicated and unrealistic. I felt like I had read a month in the life of Jack Bauer.
good book! suspense til the last pages and definitely captivates the reader. an excellent thriller by a master writer
Greer Andjanetta
A good story by a good writer - always a pleasure to read. The book begins in typical Ludlum fashion with an American tourist walking down a street in Europe when he is suddenly confronted by an old schoolmate who inexplicably produces a gun and starts shooting at him. As usual a chase ensues during which many innocent bystanders are killed. It takes a while but the reasons are eventually unearthed and an old secret organization revealed. Ludlum's style seems to be moderating somewhat as this st ...more
Oct 19, 2014 Haleth rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ludlum fans only
Shelves: narrativa, thriller
Se si passa sopra ai personaggi unidimensionali che parlano come libri stampati e alla cattiva scrittura in generale, cose a cui Ludlum era abbonato, rimane pur sempre una storia divertente da leggere, e questo permette a un buon numero dei libri di Ludlum di arrivare alla terza stelletta, o di avvicinarsi.
Nel caso specifico però ai difetti di sempre si aggiungono una trama non originale e diversi colpi di scena non proprio imprevedibili, oltre a certe incongruenze un po' ingenue che fanno pensa
James Korsmo
Not bad, but not great either.

In The Sigma Protocol, Ludlum puts wealthy financier Ben Hartman and federal agent Anna Navarro on the chase of an elusive world-wide conspiracy. It all begins with a string of seemingly unconnected deaths of men in their eighties. Each death in itself seems normal enough, but there seems to be some connection, and Agent Navarro is enlisted to prove they are in fact murders and to try find the killers. All she is given is a list of names, including a number of the m
By Robert Ludlum. Grade: B+
Robert Ludlum is pitted as one of the best and is known as one the bestselling authors of all time. The Sigma Protocol is credited to Robert Ludlum posthumously and is the last novel written entirely by him.
Ben Hartman is on holiday in Switzerland when he meets one of his oldest childhood friends – who promptly tries to murder him. Hartman has no choice but to kill his attacker in self-defence, and barely survives the ordeal. But when he wakes up, he discovers that the
An entertaining and exciting read, along the lines of The DaVinci Code or Angels and Demons. I say this because it follows a similar formula - protagonist in danger and has to solve some crazy conspiracy and a female of equal or slightly less equal skill that catches the protagonist's interest. I listened to the audio version of this book and it even has the same narrator as the before mentioned Dan Brown books.

The "corporation" or SIGMA really plays on a lot of the conspiracy theories involving
I have always wanted to read a Robert Ludlum book to see what the fuss was all about. I really enjoyed the "Bourne" movies, but that could have been largely due to Matt Damon. Ludlum has written a ton of books, but my mom lent me this one, so I figured it was the one to try. I did enjoy it. However, I found my experience reading it similar to watching the movies...... I kind of needed my husband or someone with me to explain what was going on sometimes! There are so many characters and so many d ...more
Ben Hartman is vacationing in Zurich, Switzerland when he chances upon his old friend Jimmy Cavanaugh—a madman who’s armed and programmed to assassinate. In a matter of minutes, six innocent bystanders are dead. So is Cavanaugh. But when his body vanishes, and his weapon mysteriously appears in Hartman’s luggage, Hartman is plunged into an unfathomable nightmare…Meanwhile, Anna Navarro, field agent for the Department of Justice, has been asked to investigate the sudden, random deaths of eleven m ...more
Oct 15, 2010 Ed rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ludlum and adventure thriller fans
Ludlum doesn't mess around with small scale conspiracies. He goes for the over-the-top, take over the world conspiracies. This effort is no different.

In this case, a poor little rich kid, investment banker, Benjamin Hartman, meets up with poor little poor kid made good, Justice Department Agent, Anna Navarro, and, together, they save the world. As in most Ludlum novels, Hartman is an amateur who somehow manages to survive multiple attempts on his life through luck and skills picked up as a child
David Roberts
I am reviewing the political thriller The Sigma Protocol by Robert Ludlum which is an excellent story which I bought from a car boot sale. At one time Ludlum who died in 2001 was the biggest selling author in the world & his novels were so huge he didn't even have to write a book every year. He is best known for the Jason Bourne series which of course was made into a series of films starring Matt Damon. This novel is a decent length at over 600 pages & one of his better novels. The plot ...more
Downloaded from

Narrator: Paul Michael
Publisher: Audio Renaissance, 2001
Length: 20 hours

Publisher's Summary
Do you think you know what really happened after World War II? You don't. Sigma made sure of that.

American investment banker Ben Hartman arrives in Zurich, the first time he's been back to Switzerland since his twin brother died there in a tragic accident four years ago. But when Ben chances upon Jimmy Cavanaugh, an old college friend, Cavanaugh draws a gun and tries to kill him.
Marian Willeke
This is a very interesting book that involves intrigue from post World War II era business/industry. At first it's insanely unrealistic, you think. Then as the story unfolds, it makes sense why those measures were taken. Written from the perspective of somebody completely innocent of intrigue and suddenly dropped into a situation that seems too unbelieable to be possible, the book takes a more realistic light about halfway through. I also enjoyed the multi-perspective approach of a Justice Dept ...more
Roberta Marro
This is Ludlum at his best, with broad sweeping conspiracies, nonstop action right to the end, and great characters. His descriptions of the great cities of Europe, even down to individual houses on a street, make you feel as if you are there. Sorry, Mr. Lusterbader, you don't hold a candle to the real deal. Aside: autocorrect changed Lusterbader to luster badger.i read it rapidly because I couldn't put it down.
Paul Culloty
Two and a half stars would probably be the most accurate rating, as the book starts off reasonably well, before turning rather bonkers by the finish. Our hero, Benjamin Hartman is a rather bland figure, with neither the back story nor the verve of Jason Bourne, and serves as the vehicle powering the plot of the thriller. That begins promisingly enough (mysterious father hides shady past, governments and businesses engaged in espionage) and the quick-paced international action sets us up well. By ...more
Santosh Swamy
A fast paced action novel that takes us through many places in Europe where a man confronts demons of his father's past.As the novel unfolds Ben Hartman discovers a conspiracy originating at the end of the Second World war that made him change his outlook on life altogether.US Department of Justice officer Anna Navarro and Ben Hartman travel across Europe to uncover the plot of a mysterious organisation that seems to have played a vital role in the formation of the modern western civilization.Th ...more
Vijay Ravisankar
WHATTEEE BOOOKK ! :) :) . This is as thrilling as a book must get and a book can get :D. I heard about Ludlum from the Bourne Series, though I haven't read any of them. I wanted to pick the bourne series but didn't know the first book in the series, so I picked this instead and oh my good, its just too good :). Ludlum has done a fantastic job of making sure that the story is a fast paced one, its very rapid and interesting that there is no chance of you getting bored. The story is very thoughtfu ...more
I love reading Robert Ludlum because he takes me around the world time and time again. I specifically liked this book and when I first started reading I thought to myself,"this guy must have gone, and seen everywhere and everything." Low and behold he happened to mention in the first couple chapters a little bitty town about 10 miles from me White Sulpher Springs, NY and I'm telling you if you sneeze you would miss this town. So Robert Ludlum had truly been everywhere. Now about the book...OMG i ...more
Sigma Protocol was an easy to read, thrill ride of a book. Not the most complicated mystery ever, but still exciting. It seems inevitable that the 2 leading characters will team up, additional tension cold have been created by having that NOT happen!
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Robert Ludlum was the author of twenty-seven novels, each one a New York Times bestseller. There are more than 210 million of his books in print, and they have been translated into thirty-two languages. He is the author of The Scarlatti Inheritance, The Chancellor Manuscript, and the Jason Bourne series--The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum--among others. Mr. Ludlum ...more
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