Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Ambler Warning” as Want to Read:
The Ambler Warning
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Ambler Warning

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  7,451 ratings  ·  308 reviews
On Parrish Island, a restricted island off the coast of Virginia, there is a little-known and never visited psychiatric facility. There, far from prying eyes, the government stores former intelligence employees whose psychiatric state make them a danger to their own government and people.
Unknown Binding
Published June 29th 2007 by Not Avail (first published 2005)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Ambler Warning, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Ambler Warning

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
K.D. Absolutely
This is one of the four novels that Robert Ludlum (1927-2001) left unfinished when he died. This is my second attempt to read a novel written by him. My first attempt was in the late 80's when I tried reading The Bourne Identity after watching its movie adaptation starring then still young Matt Damon. I did not finish the book because it was not as good as the film.

But this one, The Ambler Warning is different. Not completely different though because Hal Ambler here is also a man who doesn't kno
Colin Taylor
Better than 2012 Olympic Sabotage.
Aug 08, 2013 Sheila rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: not sure
Recommended to Sheila by: myself
Shelves: robert-ludlum
Firstly this book was a roller coaster, there were parts of the book where I was enjoying the narrative and than the long unnecessary descriptions made me fall asleep.

The Ambler Warning is a little different - Hal Ambler escaped from an institution for loonies however he is not a loony. He doesn't know who he is: his past life, his relatives, his plans for the future. He use to work in a highly-sensitive government intelligence units but than some powerful people in the government put him away t

Not pure Ludlum - "Since his death, the Estate of ... worked with a carefully selected author ... to prepare and edit this work for publication." No mention if it's Lustbader Eric Van.

The novel itself sees Hal Ambler in a fairly similar premise to The Bourne Identity. That is, he's lost his memory and must fight to work out who and what he is. The differences are that instead of being rescued by some fishermen he's in an, 'off-the-books', psychiatric facility. The patients are all kept medicated
Curtis Poe
Why, oh why, is this book averaging almost four stars?

I have to admit, I do enjoy reading a brain-dead thriller every once in a while. Robert Ludlum, a deceased thriller writer, wrote almost 30 novels and had over 200 million copies of his books in print. Needless to say, while his critics savaged him, he certainly managed to find what appealed to many readers. (And I realize only in retrospect how terrible the "brain-dead thriller" line sounds in this context).

Unfortunately for his fans, the la
Let me say that I like Robert Ludlum books. Thrillers that keep me turning the pages late in the night are really a joy to read. I read "The Bourne Identity" ages ago. Although it was the one rare case where the movie was actually better than the book. Ludlum's books are entertaining in a kind of good made for TV movie way. A little drama, a little soap, lots of action, cliches and bad stereotypes. The "Ambler Warning" is a sort of Bourne Identity variation, left unfinished after Ludlum's death, ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Although this work has Robert Ludlum's fingerprints on it, the novel was published after his death by his estate, which chose an author and an editor to bring the work to publication. One who is a fan and long-time reader of Ludlum, will notice the differences in writing style. That said, this is a great work set firmly in the Ludlum tradition.
At first I really liked the book, but then there were too many questiongs that seemed to get in the way of me enjoying the plot. And by the time they tied it up I felt the ending was really rushed and not as fulfilling as it could have been. Not my favorite by him.
This thriller novel involves many twists and turns in the plot but it really did not hold my interest. The ending is quite a contrast between one who sees hidden intentions and another who is a skilled actor who can hide intentions.
Steve Lindahl
I read this book because someone I met recommended Robert Ludlum novels. I was disappointed to discover after I had started the book that it was a work he had left as an unfinished manuscript when he died. A ghost writer was hired to finish it, so I don't know how much of this book was written by Ludlum.

The book starts out in a mental hospital that is designed to handle cases of agents with knowledge of national secrets who have become security risks due to their mental illnesses. Harrison Amble
Ambler Warning, by Robert Ludlum (11-13-12, 5 stars)

I do not normally give a 5-star rating to fiction novels, but this is probably the best novel of its type that I have read. I see by glancing at the other reviews that most everyone else was less enchanted than I was, but Hey--different strokes for different folks. It certainly is the best book by Robert Ludlum that I have read so far, even better than The Bourne Identity … which is interesting, as this book was produced four years after Ludlum
Hud (Bob) Huddleston
For the most part I enjoyed this book. It is the story of a man who has been "converted" through a combination of wierd science, powerful drugs, and abhorent psychology. As most of his adult life was spent as a covert black ops agent, Ambler is a person who has had all of his pre-hospitilization life somehow erased. His escape from a high tech medical facility has many chasing after him from both within and outside of the US as he tries to recover his past amongst the sordid worldly characters. ...more
A remote psychiatric hospital off the coast of Virginia is the opening setting of this thriller by Robert Ludlum. Confined there are former CIA agents and other government operatives gone awry. Their knowledge of classified government information is too sensitive to be left to chance in non-secure facilities.

When a friend mentioned this book I was reminded of my introduction to Ludlum via “The Osterman Weekend”. I bought “Osterman” on a whim on a Saturday in the mid 1980s and started reading it

On Parrish Island, off the coast of Virginia, lies a psychiatric facility. Far from prying eyes, it is a government-run hospital for former intelligence employees in possession of highly classified information. Former Consular Operations agent Hal Ambler is one of these patients whose mind is filled with secrets of state--and is considered such a security risk that he is kept heavily medicated and closely watched. But there's one critical difference between Ambler and the other patients--Ambler

Huda Sarkowi
If you are looking for an adrenaline pumping, fast pace, action packed spy thriller, this is NOT the book that you're looking for. Robert Ludlum's The Ambler Warning was most of the time focusing on the journey of Harrison Ambler who escape from a secret institution only to find out that he never exist in the real world. It was a promising premise, only to be watered down on how astray his journey become. The plot in this book instead of thickening, it fall flat until it peaked up again on the f ...more
I had never read a Robert Ludlum novel before and maybe chose badly in starting with one that he never finished and was somehow prepared for publication by his heirs/estate. There were episodes where rightly or wrongly I felt a rather heavy handed editor had tried to fill in the gaps - not always successfully.

Anyway, it is an entertaining action read - just don't expect something like the Jason Bourne films because a lot has been added and improved by screenwriters and directors there. It's not
I started reading Robert Ludlum in high school, early 80's. I always enjoyed the complex stories and action. I remember there was always a very predictable love interest..which was ok, something I could overlook. I know he died, and this book may have been given to another author during its editing..but I don't remember the big, obscure vocabulary words. I didn't mind, but I was such a nerd in school I feel like I would have remembered that about him, and I don't.

Anyway, it was a good story with
Giri Dv
Basic storyline very similar to Bourne identity, tampering with memory, etc. Hence the 2 star rating. Why authors have to repeat themselves? How these books sell at all?
Once you see the similarity, you lose interest. However, I went through the book somehow.
It has been 2 months since I read the book. Unable to remember how difficult it was to go through.
I listened to this book as I was reading a book about Psychopaths. It was great! I would recommend reading them together for added effect to this book. Hal Ambler doesnt know who he is for sure anymore. He has been locked up in a special psych hospital for ex-operatives with special skills and too much special knowledge. He doesnt know why he is there, or how he ended up there. What would be the point of the book if he hadn't escaped? So he does and tires to find his way in a world that doesnt s ...more
Long book and relatively predictable (guessed it about 1/3 of the way through). However, it was still a very good, exciting book. If you are a fan of the Jason Bourne series, this has a lot of the same elements. If you tired of the Jason Bourne series, then you'll most likely get about 2/3 of the way through this book and struggle to stay focused on completing it. This has a lot of the same elements of the Jason Bourne idea... man without a clear memory of the past, trying to find himself and wh ...more
Raz Khan
Robert Ludlum presents the life of a man named Ambler who has lost his identity. He is someone whose life has been completely changed and all records of his existence have been removed. The way he sees it, the world is against him.

The book starts with him in a high security mental asylum where he eventually escapes from because of the help of a nurse who had fallen in love with him. He knew he had been put in there by his government but he had no idea why or who he was. He did not remember his
Who am I? Where am I? And why are they constantly drugging me? That's pretty much the starting point of this book about Hal Ambler. A spy novel from Robert Ludlum extremely well written with a relatively simple plot and an ending that you're not going to expect.

Once our main character clears from the drugged haze and remembers bits and pieces of his former life as a spy--and he remembers his name, he finds that the entire world has no record of him existing and no one knows him. His old College
Geen spanning, te veel medisch-psychiatrische termen, en te veel personages (vooral veel Chinese namen die moeilijk uit elkaar te houden zijn) maken het boek vooral in het begin lastig om door te komen. Op het eind brengt de schrijver zich er ontzettend makkelijk vanaf.
Huub Nollet
Ondanks dat dit toch al een wat oudere thriller is, is het wel een echte Ludlum. Na ongeveer twee derde gelezen te hebben, kon ik mij steeds meer herinneren, oftewel ik had deze al eens gelezen. Niet alleen een spannend verhaal, maar toch ook een onderliggende complottheorie over macht en/of machthebbers.
Kristina Ruttan
This book was a 4 star action thriller for me until the ending. It was like the author suddenly ran out of time and so he just wrapped everything up in 2 pages. It was abrupt and didn't match the rest of the novel, and left the reader a little stunned that the book was over.
Perhaps I should have read the review sentence from the Chicago Sun-Times BEFORE I started the novel instead of the day after I finished reading this novel. The statement advises "Don't ever begin a Ludlum novel if you have to go to work the next day." I did have to go to work on multiple days after the start of this novel and some mornings were tough because the book was very difficult to put down.
Harrison Ambler (a.k.a. Tarquin) is a very intriguing man and the intrigue builds as more of his b
I was desperate for reading material while exhausted from walking all over Rome. Found this book in the hotel lobby.

Not the genre I particularly care for, but the bit about Ambler being able to read people's facial expressions was interesting. Big hole in plot though for me was that he hadn't had problem with ALL the people he'd ever been sent to assassinate. You're going to tell me that every person except for the Taiwanese politician was exactly the monster the CIA had said they were? I don't
Renae Salisbury
Jun 26, 2008 Renae Salisbury rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of action/ adventure
My idea of beach reading is not a romance novel but rather ones that take me into the world of operatives and conspiracy theories. Robert Ludlum was a master at this, and I enjoyed reading the books he actually wrote, but once he died and ghost writers took over, I lost interest ... until I picked up AMBLER WARNING. The twists and turns were there along with a surprise ending that had me guessing until nearly the end of the book, and then I cried aloud, "No, no, no, not that!"

I also enjoyed the
Oct 12, 2007 Sarah rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who have a long trip ahead of them.
I bought this book in the DC National Airport, and it served its purpose - it kept me entertained on the flight.

It's an action-for-action's-sake book, and I get the feeling that Ludlum (the author of the Bourne Identity) simply wrote it because his editors were facing him with a deadline.

I read the whole thing, and it kept me entertained enough so that I continued to flip the pages, but I wouldn't say that I was overly impressed. Worst of all, I had the whole ending worked out at least 100 pag
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Altman Code (Covert-One, #4)
  • The Janson Command (Paul Janson, #2)
  • The Bourne Sanction (Jason Bourne, #6)
  • The Ares Decision (Covert-One, #8)
  • Without Mercy
  • Numbered Account
  • The Hit List
  • Deep Black (Deep Black, #1)
  • The Sisterhood (Tweed & Co. #15)
  • Day of Wrath
  • The Deceiver
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
More about Robert Ludlum...
The Bourne Identity (Jason Bourne, #1) The Bourne Supremacy (Jason Bourne, #2) The Bourne Ultimatum (Jason Bourne, #3) The Matarese Circle (Matarese #1) The Icarus Agenda

Share This Book

“Hope, perhaps the most dangerous of all emotions and perhaps the most necessary.” 2 likes
More quotes…