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The Tristan Betrayal

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  4,576 ratings  ·  129 reviews

Moscow --- a city under siege by hardcore Communists threatening to plunge the country back into Stalinist darkness. Into the heart of the firestorm, American ambassador Stephen Metcalfe has been summoned to find the one man who controls the levers of power in absolute secrecy --- an official known only as the Dirizhor. His support of the bloody cou
Paperback, 519 pages
Published October 17th 2004 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2003)
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The Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Bourne Supremacy by Robert LudlumThe Bourne Ultimatum by Robert LudlumThe Matarese Circle by Robert LudlumThe Holcroft Covenant by Robert Ludlum
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40th out of 53 books — 59 voters
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36th out of 40 books — 20 voters

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Carl Alves
The Tristan Betrayal is a departure from what I have come to expect from Robert Ludlum, which is probably why I enjoyed this novel so much. It is primarily an historical thriller taking place in Europe during World War II, with only loose tales to the modern day (1991) event that is occurring. In present time, with the Soviet Union is under siege by the hardliners who want to take control of the country, American Ambassador Stephen Metcalf is called upon to convince the one person who can preven ...more
This book enthralled me early on. It struck me as spy/espionage at its best. The writing is detailed but not too observational. The pace is fast while still providing substance. Most importantly, the plot was intriguing.

But unfortunately, much of it fell flat half-way through the novel. Nothing changed, except that the patterns of the author became apparent. *Minor spoiler* Every time the main character tries to do something undercover, his cover is blown. That's interesting the first time, but
Entertaining as these types of books are, I suppose. I think its biggest flaw -- the fact that it was pretty repetitive and exceptionally explanatory (I am the plot twist, watch me twist! Watch me twist again! This is why I am twisting!) -- is what made me like it the most. I've only read the one, but I suspect these kinds of books are basically the man's romance novel, eh? Slightly more acceptable in more social circles, but no greater literary quality.

Anyway, the story was pretty interesting,
Jeff Gough
A classic Ludlum thriller. It's been years since my last one. It did not disappoint.
Venkatraman Ramachandran
A mixture of political conspiracy & romance constitutes the novel.

The content of the book is based on a secret mission and spy operation executed by top level intelligence officials extremely close to president of United states of America.

From a reader's point of view, extent of proximity, information has to actual facts can never be truly ascertained. However, overall content about how powerful countries carry out such missions and undercover operations is fascinating to know.

Fakhrulrazi Mahtar
This book was outlined by Ludlum himself, and completed by a ghostwriter..and it kind of shows that.

As other reviewer had stated, this book kind of having two side of coin in it.The first 2 part is classic Ludlum plot, fast, complex and brilliant. But as the plot goes, you can see the plot somewhat get bored, drag for far too long and somewhat repetitive, as Stephen Metcalfe consistently being outwitted and outplayed by NKVD, Gestapo and Kleist. The choose of some words also sometimes to complex
Probably 3.5 stars really, but that's not an option here.

As others have noted, Ludlum wrote the outline for this novel, but it was ghostwritten by another author. The extent of just how much the ghostwriter filled in is evident fairly quickly in the dialogue/internal monologue of the main character, as well as from the lack of the typical Ludlum complexities and intricacies - but most obviously in some of the obvious statements, followed by unnecessary exclamation points (which I found to be the
Shawn Fisher
This book felt a bit dated, despite being published in 2003. The Soviet coup attempt in 1991 is old news now. This book idea probably sat on Ludlum's shelf for a decade before his estate contracted the ghost-writer. The writing can be a bit academic in parts, using words rarely used in normal conversation, and may send you to the dictionary a few times.

As mentioned by other reviewers, a pattern starts to emerge in this book. Soon, you find yourself asking 'What ELSE could possibly go wrong?' onl
Hertzan Chimera
I'd tried to read other writers' attempts at World War II spy stories and didn't really enjoy the experience...

I reluctantly picked up "The Tristan Betrayal" and was just BLOWN AWAY by it. Very clever, very brutal book. Even when Ludlum's not writing about contemporary spy missions, he's still THE MASTER.

I recommend this book to anyone who thinks WW2 stories are just boring, as I did prior to this title.
Mary Grace Albario
This is my first Robert Ludlum read. The Tristan Betrayal is a fast paced thriller, so it's not boring. Really, really not boring. For me, the start to finish was definitely entertaining. And again, this is one of the many books that took me back in time, back in the early 20th century where warlords such as Hitler and Stalin dominated the planet. I know this is a fiction novel, but I still can't help but wonder if some of the scenarios described in this book happened for real. Yeah, I'm intrigu ...more
Ghostwritten and it shows. Apparently Ludlum only wrote the outline. Lame.
Krishnan Iyer
The year is 1940. An era where the entire European continent was clouded by the Nazi forces closing in and invading nations with their Blitzkreigs. France has fallen and is occupied with Nazi Germany. It is just a matter of time till Britain would surrender. Uncle Joe (Joseph Stalin) and the Fuhrer (Adolf Hitler) have an uneasy alliance. America is yet to enter the war and is contemplating its stand.

Agent Stephen Metcalfe is assigned to one of his most difficult and important assignments of life
I just finished the audiobook of Robert Ludlum's The Tristan Betrayal, read by Paul Michael. I have visited and spent three years living in the former Soviet Union. I also studied some Russian history at uni and did a lot of Russian politics for my masters. So I enjoyed the subject matter of the book very much. Ludlum paints a vivid picture of war-time Moscow after Stalin's purges of the 30s and the fear is palpable. The monolith that is the Lubyanka features in the book, but it could have had m ...more

Moscow-a city under siege by hardcore Communists threatening to plunge the country back into Stalinist darkness. Into the heart of the firestorm, American ambassador Stephen Metcalf has been summoned to find the one man who controls the levers of power in absolute secrecy-an official known only as the Dirizhor. His support of the bloody coup will bring the entire world to the brink of nuclear war. Metcalfe is the only man with the cunning to reach him and to convince him to resist. It's up to Me

An unmemorable thriller picked to accompany my commute based on early Ludlum thrillers recalled from the mid-70s.

Thriller - Recorded version - Ivy-leaguer businessman Stephen Metcalfe signed on with an American Intelligence agency in 1940. While in Paris, his cell is exposed; all other members murdered and his identity is compromised. He is sent to Moscow to renew his acquaintance with a beautiful Russian ballerina and to work on a plot for the downfall of Nazi Germany.
The Tristan Betrayal is shockingly a very interesting book to read. Kinda has the old Ludlum flair of the Bourne and Matarese mixed in. Although sadly Ludlum never finished the story, the story at the beginning is pure Ludlum, with the end showing the loopholes of a less creative mind. The story starts with Stephen Metcalfe receiving word from a woman he thought had forgotten him. The love of his life at a time when the Cold War was at its peak. Stephen is the youngest son of a prominent America ...more
Brett Newmyer
Really great, made me wish I knew more about WW2. I wouldn't say that this book was teetering on my 5 star rating, but the last paragraph made it almost on the lower half of the 4 star. Endings are very important to me, and the ending overall was great, but the last paragraph felt like it was rushed by a freshman in college because he realized he was running late to turn this in.
The main character was maybe my favorite part of this book. In the very beginning he is considered a below average spy
Ludlum always wrote good novels with interesting plots and characters. His books are hard to put down and this is no exception. I had read this 10 years ago and I recently reread--it stood the test of time. Believable plot, great characters and well written. The modern day author that comes close is Daniel Silva who I recently discovered. Highly recommend.
S.L. Dixon
Before this book, I'd never read a spy novel worth reading, so I was fairly weary when I started, but I read this because I think it's important to pick up a variety of books.
This particular spy novel was leaps and bounds better than the junk I'd read before. The characters had dimension and lacked any miraculous superpowers or super-foreknowledge, there were almost like real people.
The story was a little hard for me as I'm not used to all the spinning spy stuff and the twists and betrayals, but
Jitesh Mehta
To tell you the truth i was not really interested in reading this....but after reading 5 to 6 pages of this book there was no stopping me.Robert Ludlum i am really very sorry for doubting about your talent,you are just amazing.
The action was non stop,there was not a single page that is not explosive in total Ludlum way.The tension just goes on building up as there are events one after the other going on and on in this.I just couldn't keep this book down.
The only thing that i don't like about Lud
I might have already read this book during my school/college days, I'm not sure! Some parts were familiar, some were new. But what I realized during this read was how I've outgrown the Ludlum-style espionage thrillers. No offense to Ludllum, he's still one of the best I've read in this genre. It's just that I've personally moved over to literature that's more subtle, nuanced and thought-provoking, rather than straight-forward, in-my-face kind of thrillers.

That said, my next book might also be a
The story was pretty decent for your standard espionage/spy type book. This isn't really my preferred genre of book so my opinion of the overall story might be a bit biased towards "average".
A compelling read. Though there is a loophole in the book, Ludlum has done really well connecting actual historical events with fictional narratives.
Terry Cornell
I really liked the plot of this book, but the writing could have been tighter. Occasionally, some minor details don't make much sense. The big surprise at the end of the book isn't that much of a surprise if the reader has been halfway paying attention. The beginning started a little slow, so it took a while to get into. Still, I found the book enjoyable and at points very suspenseful. Doing a little research after finishing this book I found that although it is credited to Robert Ludlum who pre ...more
Sandy Wood
For someone who wrote a great book like The Bourne Identity, this was very disappointing. It was like he got lost a few times along the way and had to figure out how to wind it up. He is so much better than this offering.
Although this book was only written in 2003, it feels dated. The story follows Stephen Metcalfe, a young American playboy thrown in to the world of European espionage prior to the US's entry in WW2. Metcalfe flips between Paris, Moscow, and Berlin in an attempt to find secrets, love, and possibly start (and conversely stop) a war. Interspersed throughout the book are flash forwards to an older Metcalfe who is helping to broker a deal to bring a resolution to the Cold War. Maybe its just that I h ...more
Martha Colburn
A complex story of love and betrayal in WWII Russia, leading up to the Nazi invasion. This is Robert Ludlum's first historical novel.
Jul 25, 2011 Krista added it
My first actual Robert Ludlum book, though I've watched all the Bourne movies and have read Van Lustbaders sequels to same. I fondly remember my mom reading through all of Ludlums books while I was wading through Moby Dick in high school, so I had some background. I liked the book, though it was not quite as gripping as some more recent novels in this genre. I believe this is at least partially due to the time period - while WWII spy games were no doubt dangerous, there was a little more safety ...more
Captivating till the end. France, Germany, new all time favorite spy book.
I really enjoyed this book. I will be reading more of his books.
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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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