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The Sigma Protocol

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  7,882 Ratings  ·  241 Reviews
In Zurich, Switzerland, American investment banker Ben Hartman has arrived on holiday when he chances upon old friend Jimmy Cavanaugh -- a madman who's armed and programmed to assassinate. In a matter of minutes, six innocent bystanders -- and Cavanaugh -- are dead. But when his body vanishes, and his weapon mysteriously appears in Hartman's luggage, Hartman is plunged int ...more
Paperback, 662 pages
Published October 13th 2002 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2001)
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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
Best Robert Ludlum Books
13th out of 47 books — 58 voters
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréThe Hunt for Red October by Tom ClancyThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
Best Spy Novels
227th out of 862 books — 1,584 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
...more
Tim
Oct 03, 2010 Tim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 medio
...more
Hertzan Chimera
Jan 30, 2012 Hertzan Chimera rated it it was amazing
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'
...more
Clint Morey
Jun 05, 2012 Clint Morey rated it really liked it
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
...more
Anna
Sep 19, 2008 Anna rated it did not like it
Shelves: general-fiction
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
...more
Jenna
Aug 01, 2015 Jenna rated it it was amazing
Sigma has been undergoing one final transaction. A change of management. If you have a falling with sigma, then you become a marked man!

Fast-paced, and a very good read. This author never disappoint me, so full of thrill, and action adventure. The story is cleverly plotted! I've learned about poison and different caliber of fire arms.
Karen
Sep 23, 2008 Karen rated it liked it
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
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
...more
Ed
Oct 15, 2010 Ed rated it liked it  ·  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
...more
Judy
Apr 01, 2016 Judy rated it really liked it
Robert Ludlum is a master of the action-packed non-stop adventure novel, although The Sigma Protocol is arguably 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
Kenyon Harbison
Mar 24, 2010 Kenyon Harbison rated it it was ok
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
Bill
Dec 12, 2015 Bill rated it liked it
This book was on a list of books that I read before 2005. So, I am adding it to my read books on GoodReads.
B.L. Norris
Jun 10, 2016 B.L. Norris rated it really liked it
I happen to love Robert Ludlum and, unsurprisingly, I really liked this one as well. It's a good thrilling ride people.
Arka
Feb 22, 2014 Arka rated it it was ok
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.

Eno
...more
Ryan Mishap
Nov 14, 2008 Ryan Mishap rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-crime
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
JBradford
Jul 03, 2014 JBradford rated it liked it
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
...more
Alexandra Bogdanovic
Jan 11, 2016 Alexandra Bogdanovic rated it it was ok
I read my first Ludlum books (the Bourne series) in my early teens. While I found them compelling at the time, they weren't compelling enough to turn me into a die-hard Ludlum fan.
Having read The Sigma Protocol as an adult, I am glad I never developed interest in his later work. To put it bluntly, The Sigma Protocol was a huge disappointment. The only saving grace was the writing. The character development was OK. The plot was horrible. It was so horrible, so predictable, and so boring, in fact
...more
Tom
Jan 29, 2009 Tom rated it it was ok
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.
Annie
Dec 19, 2012 Annie rated it really liked it
good book! suspense til the last pages and definitely captivates the reader. an excellent thriller by a master writer
Greer Andjanetta
Mar 03, 2014 Greer Andjanetta rated it it was amazing
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
Kelanth
Mar 09, 2016 Kelanth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spionaggio
Protocollo Sigma, in originale "The Sigma Protocol" è un romanzo di spionaggio scritto da Robert Ludlum e pubblicato nel 2001. Questo libro è l'ultimo romanzo scritto completamente dall'autore, ed è stato pubblicato postumo.

Robert Ludlum, come già detto molte volte nelle mie precedenti recensioni è un maestro indiscusso del genere spy-story, tanto da meritarsi l'appellativo di "Mr. Plot" -signor complotto-. Ha scritto 27 romanzi thriller. Il numero di copie dei suoi libri in stampa è stimato tra
...more
Sally
Jan 31, 2016 Sally rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, spy-thriller
The Sigma Protocol by Robert Ludlum

Summary
I liked this book for what it was. It was a bit more extended than some of his others. For me, not as good as the Bourne trilogy, but still good for what it is.

An American investment banker, Ben Hartman, gets shot at by someone he thought was a friend, and thus begins the story for him - on the run from unknown people trying to kill him and eventually he teams up with an agent from the Department of Justice, Anna Navarro. As with other Ludlum books, this
...more
Haleth
Jan 03, 2016 Haleth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ludlum fans only
Shelves: narrativa, spionaggio
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
...more
James Korsmo
Aug 03, 2011 James Korsmo rated it liked it
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
...more
VaultOfBooks
Aug 14, 2012 VaultOfBooks rated it really liked it
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
...more
Greg
Jun 10, 2010 Greg rated it really liked it
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
...more
Al
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
David Roberts
Dec 07, 2013 David Roberts rated it it was amazing
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
Johnsergeant
Nov 27, 2007 Johnsergeant rated it really liked it
Downloaded from Audible.com

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.
...more
Marian Willeke
May 27, 2008 Marian Willeke rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
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5293
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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