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The Scorpio Illusion

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,360 Ratings  ·  98 Reviews
Tyrell Hawthorne was a naval intelligence officer - one of the best - until the rain-swept night in Amsterdam when his wife was murdered, an innocent victim of the games spies play. Now Hawthorne has been called out of retirement for one last assignment. For he is the only man alive who can track down the world's most dangerous terrorist. Amaya Bajaratt is beautiful, elusi ...more
Paperback, 624 pages
Published 2005 by Orion (first published 1993)
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Best Robert Ludlum Books
21st out of 47 books — 57 voters
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407th out of 876 books — 1,550 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 02, 2012 Steve rated it it was ok
I remember vividly the first time I read one of Robert Ludlum's novels. I was in high school and had stumbled upon The Bourne Identity. The book oscillated between a plot moving at a frenetic pace and a series of flashbacks allowing you to slow down and get a deeper sense of who Bourne was, and why he did what he did. I came to appreciate the flashbacks almost more than the forward plot. The Bourne Identity wasn't the only one of Ludlum's novel to employ this technique. It was something that kep ...more
James Alvino
Feb 15, 2008 James Alvino rated it it was amazing
After Bourne this is Ludlum's best novel is my opinion. It has everything you could want in one of these books. International espionage, assassination attempts, guns, etc. It doesn't try to be something that it isn't. Pure thrill and adventure without the verboseness of a Clancy novel.
Feb 22, 2016 Kelanth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spionaggio
Le illusione dello Scorpione, in originale "The Scorpio Illusion" è un romanzo del 1993 del compianto Robert Ludlum. Si tratta di un romanzo che è un mix di suspense, dramma, azione e thriller. 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 290 milioni e 500 milioni. I ...more
Oct 05, 2011 Jess rated it it was ok
I thought it was horrible. The plot was decent, though far-fetched. The dialogue & narrative were trite, verbose & irritating. The book could easily have been condensed to 400 pages, rather than the 664 pages it was. When I started it, I thought, 'OK, this is bad, but I'll give it 100 pages to improve.' It didn't, but by then I was hooked on the plot itself. That's the reason I gave it 2 stars instead of 1, which I would have if I'd put it away when the thought first hit me. I'll never p ...more
Somnath Sengupta
Nov 04, 2014 Somnath Sengupta rated it it was ok
Ludlum’s books are like Motorhead or AC/DC albums. They more or less have the same structure and pattern but Ludlum is good at his tried and tested formula and he usually packs in lot of twists and surprising turns in his plots to keep the reader hooked. He is the only thriller writer whose books I still keep reading. This one was my 12th or 13th Ludlum and sadly, it would rank in the bottom three.

Ludlum’s plot usually revolves around a single (often reluctant) man who has to take on a shady org
Louis Shalako
Feb 28, 2015 Louis Shalako rated it liked it
"...Hawthorne lunged to the surface directly behind the skiff and grabbed the metal casing of the engine...preventing the rudder from turning...confused, the skipper leaned over the stern less than a foot above the wake...before he could scream, Hawthorne plunged the blade into his neck..." (Holding onto an outboard motor with one hand and still able to prevent the rudder from turning...)

There are a couple of other scenes in the book that make no sense and the writing isn't enough to save it.

Dec 13, 2015 Anorhi added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anorhi by: 02
Shelves: never-again
I threw this book into the bin at the airport. That's exactly where it belongs.

The story is told pretty much equally from the terrorist and the CIA point of view. You don't end up with that "will they catch her?" sense of anticipation/suspense. You don't get to have any of that feeling that there might be something more, a mystery, that there might be a big reveal, because as soon as something is mentioned it gets explained. "oh his wife who he doesn't believe was really working for russia? She
Steve Goble
Apr 04, 2015 Steve Goble rated it did not like it
I barely got past a hundred pages. This was my first Ludlum. I know he has sold a lot of books, but this one lost me early on. Events move at a rapid clip, but the dialogue is hackneyed, the infodumps pf background are not artfully handled and there is nothing to make me like any of the characters. I suppose I am spoiled by John Le Carre and Graham Greene.

I checked a few online lists of "Ludlum's best novels" and this one did not make the cut on any of them. I won't judge Ludlum by just one book
Mar 19, 2014 Bill rated it it was amazing
This was more fun to read than I thought it would be. It is a spy-thriller that is surprisingly current despite having been published in 1993. What makes it so readable is the admittedly lame but funny conversations. It reads like James Bond with touches of 1960's Batman. It is very long, 664 pages, but it reads quickly and easily. What is it about? "--good Lord, leaks in Washington and Paris that we know about, Mafia connections, an island fortress, Japanese satellites, Swiss accounts, drops in ...more
Hertzan Chimera
Apr 25, 2011 Hertzan Chimera rated it it was amazing
Robert Ludlum - THE SCORPIO ILLUSION - and how it relates to a Free Planet

one has to wonder how Robert Ludlum could have looked so perceptively into the minds of the Power Elite on this insane planet in book after book after book.

I'm just about to finish, and still really enjoying, his 1993 novel THE SCORPIO ILLUSION ... I'm particularly liking the TENSION between MI6-re-activated CIA agent Tyrell Hawthorn and would-be US Presidential assassin Amaya Bajarrat. They clearly love each other but the
Sep 11, 2012 Simona rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ho letto questo libro nell'interezza delle sue 484 pagine... Qualche difficoltà all'inizio ma superato circa 1/4 del libro il resto l'ho letto in meno di 24 ore! Letteralmente divorato in due pomeriggi dello scorso weekend! E' un libro che prende se si ha la costanza di superare il "punto critico". Bel libro, sicuramente attuale, con un finale che lascia intravedere un lieto fine ma che si rivela comunque intelligente e non bello e dorato come poi la vita reale quasi mai è...

"Le illusi
Aug 21, 2013 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I like Ludlum, but I can't put a finger on it. Is the story complex or muddled? Is the writing style brilliant or ponderous? Is the plot intertwined with unexpected surprises that challenge the reader to keep up, or is it just plain vague? I asked myself these questions often when I read a Ludlum novel, but I never stop being completely absorbed, challenged and entertained.

It's been several years since I have read Ludlum. It's good to be back. The international spy genre is fascinating because s
Vishal Vishu
May 22, 2015 Vishal Vishu rated it it was ok
Its another Robert Ludlum style novel with undercover operations, terrorists, traitors, double agents etc. But in this work the protagonist was just hyped more than the necessity.

This is not the one if you are reading Robert's novel for the first time as the writing and narrative is not as crisp as his other works.

But for a person who is used to his works, this seems to be an engaging read. Having said that there are many places in the book where in we lose track of the plot and the happening .
Tod Hamilton
Dec 06, 2014 Tod Hamilton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Story tellers of Robert's calibre do but come along once every few generations. I went through a period where what he was writing was perfectly suited to my liking. During this period these books were read a few times over until they were falling apart.
The only thing I can say is once you've read one of this era of books, if you like them, you'll read the entire collection.
Aug 27, 2014 Alison rated it it was ok
There goes a couple of weeks of my reading life I'll never get back! If this had been Ludlum's first novel he'd have had a hard time finding a publisher. The far-fetched plot, the uneven pacing, the stilted dialogue (who talks like that!)the intermittently convenient stupidity of the supposedly 'brilliant' was all just too much.
Matt Crumpton
Mar 22, 2010 Matt Crumpton rated it liked it
Recommends it for: spy novel junkies, mystery lovers
Recommended to Matt by: none
Shelves: spy-thriller
Robert Ludlum, in my opinion is one of the great writers in the spy, thriller genre. With The Scorpio Illusion he has created a very fast paced thriller with lots of action, mystery and political intrigue.

Ludlum is just fun to read. Are his stories and characters over the top? Yes. Can the dialogue be really frustrating to read at times? Yes( you begin thinking 'do people really talk like that?'). All of these little annoyances of mine are found in the The Scorpio Illusion, as in his other nove
Philip Edward
Jul 10, 2016 Philip Edward rated it it was ok
There's a good pulp political thriller in here somewhere but man, if any book needed a copyeditor it's this one. I really tried to finish it but it just dragged and dragged that any climax or finale didn't feel worth it anymore. Conversations between two characters last way longer than they should and it seems like the whole book is more fixated on giving you every single mundane detail in the conspiracy the story is about than well, giving you an engaging story or characters to make you feel im ...more
Frank Cardenas
Feb 01, 2015 Frank Cardenas rated it liked it
Well, this is action so even if it sounds too much of a far-fetched spy-thriller, you cannot just leave it there and need to finish the story. Lots of espionage there, thrilling conspiracies over and over, but here again, I wouldve cut it down a bit. ...more
Jun 11, 2016 David rated it it was ok
I'm giving this a two only because it was just so drawn out. So much needless detail and conversations that simply slowed the book to a crawl. I liked the story itself, but not the way it was written. Perhaps a 3 for story, and a 2- for the unnecessary detail.
Nicole Diamond
May 05, 2016 Nicole Diamond rated it did not like it
If it has one star I liked it a lot
If it has two stars I liked it a lot and would recommend it
If it has three stars I really really liked it a lot
If it has four stars I insist you read it
If it has five stars it was life changing
Fredrick Danysh
Apr 12, 2015 Fredrick Danysh rated it liked it
Tyrell Hawkins is a former member of Naval Intelligence whose wife had been murdered in Amsterdam. A plot develops to assassinate four world leaders including the US President. After he is enticed to return to service he embarks on a hunt for a ruthless assassin. The story contains murder, corruption, terrorism, and a coup de ta. No one can be trusted.
Jason W
Apr 21, 2016 Jason W rated it it was ok
This book was pretty terrible. I liked all the Bourne books and wanted to like this. I think where he went wrong is trying to do the entire book through dialogue. It was so ridiculous and convoluted.
Jun 23, 2014 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2014
Classic Ludlum at his best. At his most outrageous, thriller, conspiracy kind with more than a six-pack worth of thrillers of twists, turns, conspiracies, and Evil Things or people taking over the World. Just what I need. Perfect read for summer or holidays...
Sep 14, 2014 Pat rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense
Good thriller with a female "Carlos" named Amaya who plans to kill the president and the retired naval intelligence officer Tyrell Hawthorne who is the only person who can stop her.
Eric Scott
Aug 25, 2014 Eric Scott rated it it was ok
Started out ok, at some point I got tired of people being randomly introduced and then killed. I've liked his other books a lot better.
Lewis Alderton
Jul 31, 2014 Lewis Alderton rated it really liked it
Not bad - Ludlum normally does a good job of tying up all loose ends, but here he left the truth behind the death of Tyrell's wife hanging.
Jan 27, 2015 Paul rated it really liked it
Somewhat of a typical Ludlum. Intriguing, fairly complex, with always a lot going on.
Good storyline, well written.
Jun 24, 2015 Rose rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, it was consistent, a definite conspiracy theory
Mar 19, 2016 Jerry rated it really liked it
Great conspiracy book lots of bad people.
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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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