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The Scorpio Illusion

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  5,635 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
His name defines the international thriller. Now Robert Ludlum has crafted his most suspenseful, most surprising novel since The Bourne Identity – a multileveled, deftly plotted story of a brilliant and seductive woman who lives single-mindedly for revenge; the Scorpios, the powerful, shadowy forces that support her; and the one man who must find her before it is too late
Paperback, 1st edition
Published December 6th 1993 by Harper Collins (first published May 1st 1993)
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James Alvino
Feb 11, 2008 James Alvino rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 29, 2012 Steve rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Christian Scala
Jan 27, 2011 Christian Scala 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
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
Sep 12, 2011 Jess rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 12, 2013 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Feb 21, 2017 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Secret group upon secret group upon secret group… Way too many deaths of major characters. Also too many coincidences to be believed.
Jan 13, 2017 Calum rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Terribly written, a rushed plot and cliches galore.
Feb 19, 2010 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
Somnath Sengupta
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
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
Jared Nelson
Not a fan! It's not bad writing, just not my genre. I probably need to branch out more...
Tom B
Dec 09, 2016 Tom B rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
*Spoilers ahead*

I know Ludlum's a famous spy story writer and that he's sold millions of books around the world. However, for me, this book is a total let-down. I was going to give it 2 stars, but the more I think of it writing this review, the more I realize that it's not even worth the 2 stars.
The book is quite long (600+ pages) for such a basic story. (Terrorist wants to kill US president, aided by a network of infiltrators on key positions in US agencies. Ex-navy, now retiree is asked to sto
Hertzan Chimera
Apr 25, 2011 Hertzan Chimera rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 01, 2015 Anorhi added it
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
Louis Shalako
"...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.

Philip Edward
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
Matt Crumpton
Feb 08, 2010 Matt Crumpton rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Vishal Vishu
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 .
Steve Goble
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
May 07, 2014 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a good read for sure. fast paced and kept you wondering. I do think though, that with it so full of goings on I got a bit tired, like okay enough can we stop with all the anti climactics already and get to it. Also a minor personal annoyance, every person had three name's and would be used in a jumble say in 2-3 paragraphs all through the book. ie: Tye, Tyler, Commander, Hawthorne all one guy and almost all used during one segment and throughout the book.
all in all I will rea
Sep 24, 2011 William rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy a fast paced, don't have to think much book every once in awhile. Character development is good and the connection between the terrorist and Hawthrone makes for an interesting tangled web. I just realized that I use character development as a major indicator of many books. I guess I enjoy knowing the characters as much as I enjoy the story itself. There was often times in this book where there are so many good guys turning to bad guys that I had trouble keeping track. It was an interesti ...more
Meg Sanchez
I don't usually subscribe to books about espionage, war, or politics, but somehow the father of my friend coerced me into reading it telling me to take it with me on a long roadtrip for entertainment purposes. Well, I was very much entertained by Amaya Bajarat and the intensity of her passions, her fierceness, her fearlessness, her complexities...I wanted to be her. So, really, I cannot say much about the plot or how significant it is to me, or what I think of Ludlum, I only love this book becau ...more
Mar 28, 2011 Jesus marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, novels
In the first chapter there are a few silly mistakes about Basque (country and language) and about Spanish:
a) Alava --> Alva (?);
b) It says that "yovamaneree" in Basque (???) means "jovena mujera" (young woman) in Spanish.
- In Spanish is "mujer joven" (Not mujera !!!
- and in Basque (according to Google)is "emakume gazte".

If the rest of scenarios (Palestine, Lebanon, Caribbean...) are documented with the same accuracy... what a bad, bad job.
Kyle Kerns
Jan 08, 2012 Kyle Kerns rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2006
This book was definitely an action-packed one, complete with plot twists and secret societies. It kept me on the edge of my seat throughout most of the book, but I couldn't get past the point that somebody died just about every other page. By the end of the book, I'm sure there seemed to be more people dead in the government than alive. That just seemed a little unnecessary. It was a very good book considering the action and suspense, but all of the killings knocked it down a point or two.
Jun 29, 2010 Carmen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book starts with everything rolling and just continues along. It is very exciting. A complex scheme involving people from many countries who have been planted as sleeping spies for years comes together. The objective is to kill the American President, along with the British PM and the French president. Does it succeed? How many people are double crossed along the way? There's even a love story thrown in. The only problem is I find it difficult to read books of 600+ pages.
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Valley Cottage Library
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Feb 23, 2012 Aasha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first read with Ludlum though I have watched the movie adaptations...the book kept me on my toes and it was with me wherever i went, be it on transit, at the bus stations, in my kitchen reading pedestal, practically everywhere

Found the plot to be good, had a sense of direction and characters neatly woven into the storyline...towards the end, too many characters executed and that too in a similar pattern that it was becoming a little too familiar

Oliver Rabacal
Apr 09, 2013 Oliver Rabacal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was only late 2011 that I have read one of Robert Ludlums book THE SCORPIO ILLUSION, it was my first read on Robert Ludlum. It was so good that it made me think why did I come to know Robert Ludlums's pieces late in my life. I have wasted so much time not reading his other books in the past. Superb writing style for action/thriller/espionage. It was as if you were in the story itself.
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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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