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The Scorpio Illusion

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  4,566 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Tyrell Hawthornewas a naval intelligence officer--one of thebest--until the rain-swept night in Amsterdam when hiswife was murdered, an innocent victim of thegames spies play. Now he's called out of retirementfor one last assignment. For Hawthorne is the onlyman alive who can track down the world's mostdangerous terrorist.Amaya Bajaratt isbeautiful, elusive, deadly--and sh ...more
Published (first published 1993)
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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
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
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
"...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.

James Alvino
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.
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
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
Mike Philbin
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
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
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
Tod Hamilton
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.
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 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
Frank Cardenas
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
Fredrick Danysh
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.
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...
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
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
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.
Somewhat of a typical Ludlum. Intriguing, fairly complex, with always a lot going on.
Good storyline, well written.
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
Dan Dorenbos
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
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
Wilhelm van der Merwe
Excellent. Sit down, Jason.
Kyle Kerns
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.
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.
Valley Cottage Library
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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

Dec 03, 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.
Oliver Rabacal
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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