Jonathan Ryder is actually a pseudonym of Robert Ludlum. My copy is printed with Ludlum's name on the cover and a special note from the author. LudlumJonathan Ryder is actually a pseudonym of Robert Ludlum. My copy is printed with Ludlum's name on the cover and a special note from the author. Ludlum explains his frame of mind when he wrote this novel and why the book was not initially published under his own name.
Andrew Trevayne is a successful American businessman who made a lot of money as a defense contractor with his brother-in-law. He also served once as the Undersecretary and is being chased to head a subcommittee for looking into American Defense Alloction Commission. Meanwhile, Trevayne's teenage children are being harassed by the police...possibly to scare him into rejecting the offer to chair the Congress committee to root out corruption from Defense contracts. In a secret meeting with the POTUS and Ambassador Hill, Trevayne accepts the position.
I always enjoy reading Ludlum and this book was the same. It has suspense, anticipation and gun fights all mixed with a basic political plotline.
SPOILERS Ahead. Consider yourself warned!!
After his kids, Trevayne's wife was drugged and taken to a hotel room, while the police held up Trevayne for giving his statement in a traffic accident. He's detetmined to walk away from the Senate Committee after this. But his wife and the POTUS convinces him to stay on board. Trevayne's lawyer, Walter Madison is taking money from a yet unknown figure to spy on his old client.
Trevayne attends the super-secret Senate Committee meeting to finalize his appointment to chair the sub-committee. "Mario de Spandate"...a folder in the hands of Senator Knapp, who decides with Senator Norton to bury it, during the Senate Committee hearing. So the people who have hired Madison are Senators Knapp and Norton. Trevayne's gets the confirmation from the Senate Committee and assurance of their cooperation.
Senator Gillette, the head of the Senate Committee, talks to Trevayne after the meeting. He tells him that he'll get his appointment reversed tomorrow morning. Trevayne tries to reach his lawyer, Madison all evening; but the hotel has been directed by someone that he's not to be disturbed tonight. When Madison finally reaches him after more than 2 hours, Trevayne finds out the Gillette has died in a road accident.
Trevayne is asked by the POTUS to keep Gillette's intentions and the wrap and start working on his sub-committee. Trevayne is assigned a Major Paul Bonner as his assistant. They scout office spaces and choose Potomac Towers as their headquarters.
Spandate is the defense contractor that Trevayne met on the plane and who dropped him to the hotel afterwards. The Mafioso men is working with the White Office aide, Robert Webster. There is also some electrical disturbance at Trevayne's house back at High Barnegat, and he thinks someone might have tampered with it.
Trevayne has assembled his team and his target is Genneesse Industries. Major Bonner is spying on Trevayne on behalf of the military. Bonner saves Trevayne's life and then Trevayne saves him from De Spandate...
Ludlum's tribute to the mastery of Mario Puzo and his famed book, The Godfather, "Uncle Mario (again a nod to the author), the days of The Godfather are finished", says De Spandate's capo, as he unsuccessfully tries to put a contract out for Major Bonner from the hospital bed.
Trevayne finishes interviewing all the people on his list. His assessment of Gennesse Industries is complete. It's "A council of the elite. The United States of Genneesse Industries."
Webster, the White House aide has given the order to get rid of De Spandate and frame Trevayne in the process by defaming Major Bonner. Roderick Bruce, the journalist who earlier asked Trevayne for dirt on Major Bonner, is choosen to frame Bonner. Bruce wants to destroy Bonner as a revenge for killing his partner, Alex, killed in the Far East. Trevayne is annoyed that Walter Madison, his attorney is not ready to take up the case for Major Bonner, saying it will be a conflict of interest while representing Andy himself. Bonner meanwhile is under a lock-down at an army base and Sam is ready to defend him.
De Spadante threatens Trevayne to quit the subcommittee or he'll destroy his life by making public some cooked-up evidence about his family. Meanwhile, someone is taking pictures as Andy talks to De Spadante in his hospital room.
Robert Webster is told by a messenger from Aaron Green that his plans to frame Trevayne must stop. Also he's being thrown out of the center circle of the conspiracy. So the new core of Washington underworld consists of Green, Ian Hamilton, Senator Knapp and Trevayne's attorney, Walter Madison. At a meeting at Green's estate, he says that the only option left now is to make Andy Trevayne the POTUS."Andrew Trevayne...The Mark of Excellence" is the campaign logo Green's team has come up with, as the inner brass is now convinced that offering the job to Trevayne is the right call for USA.
Trevayne goes to Roderick Bruce, the journalist's house. Against his instincts he reveals that he knows about Alexander Coffey, to make Bruce stop going after Major Bonner.
In part 4 of the book we see Trevayne getting comfortable with the idea that he could actually become the President. After he is made a Senator, he tells Green and Hamilton that he will not fully reveal the extent of Geneesse Industries involvement in the country's politics if they get out of the country and let him clear the mess they have made. But after a meeting with Major Bonner, Andy contemplates if he was right to withhold information report submitted by the sub-committee for Defense Allocation Commission.
Back at Potomac Towers, Sam tells him that Webster has been killed by De Spadante's men and the POTUS has intercepted and impounded the report as a precaution. The two begin to wonder if the POTUS is indeed the real Genneese Industries. After talking with General Cooper, Trevayne is convinced that he was trapped into submitting an incomplete report. Backtracking now would not only harm his credibility but also deliver a serious blow to his election plans.
James Goddard, the financial mastermind behind Geneesse Industries hands over proof of financial inconsistencies to Trevayne. Trevayne decides to confess to the POTUS that he was mistaken and tries to convince him that Geneesse Industries must be uprooted. But to his disgust, the POTUS thinks he can control it to his advantage. Also the POTUS was not so naive as he thought and knew about his ambitions to become the next President. Paul Bonner is acquited in the civil court and made a Colonel after Trevayne mentioned his part to the President.
Goddard assisinates the President and the whole country is falling apart. Trevayne decides that it his time for him to step up and complete his destiny.
In part 5 of the book, we see a scene after 18 months of the President's assisination. Trevayne is now the President and a very popular one. He made a deal with Geneese Industries that he will not expose them as long as they do not interfere with the country's politics anymore. But in the end, he talks to Ian Hamilton who has broken the ceasefire by attempting to acquire the media companies....more
This is a strange tale of suspicion and paranoia. I enjoyed it immensely from the very start, but somehow I felt as if Ludlum was writing a parody ofThis is a strange tale of suspicion and paranoia. I enjoyed it immensely from the very start, but somehow I felt as if Ludlum was writing a parody of his work. Maybe it has been too long since I last read Ludlum!! However it was still a very enjoyable book. There were a few hidden gems like the one I quote below,that reminded me that it is the same author who wrote the Bourne Series;
The Tremaynes, the Cardones, the Ostermans. All there. None accounted for. Any or all. Omega!
SPOILERS Ahead. Consider yourself warned!!
Saddle Valley is an elitist village in New Jersey and supposed to be one of the safest places in America. We are introduced to 3 married men with teenage children: 1. John Tanner, a Director of News at some network. 2. Richard Tremayne, an attorney who graduated from Yale and is quite a rainmaker at his current firm. 3. Joe Cardone, a successful Princeton athlete who now works at Wall Street. All 3 families are friends with Bernie and Leila Osterman & often get together at the local club house. The Ostermans are coming over next week to Saddle Valley for what is being dubbed as the titular "The Osterman Weekend".
Tremayne and Cardone may be involved with Osterman in some sort of illegal activities to secure their financial future. They want to read Tanner in too, but he has not responded to their subtle hints. Meanwhile the CIA (which is an office nearby) is aware of their activities and is going to threaten Tanner into helping them with the investigation on Monday.
On Monday, Tanner is called up to meet the CIA on false pretenses and informed about a conspiracy called Omega. They inform him that the center of this conspiracy is Saddle Valley and his 3 close friends might be a part of it, as evidenced by their hidden bank accounts in Switzerland. He is recruited by the CIA to unveil this conspiracy this weekend when the four families get together.
The CIA employs amusing tactics to make the 3 men suspicious of Tanner. A midnight call from Lisbon, an early morning telegram from Zurich and a note left on the doormat outside...all warning them about Tanner through indirect riddle-like clues and code words. Here;s how one encounter with Osterman goes:
A huge man in a chauffeur's uniform was sitting in the front seat of his car! He got out as Bernie approached and held the back door open for him. "Mr. Osterman?" "Who are you? What are you doing in . "I have a message for you." "But I don't want to hear it! I want to know why you're sitting in my car!" "Be very careful of your friend, John Tanner. Be careful what you say to him." "What in God's name are you talking about?" The chauffeur shrugged- "I'm just delivering a message, Mr.Osterman. And now would you like me to drive you home?" "Of course not, I don't know you! I don't understand...." The back door closed gently. "As you wish, sir. I was simply trying to be friendly." With a smart salute, he turned away."
The writing continues to be amusing as all the four men get more and more suspicious of each other.
For a detailed review, please see my progress updates. Also I have downloaded the 1980's Hollywood adaptation, so expect a feedback on the movie.
This book was published somewhere around 1976, but felt I was reading Archer, Baldacci and Dan Brown, all in one novel. Its like a "Da Vinci" but onlyThis book was published somewhere around 1976, but felt I was reading Archer, Baldacci and Dan Brown, all in one novel. Its like a "Da Vinci" but only spread over 40 years and three generations!! Ludlum is on of the greatest thriller author I have ever read....more
**spoiler alert** Wonderful book, sat up till 4.30am to finish it, cause I simply could not sleep without knowing how it ended, I'd have dreamed up a**spoiler alert** Wonderful book, sat up till 4.30am to finish it, cause I simply could not sleep without knowing how it ended, I'd have dreamed up a thousand endings along with all the prequels and sequels.
(view spoiler)[ Bit confused about the last page of Epilogue. Don't know how they got out of the mess, since everybody concerned, including Varak, Ramirez, MacAndrews, Hoover and the Inver Brass are dead!! Maybe I should read that part again....are they in China?? But then maybe that was the beauty of the novel...love the last few lines...feeling of Deja Vu :) (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Its very good....perhaps should have been edited better. (view spoiler)[Everybody is a Scorpio...just hoping Hawthorne does not turn out to be ScorpioIts very good....perhaps should have been edited better. (view spoiler)[Everybody is a Scorpio...just hoping Hawthorne does not turn out to be Scorpio no.2. I know if this was a Dan Brown book....then if not Cathy or Poole, then surely Henry would have turned out to be a Scorpion... (hide spoiler)]["br"]>...more
This is my first Ludlum book and I'm glad I bought this one. It was fast-track, as was promised by the reviews. Initially when I started the book, I tThis is my first Ludlum book and I'm glad I bought this one. It was fast-track, as was promised by the reviews. Initially when I started the book, I thought of Jeffery Archer and as the book progressed I thought it's more like a Dan Brown novel, but by the time I finished the book, I realised Ludlum had his own style and one which actually Dan Brown might have tried to emulate.
P.S. I realize I shouldn't have compared the three authors because each has a different style, I assure their fans that no offence was intended to either of them. I enjoy reading all of them immensely....more