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The Sigma Protocol

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  10,087 ratings  ·  285 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 October 30th 2001)
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3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,087 ratings  ·  285 reviews

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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
Ana Tijanić
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Oct 03, 2010 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 medioc
Hertzan Chimera
Aug 06, 2008 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'
Clint Morey
May 27, 2012 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
Sep 10, 2008 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
Steve Shilstone
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
How to almost, but not quite, be killed over and over and over again for 500 pages
Fredrick Danysh
May 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Wealthy banker Ben Hartman is in in Switzerland on holiday when an attempt is made on his life. American Department of Justice investigator is assigned to to investigate if a series of the elderly are related and comes under attempts on her life. Soon the two are on the run for their lives and team up to find out who and why they are in danger. A thrilling read by a master of suspense.
Oct 12, 2010 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
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
Sep 23, 2008 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
Kenyon Harbison
Mar 24, 2010 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
Feb 15, 2014 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.

Ryan Mishap
Nov 14, 2008 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
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Lame. I am usually a Ludlum fan but thus was drudgery to get through. The characters bumble their way through, constantly walking into danger unprepared, getting tons of people killed because they didn't take reasonable precautions. They let bad guys constantly get the drop on them even tho one is supposed to be a highly trained operative. And for pity sake, a sawed-off shotgun cannot be referred to as a rifle. *eyeroll* Basic weapon knowledge 101.
Aug 06, 2012 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.
Dec 12, 2015 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.
Dec 30, 2008 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this book until the last few pages. I laughed out loud, but I don't think a humorous ending was intended. I just couldn't help myself. All of that build-up for . . . that?!!
B.L. Norris
Jun 10, 2016 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.
Dec 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
good book! suspense til the last pages and definitely captivates the reader. an excellent thriller by a master writer
Jan 10, 2009 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.
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: espionage
THE SIGMA PROTOCOL has the usual elements readers have come to expect from Robert Ludlum over the years. It's an action-packed, intricately plotted thrill-ride of a book. At his best, Ludlum is the five-star standard in this genre. So why only four stars here? Primarily because, in a genre characterized by over-the-top conspiracies of truly credibility-stretching proportions, the evil conspiracy in this book goes so much further that it became laughable for me. I just couldn't take it seriously ...more
Feb 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Fast paced but formulaic international thriller. Kind of a Bourne Identity lite without the memory lost. Our hero and son of a rich business man, Ben Hartman is on a ski vacation in Switzerland when an old school friend tries to shoot him dead. Ben, totally stunned, flees and miraculously manages to kill the shooter. From this point on, Ben is a hunted man. But why? Meanwhile back in the USA, Government Agent Anna Navarro is given the assignment to investigate the suspicious deaths of a list of ...more
Alison Smith
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sure, this book's main plot might be a little unbelievable but it is fiction after all. I actually ended up liking this book a lot more than I thought I would, I'm a sucker for any book that involves (either directly or indirectly) the take-down of Nazis. I guess I'm romantic that way.
This book kept me turning the pages quickly and I didn't lose interest which is I think all you can really hope for at the end of the day from a book. This book does jump around from location to location and introd
Brought together by accident, Ben and Anna soon realize that their only hope of survival lies with each other. Together they race to uncover the diabolical secrets long hidden behind the codeword, Sigma. Secrets that threaten everything they think they know about themselves, everything they believed true about their friends and families, and everything they were ever taught about history itself. For behind Sigma lies a vast deception that is finally coming to fruition and the fate and future of ...more
carl clause
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
CC 1

Another fantastic novel. I don't know that Robert Ludlum was such a great story teller. Even though the book was written years ago it still has relevance today. It kept your interest and kept the plot moving. I have decided to go back and read all his stand alone novels. I read the entire Covert - One series and that was also excellent. Ludlum is relevant just as the other great authors I read Daniel Silva, Brad Thor, Kylie Mills ,Lee Child, Vince Flynn and J.B Turner and Diane Capri.
May 23, 2018 rated it liked it
It took me almost TWO YEARS to finish this novel. Why? Well, it was supposed to be an old paperback I would read at the beach, but I was always up playing in the water or building sand castles when we’d go. Plus, it’s a really long book. And it was super boring in many parts. Just when it would get good things would slow down again and meander through some unnecessary side story. The ending had some good twists and surprises, but it was very cliche as well. Was worth sticking with it in the end, ...more
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Robert Ludlum is a new mystery/thriller writer for me and I chose this book because the story takes places in Switzerland. For me the story was a dud as a who done it. While I like the main characters Anna and Ben, their ability to dodge death over and over again was far fetched. The underlying mystery was also quite strange and not worth the 500 plus pages.
Jenna W
May 15, 2017 rated it liked it
The Sigma Protocol was the first book that I read by Robert Ludlum, and it will probably be the only book I read.

I enjoyed that this book was chalk full of action and conspiracy, but it was a little hard for me to follow. That being said, I have seen all of the Bourne movies, and I feel like this book would make a phenomenal movie!
Oct 17, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was all over the place. There was so much that was just way too convenient. Several points, you could see the decision coming and that it was not going to go well. Then, there were parts that just didn't make sense for the main character.
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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