The Pequod Review:
Robert Ludlum (1927-2001) was an extraordinarily popular suspense novelist from the 1970s to early 2000s, with an astonishing 400 million books sold. His books are less mysteries than spy-based adventures, frequently involving a relatively ordinary man recruited to assist a (Western) government on a vital but secret mission. Usually, the agent quickly learns that he can’t trust anyone, including the government that recruited him. The formula isn’t a new one, but Ludlum executed it well — and with enough subtle variations — that his books remain exceptionally strong entertainments.
The Matarese Circle is Ludlum’s eleventh book, and one of his best. Two rival spies, one from the CIA and one from the KGB, join forces to prevent an international cabal of wealthy terrorists from taking over the world.