Review: The Paris Option – Robert Ludlum

The Paris Option Robert LudlumMy rating: 3 of 5 stars

A decent story, but could have been better.

And by ‘better’, I’m thinking better told. According to the cover, it’s a collaboration, and I think it shows. It’s a fair bit longer than it really should be (it follows the premise of the last ‘Bourne’ I read, by having the whole thing build to a climax in the middle, then go on again. You know you’re only half way through, as you can see there’s still a couple of inches of book to go, it can’t possibly have the impact it really should), and a bit flabby. Robert Ludlum’s originals are usually a lot more tightly-written and suspense-filled than this. It could be trimmed and streamlined and not lose anything.

Plus, the main concept of ‘the problem’ (without giving anything away) wasn’t developed as deeply as it could have been. The results of its ‘deployment’ were just shown as tests, not full-blown attacks, and weren’t described in deep enough detail, so didn’t really carry the level of dread they really should have. That of course, affects the levels of suspense generated when they’re trying to stop the bad guys. You really have to believe they’re fighting to save civilisation from this ‘problem’, and here it’s a little ‘meh’. That’s as good as I can put it.

A second ‘plus…’, the English secret agent – you can tell he’s English (if you should forget his introductory section), because he calls people ‘lad’, says ‘frightfully’, and generally runs around in the background like James Bond. He doesn’t actually say ‘I say!’, but only because it probably got edited out.

Still, a right rattlin’ read – Harlev bibliotek scores again!

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