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on 15 December 2013
There's nothing to indicate it but I got a strong feeling this book was either co-authored or heavily edited by someone else. The first half is unmistakeable Ludlum - his quirky style of writing though revisiting both themes and locations from other books. But from about chapter 26 it grows more bland. It could be a Ludlam without his heart really into it or perhaps not.

So what to say about the story without giving it away? The themes are compelling and not so off the wall as to be unbelievable. There are the usual surprises and twists, the adrenaline moments of action and the heroic insights that keep the good guys moving forwards to save the world. Ludlum has always been absorbing, compelling, without endless high speed chases and hordes of the ungodly galloping over the skyline. (something those who watch the Bourne movies may find difficult to realise) So it is with this one, even though the lead character is far too impatient and impetuous ever to have actually been employed in a capacity of field agent. There are the regulation revelations, the hidden traitors unmasked and the false trails discarded leading slowly and inevitably to the grand finale and the final twist which is very unlikely to be the one you expect.

Criticisms? The book lacks verve and passion. It may be an older, more tired Ludlum but it verges on the description of pot-boiler. It has the feeling of something he may have started and put aside to pursue other avenues, to be finished by himself or someone else as an obligation. Certainly readable. Certainly worth buying. But not re-readable in the way many of his earlier books were. An intriguing story that wends its way to completion before expiring. The ending neat but not climactic, loose ends neatly tied into bows and a sense of accomplishment rather than regret that it is finished. Buy it anyway, Ludlum at his blandest is still better than 8 out of ten other authors. But don't expect another Chancellor Manuscript or Matarese Circle.
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on 12 September 2009
I enjoy Rober Ludlum books but not this one.

It just goes to show that even with Neo Nazis, Mad German Doctors, corruption, love interest and a plot to wipe out large parts of the population, all you end up with is a dog.

Having taken this on holiday I didn't give it case room on the way back.
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on 31 December 2012
I bought this book a couple of years ago, as I was going on holiday to Finland to visit my mother in law.
I know next to no Finnish, so I thought I'd take a long, engrossing book to keep me occupied while my missus and her mum gobbed off to each other in Finnish. I'd read some other Ludlum books, and enjoyed them, and the premise of this one seemed good, so I settled down in a quiet town called Toijala in Finland and began to read. What a struggle! The story just didn't grab me at all. I kept thinking "The book will come to life in a minute". I was still thinking that after nearly 300 pages! Eventually, I gave up and didn't finish it (no pun intended).

When we prepared to return from Finland, I chucked it where it deserved to be - in the bin in my mother in law's kitchen, thinking "That's the last I'll see of that!". However, when we returned there this year, imagine my horror when my Mother in Law held the book out to me, grinning from ear to ear, because she thought I'd accidentally thrown it away and fished it out of the bin! I had to act polite and take it back and pretend to be grateful.......

I eventually threw it in the recycling bin at the local supermarket there. I still have nightmares that it will arrive in the post after being rescued yet again..... PLEASE NO!!
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on 30 October 2003
After reading Ludlum's new Covert-One novels, I fancied reading one of his older ones. I have to say, i feel i made a very good choice with The Apocalypse Watch. The action is established from the very beginning and there are unexpected twists throughout the novel, both factors of course being crucial to thrillers.
Ludlum never eases up on his wonderful descriptions, and, although some parts are very technical, you find yourself much better informed about why the characters are doing what they are doing.
Speaking of the characters, once again, Ludlum has created people who you can quite naturally believe are real. I would not be surprised if there really was a Drew Latham in the world, perhaps under a different name, but nontheless, someone who acts like him. What i really like about his characters is that they are basically normal people. They are never geniuses trying to be superheroes, they're just your average John Doe.
Another thing i like about this novel is the subtle language variences. The plot is set in France and Germany, so every now and again, the characters will say something in French or German. This helps the reader comprehend the fact that they are in another country, even though the majority of the novel is written in English.
One thing i find a little difficult with Ludlum novels is that there are quite often very complex sub-plots that sometimes get lost or forgotten about. This is not a criticism, but it does sometimes get confusing in a book of 600+ pages!
I would reccomend this book to anybody who likes a thriller or a mystery. I think this novel incorporates both genres. Also, there are references to Nazi Germany, so people interested in 20th century history would probably enjoy this book.
Overall, there is not really anything bad you can say about a Robert Ludlum novel. It is just a shame that he is no longer around. One thing is certain though; The Apocalypse Watch will definitely be remembered as part of the great Robert Ludlum Legacy.
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on 22 September 2003
Deep in the Hausrack Mountains of Austria there is a remote hideaway - the fortresslike nerve centre of an ominous movement, the Brotherhood of the Watch. American agent Harry Latham has penetrated the movement, a neo-Nazi organisation that was born in the days after the Third Reich's defeat and whose deadly tentacles have spread to the United States and beyond. Now, after three years in deep cover, and on the eve of his most spectacular success, Harry Latham has disappeared. Drew Latham, a Special Officer for Consular Operations in Paris, is frantic to discover his older brother's fate. When he receives the good news that Harry has surfaced, gut-twisting doubts arise. Has Harry's cover been blown? And if so, why has the Brotherhood of the Watch let him live?
Charged with plots, counter-plots, deception and double-dealing, THE APOCALYPSE WATCH is Ludlum at the very top of his form in a supercharged novel about the inheritors of Hitler's Third Reich - men who will turn a crack American agent into a deadly weapon.
As usual, Robert Ludlum comes up with a thriller that is very difficult to put down.
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on 6 August 2007
I have just spent the last 6 months reading this book on and off!

It is not a bad story, and does have one or two really gripping moments... but I did not enjoy it as much as I had hoped I would!

To start with it is FAAAAAAAAAAAR to long!!! there is just to much filler material in it that never really needed to be there and this book could have been half the size it was, and still be enjoyable!

Second, there are to many characters that come and go in it that you forget who is who! some of the more interesting characters are the ones who are in it for maybe two or three pages, then suddenly are gone.

And finally, the ending is to far-fetched! will not spoil it, but even I had to laugh when I read it!

All in all, not that bad, but do not expect to finish it in a few days!
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on 27 January 2013
This book was deliciousley long, the tension, suspicion and drama contiued throughout. Highly reccomended but do not start it if you have work in the morning, it's a can't put down.
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on 4 May 2015
not a bad book received in good time
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on 29 November 2014
Different cover 3/5


Hard going because too long. Too many repetitive scenes

I read on ...

Alexander of the Allrighters and Ywnwab!
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on 27 July 2015
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