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This was my second Ludlum novel and I will certainly be reading more. It has everything required of a first rate novel encompassing both World Wars.
It has no real hero which I liked considering its American stance but one BAD villain. The plot centres around Matthew Canfield, a US government intelligence officer and his involvement with the Scarlattis, a powerful industrial family from the US. As the plot unfolds he, and the reader, become ever more entwined in the adventure, unable to rest until the fitting finale.
I certainly found myself wondering how close to the truth this story might have been. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!
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on 30 November 2013
After having read the Bourne series and the covert one series and reviewing the comments of other readers about these books, I decided to try the Ludlum originals. I bought The Janson Directive which I enjoyed and then bought The Scarletti Inheritance. If my info is correct this was his first book which acclaimed him as one of the top authors of his time. I found the story line weak and quite predictable and the characters were much the same. I felt at times the author had lost direction and was amazed that there is a Luger pistol of World War 1 origin that has a external hammer and a revolver that has its magazine checked. Whilst not important to the story it begs the question as to how much in depth research is actually done. I will purchase another of his books in the future but for the moment I will give him a miss and try some other authors of high acclaim.

Paul Cordier.
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on 7 May 2015
I've often grumbled about Robert Ludlum. His books were written in the 1970s and 1980s, so they often feel dated now. This book was written in the 1970s, but it's set during the Second World War, which means the author knew it had the potential to be dated at the start, so it feels less dated, despite being set further in the past.

It's difficult to talk about the plot without giving away the story, but it can be said to focus on the son of an Italian immigrant, who you just know is up to good (he's a sociopathic), the mother and wife who try and hem him in, and the American federal Agent who's investigating the nefarious wrongdoings that he just knows the son is up to with the Nazis.

All in all it's a good read, it rattles along at a goodly rate, and you'll find yourself comfortably ensconced in the middle of the book pretty fast.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 16 March 2014
When I first stumbled across the Scarlatti Inheritance, I did not realise it had been written as long ago as 1971. The story covers the period up to the end of the Second World War and certainly does not read as in any way dated or stale. The main thrust of the tale concerns the aged matriarch of the Scarlatti clan, Elizabeth, and her son Ulster who, whilst he has much in common with his mother, particularly ambition and a search for power, chooses to turn his talents to a completely different cause.

I thought this was a well thought out and entertaining book which, quite rightly, is rated highly amongst Robert Ludlum’s not inconsiderable output. If I had a criticism it is that Ulster is so irredeemably evil in every respect that he comes across as almost a cardboard cut out villain. After all, and whilst I do not know it for a fact, I imagine that even Hitler or Stalin might have been kind to children and/or small animals. No such character failings for Ulster! To be sure, his mother is conniving and manipulative, but at least, on some level, she does seem to realise that her son must be denied his intentions. However, all in all, it’s not an attractive family.

Over the years I have read a few of this author’s works and, in my opinion, this is certainly a book which is worth reading. I tend to read recent books in the main, but picked this up because I was short of reading material. I was, however, glad that I had.
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on 24 March 2009
Don't be misled by my title above - I couldn't wait to finish it so that I could go and find something a bit more rivetting. It's actually not a bad story, but just seemed to be clumsily written. At various stages it's set in post-war and pre-war scenarios, and it was sometimes difficult to remember the context in which the present chapter was set. Dialogue seemed to be rather stilted and un-lifelike, and such habits as the author constantly referring to the "hero", Canfield, as "the field accountant" made the reading of it hard work at times. I wouldn't rush to read anything else by this author, but I realise I'm outvoted there.
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on 18 January 2017
Interesting setting for this book leading up to a significant event in history, the event itself is the subject to of many many books. Pity it got a little predictable and the ending lacked excitment.
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on 6 December 2012
Purchased for my brother who has a liking for fictional history and modern day thrillers. Enjoyed this book and would not hesitate in recommending it to others of a similar persuasion.
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on 4 March 2015
I read it first in about 1974 or 5 and loved it. A bit dated not but still fun.
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on 31 January 2010
I read and enjoyed both 'The Osterman Weekend" and 'The Bourne Identity' some years ago. Reading another Ludlum now I found this very two-dimensional, a bit flat. I don't think the beginning and end of the book work. The opening chapters basically sum up the whole plot which the rest of the book then re-iterates at great length. I'd read another Ludlum, he can write a good action sequence but I wouldn't recommend this one.
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on 8 April 2013
One of the best Robert Ludlum books, and really worth reading. A classic thriller based around the two world wars.
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