Saturday, May 17, 2008

[Book Review] THE PROMETHEUS DECEPTION by Robert Ludlum


Jessie Marshall reviews THE PROMETHEUS DECEPTION by Robert Ludlum (St. Martin's Press, 2000)

At the opening of this action-driven story, the reader meets Nick Bryson, an agent for the top-secret Directorate, an organization unknown to all but the highest-level people in the Federal Government.

Unbeknownst to him, Bryson is on his final mission for the Directorate. After devoting years and risking his life countless times in the service of his country, he is retired from duty and is given a new identity as Jonas Barett, a professor of Byzantine history at Woodbridge College. All is well for several years, until one day, a CIA agent shows up on campus looking for him.

As he learns new truths about his past, Bryson begins to question his entire previous life. He is drawn into a web of intrigue where he finds that he was really a dupe; all of his years as an agent were spent working against the United States instead of for it. It seems that the Directorate is really a Russian intelligence operation, and Edmund Waller, Bryson’s mentor, is a Russian agent.

Bryson determines to make amends for any harm that he has done and to put things right. He begins to search out his former Directorate contacts, only to find that wherever he goes, destruction follows. At one point, to Bryson's surprise, Waller rescues him and tells him about Prometheus, an organization comprised of business executives and powerful international politicians who are trying to enact the Treaty of Surveillance. This treaty would create an international, all-powerful FBI type of organization. The members of Prometheus would be able to monitor virtually all world information and, therefore, would gain tremendous power.

Throughout the story, Bryson struggles with deciding who is telling him the truth. Who can he trust? What part of this is true, and what part is a lie? Finally, all the facts come into focus for him, and he is able to go about thwarting the Prometheus plan for gaining world control.

Jessie Marshall, Business and Science Department

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