Title: The Matarese Countdown
Publication Date: 1997
Book Condition: Near Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine
Edition: First Edition.
First printing. Flat SIGNED by Robert Ludlum on the front endpaper. The volume is bumped on the spine ends. The unclipped dust jacket, sleeved in mylar, is lightly wrinkled on the spine crown and top of the rear panel. Bookseller Inventory # 15111624
Synopsis: The Matarese Circle, Robert Ludlum's multimillion-copy spellbinder, introduced a treacherous international cabal of powerbrokers and their hired assassins. More than twenty years ago, the top CIA and KGB agents joined together to ensure that, in an explosive act, the Matarese conspiracy went up in flames. But now Robert Ludlum, the unsurpassed master of suspense, returns with a stunning thriller for the twenty-first century. . . and like a phoenix from the ashes, the terror has reappeared.
Secret deals are in the making, massive mysterious transactions steeped in corruption and murder. The players stand at the highest pinnacles of global finance and government. It is an unprecedented consolidation of money, power, and ruthlessness. Their ultimate aim: worldwide economic domination and all it entails. . . by whatever means necessary.
The Matarese dynasty is back in all its glory and evil. And the one man with enough knowledge to stop it, CIA case officer Cameron Pryce, may not have enough time. The Matarese countdown has begun and Pryce's only chance to cut it off is to follow the trail of blood money and stone-cold killers to the heart of this deadliest conspiracy.
From the Hamptons to Monte Carlo to London's Belgrave Square, Matarese assassins have already struck with brutal efficiency, eliminating all who stand in their way. But on Spain's Costa del Sol, one victim survived long enough to breathe these dying words: "Find Beowulf Agate" --words that reverberate all the way to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Beowulf Agate is the code name for legendary retired agent Brandon Scofield, the only man ever to penetrate the Matarese and survive.
Now Cameron Pryce has to draw Scofield and his wife, Antonia, out of their Caribbean paradise hideaway and back to a place they thought they'd never have to go again--back into the Matarese circle of death. For from the oil fields of the Persian Gulf to the boardrooms of Manhattan, from the hills of Corsica to the halls of power in Washington, the circle is closing, the noose is tightening, the panic is spreading.
And Pryce has made a chilling discovery: the Matarese have broken new ground. . .deep inside the CIA.
The Matarese Countdown is Robert Ludlum at his best, as he delivers a terrifying and persuasive vision of worldwide financial mastery that could only happen today.
Review: On a snowy night in northern Russia, balding and bedridden Maria Yuriskaya prepares herself for the last rites of death. When a priest approaches her bed and asks for a confession, she unloads a whopper of a secret and sets off The Matarese Countdown. Apparently, the accidental killing of her world-class nuclear physicist husband by a wild bear was not an accident after all. The death was a set up and Maria knows who did it. The priest thinks she's having a senile fit, but she's serious. So serious, that uttering the dreaded words, "The Matarese ... the consummate evil" seems to vacuum the life right out of her. The legendary Matarese, the planet-threatening dynasty of killers from The Matarese Circle, is back and up to their evil tricks. The grandson of The Matarese, a laissez-faire fundamentalist with a bad case of ancestor-worship plans to finish his grandfather's wicked designs. However, political-science prodigy and CIA rookie Cameron Pryce is on the case. Armed with several languages and even more degrees, Pryce races around the world and against the clock to stop the deadly posse. Fast-paced and action-packed, The Matarese Countdown is a must for Ludlum fans, but it's not for sissies. Rugged, macho observations abound: "They waded into shore as the clattering motors came to a stop, and as women tend to do, Leslie and Toni embraced," and "Maybe the women would change your mind. After all, it was the women, the mothers, who got us all through the Ice Age. In the animal kingdom, the female is the most vicious in protecting her young." In other words, if a post Ice Age feminist read this book and ran into Ludlum, she probably wouldn't embrace him. --Rebekah Warren
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