Nicholas Bryson spent years as a deep cover operative for the American secret intelligence group, the Directorate. After critical undercover mission went horribly wrong, Bryson was retired to a new identity.
The Prometheus Deception
ISBN 10: 031225346X / 0-312-25346-X
ISBN 13: 9780312253462 / 9-780312-253462
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Publication Date: 2000
Robert Ludlum is the acknowledged master of suspense and international intrigue. For over thirty years, in over twenty international bestsellers, he has a set a standard that has never been equaled. Now, with the Prometheus Deception, he proves that he is at the very pinnacle of his craft.
Nicholas Bryson spent years as a deep cover operative for the American secret intelligence group, the Directorate. After critical undercover mission went horribly wrong, Bryson was retired to a new identity. Years later, his closely held cover is cracked and Bryson learns that the Directorate was not what it claimed - that he was a pawn in a complex scheme against his own country's interests. Now, it has become increasingly clear that the shadowy Directorate is headed for some dangerous endgame - but no one knows precisely who they are and what they are planning. With Bryson their only possible asset, the director of the CIA recruits Bryson to find, reinfiltrate, and stop the Directorate. But after years on the sidelines, Bryson's field skills are rusty, his contacts unreliable, and his instincts suspect.
With everything he thought he knew about his own life in question, Bryson is all alone in a wilderness of mirrors - unsure what is and isn't true and who, if anyone, he can trust - with the future of millions in the balance.
The Prometheus Deception
begins with a deep-cover operative, a beautiful cryptographer with a shadowy past, a government organization that's not what it seems, and an assignment that goes very, very wrong. Nicholas Bryson, a spy for a secret intelligence group known only
as the Directorate, has his cover blown on a Tunisian operation and is retired to a new identity: Jonas Barrett, lecturer in Near Eastern history at a small liberal arts college. Five years later, the CIA corners Bryson/Barrett and tells him that his entire 15-year career in the Directorate was a fraud, that the organization was really an elaborate front for the GRU--Soviet military intelligence--and that his former boss, Ted Waller, was actually Gennady Rosovsky, a GRU muckety-muck. Even Bryson's beloved estranged wife, Elena, was actually a Romanian Securitate agent assigned to keep him in line. And now
"Damn it!" Bryson shouted. "This makes no sense! How ignorant do you think I am? The goddamn GRU, the Russians--that's all in the past. Maybe you Cold War cowboys at Langley haven't yet heard the news--the war's over!"
"Yes," Dunne replied raspily, barely audible. "And for some baffling reason the Directorate is alive and well."
So far so good; after 22 thrillers in this vein, Robert Ludlum could probably have written this one in his sleep. Fortunately for his fans, he was not only awake at the wheel, but ready to race--on a track with more twists and bumps than a roller coaster in an earthquake. The CIA claims it needs Bryson to reinfiltrate the Directorate and help them bring it down, but when Bryson is cornered by an erstwhile Directorate acquaintance aboard a floating arms bazaar and rescued by a woman named Layla just before the ship blows up, he begins to realize how the years of retirement have dulled his formerly keen reaction time. While Bryson cautiously feels (and fights) his way from Virginia to Spain and back again, mistrustful of his new CIA colleagues even as he dodges murder attempts by his former Directorate henchmen, there are rumblings in the hallowed halls of the U.S. Congress. Several respected statesmen are raising a ruckus about widespread invasions of privacy, behind which stand a Seattle software billionaire and a mysterious nexus of power called Prometheus. But is Prometheus allied with the Directorate--or with a different group altogether? Filled with post-Cold War double-crosses, New Economy high jinks, and even a few Wall Street shenanigans thrown in for good measure, The Prometheus Deception is pure old-style Ludlum, repackaged for the new millennium. --Barrie Trinkle