Writer Robert Ludlum achieved popularity throughout the 1980s with his tense, highly-descriptive political thrillers, usually featuring a lone protagonist on the run from the heinous representatives of an international conspiracy. After fading away a bit with the collapse of the Communist Empire, Ludlum reinvented himself and surged to all-new popularity in the 1990s, again, focusing on all-new types of political and terrorist threats.
Ludlum’s works are characterized by extreme tension, charismatic heroes, paranoia, extensive conspiracies, and international settings. His first published novel was the World War II thriller, The Scarlatti Inheritance, in 1971, and before his death in 2001 he had published 20 novels. There have been over two dozen additional books attributed to Ludlum since his death, several under his name alone but most in collaboration with other authors (* below). Many of the authors listed below capture some of the same “flavor” as Ludlum, although few can lay claim to the level of descriptive detail he would provide – an aspect of Ludlum’s fiction that fans loved and critics tended to mock.
Patrick Larkin *
John Le Carre
Gayle Lynds *
Douglas Preston & Lincoln Childs
Philip Shelby *