Thoughts on: The Scarlatti Inheritance by Robert Ludlum

February 2, 2012

About:
The Scarlatti Inheritance is Robert Ludlum’s first book.  This fictional book was first published in 1982.

  • 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam
  • ISBN: 0553271466

Thoughts on: The Scarlatti Inheritance by Robert Ludlum

My rating for The Scarlatti Inheritance –3

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More books by Robert Ludlum

Thoughts:
Even though The Scarlatti Inheritance is one of the first books Robert Ludlum it is one of the last ones I read so you could imagine my delight when I found this a Ludlum book I haven’t yet read during a book drive at my daughter’s school.

The book starts in Washington DC where Major Matthew Canfield is being sent to meet a high ranking German official with promises to divulge information to help end WWII.

From the second chapter, to one before last, the story is told as a back flash about the Scarlatti family. Giovanni Scarlatti, a poor but ingenious Italian immigrant, marries a rich heiress, his employer’s daughter, named Elizabeth who helps him take over her business in as well as many other companies to become extremely rich within a decade.

The Scralattis had three sons, one died in WWI, the other was ordered by his mother not to enlist, and the third – the troublemaker – enlisted and, to everyone’s surprise, became a war hero.

What no-one knew is that the third son, Ulster, coned his whole regiment to believe he killed many Germans and saved them all, only trying to escape the front. Together with a German officer he took on a second identity of a German solider he killed named Heinrich Kroeger.

Ulster’s plan to bankrupt his family and help Hitler’s Third Reich is the plot which takes us, his mother and the book’s hero, field accountant (not yet Major) Canfield, around the globe and into mysterious financial transactions.

I’m a big Ludlum fan but honestly – I don’t know what to think of this book. It’s certainly isn’t as good as other Ludlum books but it is an exciting read, well paced and the characters are not one-dimensional freaks.

The thing that this book falls short on is the ending. It seems that Ludlum used the “Star Trek” type ending – where a complex story is neatly tied up in 5 minutes or less.

Books in sim­i­lar vein:
The Eng­lish Assas­sin by Daniel Silva
Field Gray by Philip Kerr
Pandora’s Grave by Stephen Eng­land

Great price on this book in paper for­mat
through the Man of la Book Affil­i­ate Account

More books by Robert Ludlum

Zohar – Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I bought this book.

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7 Comments

  • Jonathan February 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I read this one a couple of years ago and wasn’t all that impressed. I mean, it was an OK book, but I’d heard such good things about Ludlum, I felt a little bit cheated. I didn’t realize at the time that it was his very first book. 😉

    • Zohar - Man of la Book February 2, 2012 at 10:16 pm

      It caught me by surprise as well. I picked it up saying “a Ludlum book I haven’t read?”.

  • C.E. Hart February 2, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    A powerful, well thought-out ending is so important to me.

  • C.E. Hart February 2, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Oops – didn’t mean to submit yet. lol

    It sounds like a great story, but stories with poor endings make me crazy. lol

    NOW i’ll submit. 😉

  • DINO.666 July 16, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Osterman Weekend (*weekend at Bernie’s: ECCLESTONE|VCV: virtual Conceps vehicles, predecessor company *)

    Aquitaine Progression

  • Tom Higgins July 11, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    I noticed that the name of the villain, Ulster Scarlett, could be a nod to Conan Doyle. Early in his first novel “A Study in Scarlet”, Sherlock Holmes, upon receiving a bit of news, abruptly dashed out of his apartment while putting on an ulster (a long, loose overcoat of coarse cloth).

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