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This is a very sinister tale of Nazis, murder and strange goings-on, first published in 1978. The main character of the story is Noel Holcroft who is an American architect and is secretly the son of Heinrich Clausen, a prominent member of the Third Reich. Holcroft is contacted by a Swiss bank about his father's will. According to a document Holcroft is given, his father together with two friends stole huge amounts of money from the Third Reich and squirreled it away in a fund for distribution to the victims of the Holocaust as a way of making amends.
However, all is not as it seems and the real purpose of the fund is to establish a Fourth Reich. In the final days of the Second World War, the children of the Third Reich were moved all over the world where they were raised and indoctrinated. They have been waiting since then for the funds to enable them to take over the world. Soon Holcroft finds he must run in order to save his life and discover the truth about the covenant.
I found this a thrilling and suspenseful tale. Information is revealed to the reader very, very slowly and it is not until the very end of the novel that you know exactly what is going on. At times the reader knows more than the main character which serves to heighten the tension. This style of writing kept me hooked throughout the book although at times it was confusing trying to work out who was who and trying to guess who the real villains are.
The plot follows a similar formula to a lot of Robert Ludlum's books and I did find that parts of the story were very predictable. In spite of this, however, the ending was very appropriate and a complete surprise. This book is full of suspense and keeps the reader absorbed from start to finish.
The Holcroft Covenant was made into a film in 1985 starring Michael Caine. I have not seen the film but can tell you that IMDB rates it as 5.7 out of 10. I have read several reviews for the film which seem to rank it as one of Michael Caine's worst films so maybe it's only worth watching if you really enjoyed this book.
The Holcroft Covenant is a novel by Robert Ludlum, the award winning author of conspiracy thrillers. The majority of his books are quite long, and this is no exception, stretching to well over 500 pages. The book was first published in 1978, and much of this must be taken into account when reading.
Following the reading of his father's last will and testament, Noel Holcroft discovers he has inherited a third of a massive fortune. His father was one of three men who predicted the holocaust and embezzled nearly a billion dollars in funds before it happened, the intention being to redistri bute these funds to repair holocaust damage once it had happened.
However, the Third Reich were aware of such a plot, and set about the creation of children who would grow up with one intention in life - to find the members of the Covenant and regain the wealth, in an attempt to establish a Fourth Reich.
Holcroft, with no training whatsoever in espionage, must survive and protect the money at the same time as figuring out who are his allies and who is working for the Nazis. It soon turns out that Noel must trust no one and pursue his own agenda in order for wrongs to be made right, and thus ensues a game of cat and mouse as he tries not only to fulfill his obligation, but also stay alive.......
As far as Ludlum's books go, this is one of the most complicated and far fetched plotlines, but his unique and intense writing style makes it quite easy to read. If you look past the unbelievability and admire the way the words flow onto the page and off it again, you will find yourself flying through the 500 plus pages.
There are elements of confusion throughout the book, and a few times Ihad to retrace my steps, so this is definitely one fo those books you have to read very carefully to know who is who and whose side they are supposed to be on. The intrinsic plot is another testament to the skill of Ludlum as a thriller author, and his conspiracy theories are bettered by no one, although this one is perhaps a little too elaborate and complicated for me.