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Robert Ludlum has a writing style that is familiar in almost all of his works. The Road to Gandolfo strays from this format, and while you would think this would be a welcome change, it isn't. The book is much shorter than his usual epic lengths of books, which normally go way over the 500 or 600 page mark. This book is only just over 300 pages long, and follows a repetitive string.
Sam Devereaux is an ex-lawyer serving in the army, and in awe of General Mackenzie Hawkins, a legend in the military. When 'Hawk' as he is known, is kicked out of the army for conduct unbecoming an officer, Sam is confused and keeps a close eye. It soon emerges that Hawk has a plan for his retirement, a plan that involves the public giving him money.....to kidnap the Pope!
Not only is this removed from the normal spy thriller we associate with Ludlum, but it is also so absurd in tale that I actually found it very hard to read. The plot follows Sam as he tracks down Hawk, going form ex-wife to ex-wife, who in turn flirts with him and seduces him, before he confronts Jawk himself. I won't spoil the ending for you, but it's not the most imaginative of Ludlum's novels, and certainly not the most entertaining. There is a foreword note by the author in the book, explaining the reasons for such a change from the norm, and that he had immense fun writing the book, and that his publishers were surprised he actually wanted to publish the book under his own name. I'm surprised, too. I was disappointed to say the least.