By Fred Fields
Since his death in 2001, 23 new novels have been published in Robert Ludlum's name. Tom Clancy and James Patterson rarely write the new novels attributed to them; WEB
one of my favorite authors, has turned his writing chores over to his son,
William E Butterworth IV (WEB). Griffin
I mention these facts to demonstrate a new era in publishing, one that causes some pain to readers when the substitute authors don't meet the standards of their originals.
Here is a demonstration of the quality of Butterworth's writing, and why I no longer look for
in the bookstores. The following is a synopsis of eight pages, early in the
book, Double Agents, by Griffin
(Butterworth IV). Griffin
Bottom of Page 17: President Franklin D. Roosevelt welcomes General William J. Donovan to the Oval office, followed by a description of Donovan.
Page 18: Begins with two paragraphs commenting on Donovan's recent promotion from colonel to brigadier general. This is followed by two paragraphs about what Donovan thinks of
Roosevelt's happy state of
mind, and that he is sorry to be bringing
bad news. Donovan says how happy he is to note the President's good mood. Roosevelt thinks Donovan looks unhappy. The next
paragraph discusses Donovan's experience in World War I.
Page 19: Continues Donovan's record, including partial wording of his Medal of Honor citation, followed by eight paragraphs describing the two men's original meeting and subsequent friendship.
Page 20: Six more paragraphs about the friendship. Four paragraphs about what FDR is thinking about the lack of coordination of intelligence gathered during World War II.
Page 21: The whole page is devoted to the history of interagency warfare between intelligence services and the formation of the department of Coordination of Intelligence, headed by Donovan.
Page 22: More on the Coordination of Intelligence Department and its transition to the
Office of Strategic Services. OSS
Page 23: History of the President's desk, (yes) along with a description of its contents, including FDR's stamp collection and how the State Department saves foreign stamps for his collection. A paragraph describing the Oval Office.
Roosevelt looks out the window at his rose garden, rolls
his wheelchair behind the desk, and asks about Donovan's family.
Page 24: Five paragraphs about the Donovan family condition. Two paragraphs about Major James Roosevelt, USMC. Donovan goes back to discussing his son's military activities
Page 25: In paragraph two, General Donovan finally delivers the news that the Germans have nerve gas in
! On the ninth page after we learn that General Wild Bill Donovan has important
news for the President, we finally find out what the news is. Sicily
BORED TO SLEEP? ME TOO! By this time, I have put the book down and decided no longer to search for
books in the bookstores. Griffin