The Holcroft Covenant - Robert Ludlum

***** A cursed heritage

Although this is the umpteenth story of a Nazi conspiracy set decades after the end of Nazism, this novel by Ludlum knows how to be original and intriguing. The protagonist, Noel Holcroft, caught me immediately. It’s easy to feel connected to him and worry about him while realising how he is putting himself in trouble. The author, in fact, shows the unfolding of the story from different points of view and the reader is always one step ahead of the characters, both good and bad ones.
This novel shows again the winning scheme, already seen in the Bourne trilogy, of a male protagonist, who is physically strong but in difficulty, and a female one who helps him (and eventually they fall in love).
The only downside I found is the presence of the usual cliché of super-evil and crazy Nazis, who do the worst atrocities without the slightest remorse, and who also have followers willing to kill themselves for the cause. In developing this concept it escapes to me what’s the cause they are pursuing, apart from their folly. Is it possible that they are all crazy? There must be some crazy one, but at least someone should have other motives, such as survival (at least) or self-serving. Brainwashing as the sole engine of actions hopelessly flattens the negative characters, thus belittling the positive ones.
Fortunately, the novel ends with an absolutely unpredictable open ending that makes you forget all the clichés.