Title: The Cry of The Halidon
Author: Robert Ludlum
Ryder, Jonathan (pseud. for Robert Ludlum) (1974). The Cry of The Halidon. New York: Delacorte Press
Date Updated: April 16, 2015
Taut with international intrigue and frenetic action, Robert Ludlum’s novels are generally highly entertaining and rich with suspense. The standard of The Cry of the Halidon, however, is well below his usual.
Unlike most of his other books, The Cry of the Halidon is rarely suspenseful and does not build to a recognizable climax. The plot is typical Ludlum fare, with Alexander Tarquin Mcauliff selected by a company—Dunstone Limited—to head a survey team deep into the Jamaican forests. Minutes after successfully attaining the survey assignment, he is approached by British Intelligence and informed that the motives of Dunstone are far from honest.
Naturally, he finds himself involved not only with British Intelligence, Dunstone, and the rebel factions of Jamaica, but also with a third faction, an organization known only as the “Halidon.” While initially this may seem gripping and interesting, the text quickly becomes confused and rambling. With so many hostile organizations and no primary antagonist, it is frequently difficult to comprehend the plot, let alone the actions of the main character.
Although the novel does become more interesting at its conclusion, I found The Cry of the Halidon to be ultimately unsatisfying, with its more suspenseful elements overwhelmed by a confusing plot, a sprawling diction and a lackluster climax.