Robert Ludlum’s The Parsifal Mosaic is aptly named: The novel seems composed of millions of bits of information.
The central story is rather simple. The White House has been infiltrated by a Russian mole who is not an ordinary KGB mole. This mole works for the VKR, the fanatical wing of the KGB.
This much information is suggested obliquely to Michael Havelock, an ex-field agent for a clandestine branch of the U.S. State Department, by his KGB counterpart, Peytor Rostov.
Rostov knows Havelock was in love with a woman who was murdered, accused of being a Soviet spy.
Rostov also knows the woman never had any KGB affiliation. He can’t understand why the kill was made to look like she did.
Havelock rejects the story until he spots his lover across the platform in a crowded Rome train station.
After that—which all happens in the first 40 pages—Havelock has to find Jenna and learn what happened that night on the beach and who is behind the deceptions.
Ludlum twists and turns and jackknifes his plot. He kept me turning pages, but I’m still not sure I got the entire story straight.
Perhaps The Parsifal Mosaic has just a few too many pieces.
The Parsifal Mosaic by Robert Ludlum
Random House © 1982. 630 p.
1982 bestseller #3. My grade B
© 2019 Linda G. Aragoni