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Thriller writer Ludlum dies of heart attack

Bestselling author wrote memorable tomes 'Scarlatti,' 'Parsifal'

LOS ANGELES – Thriller writer Robert Ludlum died Monday in Naples, Fla., where he maintains a home, after suffering a massive heart attack, a family spokesman said. He was 73 years old.

Ludlum, whose Cold War spy tales like “The Scarlatti Inheritance” and “The Parsifal Mosaic” routinely topped the bestseller lists, recently had heart surgery. The family spokesman said that until that attack he had appeared to be making good progress.

A former actor and theater producer for 20 years, Ludlum turned to spy novel writing as a lark, wondering at age 40 if he could have any success at it.

His first book “The Scarlatti Inheritance” was an instant success and it was followed by several others.

In interviews he often boasted that his theatrical training helped him to set up scenes and plot complicated books that the reader enjoyed the way he might a good show.

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