New York Times bestselling author, Eric Van Lustbader, returns with another Jason Bourne thriller as he spars off against another deadly agent--and he might be the perfect match for Bourne.
Facing down mercenaries in Africa, Jason Bourne witnesses the death of an art dealer named Tracy Atherton. Her killing dredges up snatches of Bourne's impaired memory, in particular the murder of a young woman on Bali who entrusted him with a strangely engraved ring-an artifact of such powerful significance that people have killed to obtain it. Now he's determined to find the ring's owner and purpose. But Bourne never knows what terrible acts he'll discover he committed when he digs into the past.
The trail will lead him through layers of conspiracy to a vicious Russian mercenary, Leonid Arkadin, who was also a graduate of the Central Intelligence training program Treadstone. A covert course designed to create ruthless assassins for C.I., it was shuttered by Congress for corruption. Yet before it was dismantled, it produced Bourne and Arkadin, giving them equal skills, equal force, and equal cunning.
As Bourne's destiny circles closer to Arkadin's, it becomes clear that the eventual collision of these men is not of their own making. Someone else has been watching and manipulating them. Someone who wants to know, Who is the more deadly agent?
Lustbader's cookie-cutter fifth Jason Bourne novel in the Ludlum franchise (after The Bourne Deception) downgrades the title character to a mere co-star with villain Leonid Arkadin, a graduate of the same covert training program, who also possesses almost superhuman combat skills. Bourne and Arkadin's globe-trotting pursuit of each other drives the main plot, which includes yet another secret cabal bent on world domination, Severus Domna. The members of Severus Domna have their eye on a ring Bourne possesses that's a clue to the location of King Solomon's legendary gold. Arkadin's use of silly aliases (e.g., Stanley Kowalski, Frank N. Stein) dissipates any effort at realism, while implausible and formulaic side stories involving Soraya Moore, ousted from her position with the CIA, don't help. Those who don't mind Bourne's devolution from the tortured amnesiac soul Ludlum created into a stock action hero will be most satisfied.
The Bourne Objective
While it is a decent read, the author is NOT Mr. Ludlum.
Book PRICE review
I saw this book at the airport for $9.99. The electronic version has absolutely no printing and distribution costs, yet they are trying to soak us for $14.99. Altogether now, say "ripoff." They are thinking that since you bought an iPhone or Kindle, you must have all kinds of money to burn, and they have the matches. Sorry guys, I'm rethinking this whole thing. I think I'll go see if there's a copy at the used book store.
I'm loath to take the time to write a review, however save your money - what a grind to get through. The last book I swore I wouldn't buy another, but I love the Bourne movies and enjoyed the books that spawned them... However, now it just seems like a case of the author being driven to write something just to capitalized on the past success.