In Robert Ludlum's ground-breaking career, no other character so captured and held the world's imagination as Jason Bourne. He appeared in three of Robert Ludlum's own #1 bestselling novels - The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum - and they remain amongst Ludlum's most-read and most-loved books to this day. Now, for the first time ever, the Estate of Robert Ludlum has acceded to the demands of readers around the world, turning to bestselling author Eric Van Lustbader to bring Jason Bourne back to life in a thrilling new novel.
Jason Bourne is known and feared in the deadly world of covert-ops as one of the most highly skilled assassins for hire. Bourne, however, was merely an identity assumed by CIA agent David Webb, a personality implanted by the CIA to facilitate a dangerous operation, but one that threatened to subsume David Webb entirely.
Years after the events of The Bourne Identity, Webb is no longer an active CIA agent and is now a professor of Eastern Studies at Georgetown University, living a quiet life, far from the dangers of his previous life. Until one day he finds himself the target of an assassin nearly as skilled as himself and is framed for the brutal murder of his two closest associates and friends. Fighting for his life against unseen assailants, as well as the full resources of the CIA who believe he has gone dangerously rogue, the Bourne identity asserts itself, leaving Jason Bourne in control. Now Bourne must use all his skills to stay alive as he battles against a determined assassin, the combined skills of the world's intelligence networks, and a shadowy figure in the background, skillfully manipulating events and people, in a far deadlier and more dangerous game than any of them realize.
Veteran thriller maestro Lustbader (Black Heart, etc.) seizes the reins of Robert Ludlum's bestselling Jason Bourne series, proving that even Ludlum's death can't stop the ex-CIA operative. David Webb, a mild-mannered Georgetown professor, harbors his old Bourne identity deep within his psyche except in moments of danger. A mysterious assassin, Khan, has targeted Webb. Seeking counsel from his old CIA handler, Alex Conklin, Webb arrives at Conklin's home to find him, along with Webb's psychiatrist and friend, Mo Panov, murdered. Unsurprisingly, it's a setup, and Webb is declared a rogue agent and the prime suspect. His only clue to the real killer is a pad of paper with a faint impression of the notation "NX 20." Meanwhile, in Reykjavik, preparations are underway for the upcoming summit on worldwide terrorism. Even the dimmest thriller reader will immediately intuit that Bourne, pursued by the world's leading intelligence agencies, will end up in Iceland confronting some evildoer out to wreak havoc on the international terror conference. And thus it comes to pass. Lustbader has wisely eschewed mimicking Ludlum's signature style short punchy paragraphs with lots of exclamation points. His own prose, often cliche-ridden ("Khan felt as if his brain was about to explode. He was shaken to his very foundation"), is perfectly serviceable, effectively conveying the myriad cinematic hairsbreadth escapes, crosses, double crosses, explosions, furious fisticuffs and careening plot twists. It's a hearty serving of meat and potatoes action adventure, just the sort of fare that both Ludlum's and Lustbader's fans relish.
It starts out slowly, but like all his writings ends up together and exciting.
It was a slow paced read...took too long to develop
Contrived & Played Out
Much of this story has already been told before and this feels like a rehash of an old plot line. The new twists are contrived and conflict resolution is trite and abrupt. The book is not poorly written, but the plot structure is not as compelling as other works in the genre.