Friday, June 29, 2007

The Bourne Betrayal - Eric van Lustbader, Robert Ludlum

The Bourne Betrayal
Eric Van Lustbader – from characters created by Robert Ludlum
Warner Books

Spy Thriller

NOTE: The last book I read in the Bourne series was THE BOURNE IDENTITY. I can only assume that this review contains spoilers for readers who have not read the previous books in the series.

The novel hits the ground running, with Martin Lindros, a deputy director of Central Intelligence, on his first field mission in years. He’s been tracking the movements of a possible terrorist cell, said to be buying up components needed to make and detonate nuclear weapons. His search leads him to an isolated area in Africa, where his instruments show gamma radiation readings. The dead body that shows classic signs of radiation poisoning is a good clue, too. Before Lindros and his men can take off, they’re attacked and Lindros is taken hostage. It’s all just the first set of moves in a global terrorist chess game.

Jason Bourne is still trying to put his fractured psyche back together, this time with the help of a cutting-edge therapist who assures him that he can, at least, suppress the memories that haunt Bourne in dreams and waking flashbacks. When Bourne hears that Lindros, his only solid friend in the organization, has been taken by terrorists, Bourne immediately mounts a rescue operation. This operation goes surprisingly well, and he manages to retrieve Lindros. Something still isn’t right about this scenario, but Bourne can’t tell if it’s his paranoia talking, or sound reason. As they say, it’s not paranoia when everyone really is out to get you.

This is one of those great, edge-of-your-seat, action adventure spy novels. The action takes place all over the world. There’s a huge cast of characters, and an intricate plot to be unraveled. As the reader follows Bourne and experiences most of the book from his perspective, it makes it easy to empathize with him. Bourne is a hero who is flawed emotionally, and maybe mentally, too. But when it comes to action and cutting-edge (or maybe even futuristic) technologies, he’s the best there is. If you’re new to Jason Bourne, this is a fine place to start. But you may find that you want to go back and read the previous novels, too. I know I do.

Rating: 8
June 2007
ISBN# 978-0-446-58037-3 (hardcover)


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