Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Bourne Deception by Eric Van Lustbader & Robert Ludlum

The Bourne Deception  by  Eric Van Lustbader & Robert Ludlum


 The Bourne Deception 
by 
Eric Van Lustbader & Robert Ludlum

Shadowy master assassin Jason Bourne spends too much time offstage in bestseller Lustbader's cliché-ridden fourth thriller in the Ludlum franchise (after The Bourne Sanction). Having pushed his latest archenemy, Russian Leonid Arkadin, off a tanker into the ocean, Bourne assumes his foe must be dead. Not long after, Arkadin ambushes Bourne, hitting him with a rifle shot that would've killed a normal man. Seriously but not mortally wounded, Bourne decides to keep his survival a secret. The duel between the pair gets submerged in a plot line about a corrupt U.S. defense secretary's efforts to use the downing of a civilian airliner in Egypt by an Iranian missile as a casus belli. The action sequences and inevitable betrayals are old hat.


The Bourne Sanction by Eric Van Lustbader & Robert Ludlum

The Bourne Sanction  by  Eric Van Lustbader & Robert Ludlum


The Bourne Sanction 
by 
Eric Van Lustbader & Robert Ludlum

Globe-trotting secret agent Jason Bourne returns in the third installment under the helm of Lustbader, who struggles to captivate as convincingly and effectively as Ludlum did in the original novels.


The Bourne Betrayal by Eric Van Lustbader & Robert Ludlum


The Bourne Betrayal  by Eric Van Lustbader & Robert Ludlum

The Bourne Betrayal 
by
Eric Van Lustbader & Robert Ludlum

     In Lustbader's workmanlike second novel to continue the saga of Robert Ludlum's amnesiac assassin and spy (after 2004's The Bourne Legacy), Jason Bourne joins the war on terror. Troubled by visions of a woman dying in his arms, Bourne seeks psychiatric help, unaware that the doctor is an imposter who has tampered with the rogue agent's already messy and incomplete memories. That mental sabotage is part of a diabolical plan by Islamic terrorists to strike at Washington, D.C., led by Karim, a human chameleon who has fooled the CIA—and Bourne—into believing that he's actually deputy CIA director Martin Lindros. 
      Aided by an attractive fellow agent who manages to overcome her distrust of Bourne, he races the clock to uncover the traitor within the intelligence community. Lustbader is less successful than Ludlum in dramatizing Bourne's inner torment—a feature that distinguished the character from many similar thriller heroes


The Bourne Legacy by Eric Van Lustbader & Robert Ludlum

The Bourne Legacy  by Eric Van Lustbader & Robert Ludlum

The Bourne Legacy 
by
Eric Van Lustbader & Robert Ludlum


      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. 

The Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum

The Bourne Ultimatum  by Robert Ludlum


The Bourne Ultimatum 
by
Robert Ludlum

The literary faults and stylistic excesses that characterized The Icarus Agenda , The Gemini Contenders and other of Ludlum's works are present in his latest mammoth thriller, but fans will nonetheless cheer the return of his most popular character, David Webb, aka Jason Bourne, the assassin who never was. When the international terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal penetrates his civilian identity, Webb must again assume the Bourne persona to protect his wife and small children. In their renewed struggle, the two master assassins uncover the revived existence of Medusa, the sinister alliance that originally led to the establishment of the Bourne identity. In action that moves from the U.S. to Montserrat to Paris before concluding in Moscow, Bourne and his allies prove incredibly inept, barely escaping the Jackal's traps and failing in their repeated attempts to ambush him