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Date first published2 August 2004Bourne Legacy cover
ISBN Number0 752 86819 5 h/b
0 752 86561 7 p/b
Page Count453 h/b
h/b= hardback : p/b= paperback

The Bourne Legacy


Jason Bourne is dead. However, he lives on in the guise of University lecturer David Webb. For Jason Bourne covert ops CIA, is an agent of the past, until one day an assassin tries to kill Webb on Campus. The Bourne persona reasserts itself and takes cover. The assassin is somewhat shocked at missing his target, and the way in which the target reacts. So the hunt begins. But who is the hunted, and who is the hunter?

Bourne having escaped from the campus heads towards his old CIA handler and friend Alex Conklin. He arrives to find Conklin dead, and makes the mistake of leaving his prints on a half filled brandy glass. Bourne realizes that he has been set up, when the police arrive at the murder scene. he escapes them only to run into the mysterious assassin, and a running battle ensues. The CIA shocked at the death of Conklin, and fearing that Bourne is the killer order his death, without questions. The chase is on, with Bourne seeking out the killers identity and also the reasons for wanting him dead, and in the process discovers a murderous plot by the Chechens to change the face of the world.

Can Bourne survive long enough to find the killer, when all about him are not what they seem.



I have to say that I started the book with some trepidation. Could the author match up to Ludlums greatest creation. I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It has an edgy tension, is packed with action, and has one or two very neat twists.

The main protagonists in this story are Muslims (again, can't we find some other groups bent on global power?) who plan to assassinate the world leaders at a conference in Iceland. However to add confusion the leader attempts to set up Bourne, and have him killed. The identity of the the assassin is spelt out quite early on, but for real Bourne fans they should spot the links very early on.

The book has the feel of the first Bourne story, without the complication of the memory loss, although the memory loss does play a small part. it also shows how Webb was misled about the death of his family. Events which lead to the creation of Jason Bourne, assassin.

It's also nice to read a book from an American author that doesn't rely purely on technology, and the lead characters accidently meeting another character to move the story on (for an example of this see Teeth of the Tiger by Tom Clancy). The plot has been worked out properly with the various players working logically to pick up a cold trail. It comes as quite a shock to find out how the assassin finds Bourne in Budapest.

Having read the book, I can't quite decide which is the main thread of the story, is it the destruction of the world leaders, or the battle between Bourne and the assassin. I'll leave you to decide. The book could have quite happily dropped the conference and the Chechen plot and still been a good book, perhaps that plot line should be considered icing on the cake!

I have been somewhat vague about some of the plot details, mainly because I don't want to spoil the fun of working out who is working for who, and why. I have also kept character names out of the book to stop you second guessing the action. A good novel that stands up well to it's three prequels. Well worth the money, and worthy of Ludlum himself.


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