Book review: The Bourne Supremacy

May 21, 2009

Title: The Bourne Supremacy
Author: Robert Ludlum
Pages: 679

This is the second book in Robert Ludlum’s trilogy about Jason Bourne, an ex-operative of America’s CIA who lost his memory. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find this books predecessor The Bourne Identity and so had to start reading the trilogy from the middle.

I found the plot a bit confusing at first but Ludlum provides enough background so that it isn’t really necessary to read the first book of the trilogy to understand the story. I had watched the movie and that probably helped.

The plot is mostly based in Asia (Hong Kong, China, etc). A high-ranking Chinese official is planning a hostile takeover and American and British intelligence are concerned that he might throw the whole region into a major war that could escalate into a world war and accordingly decide that he must be killed, or at least quietly warned to desist.

Jason Bourne (or David Webb, which is his real name) has recovered most of his memory although he is still mentally fragile. He lives a quiet life as an Assistant Professor at an American University. Meanwhile, a hired-killer in Asia has been terrorising the region by performing high-profile assassinations and claiming to be Jason Bourne.

The American government decides to use the real Jason Bourne to capture his impostor, who they hope to use to get to the Chinese official. Unfortunately, Bourne is very suspicious of the government and will most likely refuse to come out of retirement and start killing again. Therefore American and British intelligence create an elaborate setup to deceive Bourne and get them to do his bidding.

Like most of Ludlum’s books The Bourne Supremacy was a bit too long. Despite its length it is still better than most of the crap found in the thriller genre these days.

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