Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Legacy
Eric Van Lustbader
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Buy *Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Legacy* online

Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Legacy
Eric Van Lustbader
St. Martin's Press
560 pages
March 2005
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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In the best-selling tradition of Robert Ludlumís The Bourne Identity comes Eric Van Lustbaderís The Bourne Legacy, in which the Bourne saga is continued most interestingly. When the novel opens, readers see David Webb, a mild-mannered professor at Georgetown University, still struggling to deal with his memory lapses, as well his frighteningly deadly Jason Bourne-psyche that tends to take over whenever thereís danger in the air. When a sniper attempts to kill him on the university grounds, Webb instantly metamorphs into Bourne and hurries over to consult with his former CIA mentor Alex Conklin at his estate, only to discover Conklin murdered and himself framed for it. Before long, Bourne is on the run with not only CIA and law enforcement officials around the world on his track, but also a deadly assassin named Khan who is determined to kill him for far more personal reasons.

Meanwhile, there is heightened sense of danger and alertness in Reykjavik, where a global terrorism summit is set to take place with all major world leaders in attendance. Struggling with his personal demons from the past and once again playing his own game of cat-and-mouse with his killers, Bourne goes to Europe where he attempts to piece together this complex mystery with his only clue: a piece of paper with "NX 20" written on it, little realizing heís become a mere pawn in a megalomaniacís quest for power.

With nail-biting suspense and heart-pounding chases galore, Eric Van Lustbader with great triumph continues Ludlumís immortal Bourne series. In typical Ludlum style, the novel begins explosively and retains the breathless pace throughout, a process further enhanced by Lustbaderís portrayal of Bourne as not just a master assassin, but also as a character struggling with his own dual personality - that of a happily married middle-aged professor vying with that of his deadly, rogue assassin one.

Beyond the usual hijinks including car chases, incredible escapes, breathless feats of action and more, one interesting track this story takes is to explore Webbís tragic past in Cambodia and how it converts him into the killer Bourne. Also, Khan is an incredibly unpredictable character who contributes significantly to the narrative and whose love-hate relationship with Bourne proves to be pivotal to the entire plot and its most emotional facet, as well. Following Ludlumís footsteps, Lustbader soon moves the narrative into Bourneís familiar hunting grounds of Europe, which come alive through his words. The author also provides readers with an interesting and sensitive look at the Chechen-Russian conflict. Overall, fans of the Bourne series books will find in author Erin Van Lustbader a very worthy and more than capable writer to continue this splendid saga, and hopefully more such wonderfully action-packed stories with serious emotional overtones will be the outcome.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Rashmi Srinivas, 2004

Also written or created by Robert Ludlum:

Also by Eric Van Lustbader:

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