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on 7 December 2013
The Ludlum originals were pretty far-fetched, but these sequels, of which this is the second, really take the biscuit when it comes to ludicrous fantasy.
The author clearly decided he wasn't up to continuing with the relationship between Bourne and Marie (which was one of the strengths of the original Bourne trilogy). In his first attempt (Bourne Legacy) he simply sends Marie and the children off to a safe house at the outset and then hardly mentions them again. In this one, he takes the easy way out and kills her off (from pneumonia). Neither does he follow up the interesting part of Legacy (the discovery that Bourne's son by his first marriage actually survived). The older son is never mentioned in this book.
All we get are endless sadistic descriptions of extreme brutality. I suppose there must be rather sad people out there who enjoy reading page after page describing horrific injuries. But I have to admit I find that sort of thing desperately unappealing. I suppose I could take it if the story were compelling. But it isn't. It is complete nonsense. Yes, we get the usual stuff about the CIA wanting to kill Bourne (that becomes more and more difficult to believe with each story since they all end up with him saving America). And, as usual, there is a genuine fiend out there who also wants to murder Bourne. Carlos is now dead, so we have to find someone else with a motive for killing Bourne. This time it is a terrorist whose father was seriously injured by Bourne and whose sister is thought to have been killed by him. We are given no explanation of why Bourne had done those things. I suppose we are meant to accept that his comfortable life as a harmless university professor (as he was when Ludlum left him) came to an en end and he resumed his career as a hired killer for the USA.
Not only is Bourne now the chameleon we always knew him to be, but he, and the evil terrorist, are now apparently capable of changing their appearances so successfully that they can actually pretend, successfully, to be other real people. Close friends and relations, we are led to believe, are completely taken in. This is nonsense on a grand scale.
What is really sad is that sadistic, nasty, nonsensical books of this sort have readers who apparently like them. I do hope I never have the misfortune to meet anyone who admires this beastly rubbish.