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Don't bother. No, really, don't bother, you're just going to be disappointed
on 20 April 2017
First of all, I have to say that I have read and enjoyed all of Robert Ludlum's books, often more than once. Of them all, The Bourne Identity has to be (in my opinion) one of the best books ever written. Because I like his books so much, when the "started but only partially written, so finished off by carefully selected co-authors" books started to appear after Robert Ludlum's death, I pounced on them, expecting and hoping for more excellent entertainment.
The first two or three were OK - not just the continuing Bourne series, but also the Covert One series. You could still see the influence of the late master in the plots and storylines.
But that has to be where the compliments stop, especially for Mr Van Lustbader. He has taken what was a good story that maybe had a little bit more mileage left in it, and completely and utterly destroyed it. The basic premise for Jason Bourne's existence has been at best ignored, and at worst completely re-written (and not in a good way); the characters that Robert Ludlum created are dispensed with, often with no hint of a reference to them; new characters are arbitrarily made up to fit passages of the books, then just as arbitrarily removed; the plots are so insanely convoluted as to be completely unbelievable, never mind virtually incomprehensible; the timelines and references to the original "Bourne Identity" make no sense; and in a seemingly desperate attempt to "keep the action moving", Van Lustbader's Jason Bourne finds himself in an almost perpetual cycle of increasingly perilous situations, each one resulting in the most unlikely of near death experiences followed by a miraculous escape.
This presumably is mostly driven by a desire to keep the titles coming for future Jason Bourne movies (don't get me started on how bad I think they are), and if I had never read any of Robert Ludlum's work prior to these, maybe I would enjoy them and the films as a bit of escapist nonsense, but I didn't, so the recommendation has to be this - read "The Bourne Identity". If you enjoy that, then read the next two in the series, you know, the ones actually written by Robert Ludlum, and then stop, because if you don't then, like me, you'll just keep buying the next one in the hope that Eric Van Lustbader learns how to write a coherent, compelling and enjoyable novel, and really, he doesn't.