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Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Deception: A New Jason Bourne Novel    by Eric Van Lustbader order for
Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Deception
by Eric Van Lustbader
Order:  USA  Can
Grand Central, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In Eric Van Lustbader's latest Jason Bourne escapade, Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Deception, his hero is shot in the heart in Bali, shares adventures with a lovely lady in Spain and Egypt, and races to stop the onset of a new World War, while dodging further assassination attempts and seeking information about his origins. That's right, a typical Bourne thrill ride in all its anticipated cinematic glory.

The bad guys - U.S. Secretary of Defense Bud Halliday (who makes an unknowing deal with the devil) and Leonid Danilovich Arkadin (a product of Treadstone, believed dead after a long fall from a freighter but now busy with his takeover of the Eastern Brotherhood) - continue to plot against Bourne, determined to destroy him after he foiled their previous nefarious plans in Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Sanction. This time, Van Lustbader emphasizes Arkadin's humanity by fleshing out his back story.

Moira Trevor, who was with Jason in Bali, knows that he survived, a fact that's a well kept secret. She gets busy building her own risk management firm, Heartland, in direct competition with Black River, arousing the ire of her old boss Noah Petersen. But soon - after one of her new operatives brings her a lethal secret - Moira's on the run from assassins, accompanied by tech geek Humphry Bamber who developed 'a highly sophisticated statistical analysis program that can take into account millions of factors' for the bad guys.

In parallel with all this, an American airliner has been shot down over Egypt. Central Intelligence director Veronica Hart sends Soraya Moore to the scene, where she works in uneasy alliance with attractive Amun Chalthoum, head of al Mokhabarat (Egypt's national secret police), and with whom she has a history. They find evidence that points to an Iranian ground-to-air missile having downed the plane, moving the world 'a giant step closer to war.'

Is war averted? You know it is but read Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Deception to find out how. This series only gets better and there's more to anticipate as we see Treadstone rising phoenix-like from its ashes. This time, I really enjoyed the locations as well as the touches of mysticism (via Balinese holy man Suparwiti who saves Bourne's life, feeds him clues about his past, and tells him that he's under the protection of Shiva) that Van Lustbader has added to his high octane thriller mix. It will make a spectacular movie!

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