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ROBERT LUDLUM'S THE BOURNE IMPERATIVE by Eric Van Lustbader

ROBERT LUDLUM'S THE BOURNE IMPERATIVE

By Eric Van Lustbader

Pub Date: June 5th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-4465-6447-2
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Jason Bourne is alive and well, but this, the 10th installment of the franchise, is tired.

The prolific Van Lustbader’s (Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Dominion, 2011, etc.) latest Bourne is tedious. The prologue: A man is running, a woman pursuing, across a snowbound landscape in Sweden. They engage in hollow dialogue, punctuated by witless description, then proceed to the killing. While fishing and discussing conspiracies with his friend Christien Norén, Bourne snags a body, lifts it from the water. Flash to the Oval Office. The secretary of defense is briefing a dubious president, who is asking pointed questions about the health of Treadstone directors Peter Marks and Soraya Moore and checking on Dick Richards, his eyes in the spy shop. We glimpse Marks and Moore back in the office, then overhear a conversation at Mossad headquarters: Rebeka, a prized agent, has gone rogue; Ilan Halevy, “the Babylonian,” is sent to kill her. It is not long before Bourne becomes reacquainted with Rebeka; the man fished from the icy waters regains his memory; and the mystery deepens about the Israeli research facility in Lebanon. We become acquainted with financier Don Fernando, “sometime partner” of Norén. He has suspicions about Core Energy’s CEO, Tom Brick. A shadowy character identified as Nicodemo is doing Brick’s dirty laundry—extorting, killing. Before long Bourne and Rebeka are chasing Nicodemo from one side of the Atlantic while Moore and Marks try to net him on the other. The Chinese have a stake in the Israeli research, Dick Richards is tricky, and a Mexican cartel boss, who, like almost everybody, wants Bourne dead, may have the funds, the smarts and the guts to outspend and outmaneuver—on and on it spins.

A carousel of stereotypes, devoid of suspense.