The Janson Directive

( 53 )

Overview

"One of the world's greatest men has been kidnapped." "Nobel laureate, international financier, and philanthropist Peter Novak - a billionaire who has committed his life and fortune to fostering democracy around the world through his Liberty Foundation - has been captured by the forces led by the near-mythical terrorist known as the Caliph. Holding Novak in a near-impenetrable fortress, the Caliph has refused to negotiate for his release, planning instead to brutally execute him in a matter of days." "Running out of time and hope, Novak's people
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Overview

"One of the world's greatest men has been kidnapped." "Nobel laureate, international financier, and philanthropist Peter Novak - a billionaire who has committed his life and fortune to fostering democracy around the world through his Liberty Foundation - has been captured by the forces led by the near-mythical terrorist known as the Caliph. Holding Novak in a near-impenetrable fortress, the Caliph has refused to negotiate for his release, planning instead to brutally execute him in a matter of days." "Running out of time and hope, Novak's people turn to a man with a long history of defeating impossible odds: Paul Janson. For decades, Janson was an operative and assassin whose skills and exploits made him a legend in the notorious U.S. covert agency Consular Operations. No longer able to live with the brutality, bloodshed, and personal loss that marked his career, Janson has retired from the field and nothing could lure him back. Nothing except Peter Novak, a man who once saved Janson's life when everyone else was powerless to help." "With the considerable resources of the Liberty Foundation at his disposal, Janson hastily assembles a crack extraction team, setting in motion an ingenious rescue operation. But the operation goes horribly wrong and Janson is marked for death, the target of a "beyond salvage" order issued from the highest level of the government." "Now he is running for his life, pursued by Jessica Kincaid, a young agent of astonishing ability who - as a student of Janson's own lethal arsenal of tactics and techniques - can anticipate and counter his every move. To survive, Janson must outrace a conspiracy that has gone beyond the control of its originators. To win, he must counter it with a conspiracy of his own." With mere days, perhaps only hours, remaining, and shadowed by a secret that links Janson's violent life with that of the visionary peacemaker Peter Novak, Janson's only hope is to uncover the nearly unimaginable truth behind these events - a truth that has the power to foment wars, topple governments, and change the very course of history.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
To save the life of a man who once saved his, Peter Janson must smuggle himself and three other agents into the seemingly impregnable fortress of his friend's terrorist kidnappers. After his plans run dreadfully awry, our hero vows revenge, clearly unaware that he has become the next target. Kirkus Reviews called this posthumous work "Ludlum's best since his masterpiece of paranoia, The Bourne Identity."
Publishers Weekly
Ludlum died in March 2001, but here he is again, back with yet another posthumous thriller. Such books rarely live up to the author's standards, but this one is different: it's vintage Ludlum-big, brawny and loaded with surprises. The hero is Paul Janson, a private security consultant who retired a few years ago after a notorious career as the U.S. government's go-to guy for nasty jobs no one else was willing to take. Against his better judgment, Janson accepts an assignment to rescue Peter Novak, a Nobel Peace Prize-winning philanthropist and international troubleshooter held captive by Islamic extremists on an island in the Indian Ocean. Janson pulls off the stunning rescue, but as they make their escape, Novak dies in a fiery explosion-or does he? Janson has his doubts; within hours, he finds himself targeted by separate groups of assassins for reasons that baffle him. As he zigzags his way across Europe, leaving piles of bodies at each stop, he begins to wonder who Novak really is. The answer he eventually discovers provides readers with one of Ludlum's most outrageous plot twists in years. Extremely engaging and agonizingly suspenseful, Ludlum's plot bolts from scene to scene and locale to locale-Hungary, Amsterdam, London, New York City-never settling for one bombshell when it can drop four or five. If this wild, unpredictable and colorfully cast novel is Ludlum's swan song (he supposedly left behind notes for several thrillers), it's a memorable one indeed. (Oct. 15) Forecast: Readers in the know will note that this is unadulterated Ludlum-a step up from Robert Ludlum's The Paris Option and Robert Ludlum's The Cassandra Complex. Major print and television advertising campaigns are planned, and sales should be above par for recent Ludlum releases. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
It's bad enough when a man who once saved Peter Janson's life is about to be executed by terrorists. But things get worse when Janson's rescue efforts go off course. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Third postmortal novel from the archives of the amazing Ludlum (1927-2001), who clearly took his Toshiba laptop along to that Orient Express in the sky. This latest shows a far more sober Ludlum than 2001's madhouse The Sigma Protocol, while even The Paris Option (2002), with coauthor Gayle Lynds, points to a cooling paranoia and twilight lust for description. Here, we get a marvel of stunning physical detail, its sentences geared with lightly oiled precision parts that speed the action forward microincrementally, click by click. A full chapter is given to the midnight air currents a parachutist faces in cloud and fog after he free-falls for four miles into the villain's den. Legendary Hungarian financier and philanthropist Peter Novak, Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder and director of the Liberty Foundation, which has resolved ten international conflicts around the globe, has been kidnapped by the Kagama Liberation Front on the island of Anura in the Indian Ocean. The KLF plans to behead him on the Sunni holy day commemorating the sacrifice of Abraham. And no ransom will be accepted, since the Caliph masterminding the KLF's corps of suicide bombers wants greater notoriety. Ludlum died before 9/11, but his plot is hugely prescient, combining Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and Palestinian martyrs. Liberty Foundation calls in Paul Janson, former Navy SEAL and master nightfighter for Consular Operations (the State Department's covert branch), who has retired to run his own business. But Liberty Foundation once saved Janson's life, while a suicide bomber of Caliph's killed Janson's pregnant wife. So Janson gathers a trio of supremely capable covert-ops like himself to infiltrate Caliph'simpregnable Stone Palace and rescue Novak. When the mission goes down in horror, sabotaged, Janson vows vengeance, not knowing that he himself is the one who must be destroyed-and by his home team, among others. Ludlum's best since his masterpiece of paranoia, The Bourne Identity.
From the Publisher
"Ludlum's best since his masterpiece The Bourne Identity." -Kirkus Reviews

"Finely crafted...The novel's action scenes are as thrilingly staged on the page as they'll inevitably be on the big screen." -Entertainment Weekly

"One heck of a thriller...loaded with all the intrigue, paranoia, and real-life parallels that made Ludlum famous." -People

"Ludlum stuffs more surprises into his novels than any other six-pack of thriller writers combined."-The New York Times

"Ludlum pulls out all the stops, and dazzles his readers."-Chicago Tribune

"Packed with all the classic Ludlum elements...the intricately engineered plot thunders forward at breakneck pace. Bottom Line: Perfectly executed."-People

"Robert Ludlum continues to jolt his readers with fresh juice...a page-turner of non-stop action that should leave his fans begging for more."-New York Post

"Welcome to Robert Ludlum's world...fast pacing, tight plotting, international intrigue."

-Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Dazzling...a clean launch of the 80's spy novel into a thrilling action/adventure web of intrigue mean for the twenty-first century."-Publishers Weekly

"Reading a Ludlum novel is like watching a James Bond film...slickly paced...all consuming."

-Entertainment Weekly

"Ludlum in light years-beyond his literary competition in piling plot twist upon plot twist, until the mesmerized reader is held captive...He dominates the field in strong, tightly plotted, action-drenched thrillers."-Chicago Tribune

"Readers will remain in the dark right up until the explosive climax."-The San Francisco Chronicle

0"Gripping...Robust writing and a breakneck pace."-Boston Herald

"Don't ever begin a Ludlum novel if you have to go to work the next day."—Chicago Sun-Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312945152
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2008
  • Series: Paul Janson Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: $9.99 Premium Edition
  • Pages: 768
  • Sales rank: 150,048
  • Product dimensions: 4.26 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Ludlum was the author of 25 thriller novels, including The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum—the books on which the international hit movies were based—and The Sigma Protocol. He was also the creator of the Covert-One series. Born in New York City, Ludlum received a B.A. from Wesleyan University, and before becoming an author, he was a United States Marine, a theater actor and producer.

Biography

Robert Ludlum was the author of 21 novels, each a New York Times bestseller. There are more than 210 million of his books in print, and they have been translated into 32 languages. In addition to the Jason Bourne series—The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum—he was the author of The Scarlatti Inheritance, The Chancellor Manuscript, and The Apocalypse Watch, among many others. Mr. Ludlum passed away in March, 2001.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Jonathan Ryder and Michael Shepherd
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 25, 1927
    1. Date of Death:
      March 12, 2001
    2. Place of Death:
      Naples, Florida

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The worldwide headquarters of the Harnett Corporation occupied the top two floors of a sleek black-glass tower on Dearborn Street, in Chicago’s Loop. Harnett was an international construction firm, but not the kind that put up skyscrapers in American metropolises. Most of its projects were outside the United States; along with larger corporations such as Bechtel, Vivendi, and Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux, it contracted for projects like dams, wastewater treatment plants, and gas turbine power stations—unglamorous but necessary infrastructure. Such projects posed civil-engineering challenges rather than aesthetic ones, but they also required an ability to work the ever shifting zone between public and private sectors. Third World countries, pressured by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to sell off publicly owned assets, routinely sought bidders for telephone systems, water and power utilities, railways, and mines. As ownership changed hands, new construction work was required, and narrowly focused firms like the Harnett Corporation had come into their own.

"To see Ross Harnett," the man told the receptionist. "The name’s Paul Janson."

The receptionist, a young man with freckles and red hair, nodded, and notified the chairman’s office. He glanced at the visitor without interest. Another middle-aged white guy with a yellow tie. What was there to see?

For Janson, it was a point of pride that he seldom got a second look. Though he was athletic and solidly built, his appearance was unremarkable, utterly nondescript. With his creased forehead and short-cropped steel-gray hair, he looked his five decades. Whether on Wall Street or the Bourse, he knew how to make himself all but invisible. Even his expensively tailored suit, of gray nailhead worsted, was perfect camouflage, as appropriate to the corporate jungle as the green and black face paint he once wore in Vietnam was to the real jungle. One would have to be a trained observer to detect that it was the man’s shoulders, not the customary shoulder pads, that filled out the suit. And one would have to have spent some time with him to notice the way his slate eyes took everything in, or his quietly ironic air.

"It’s going to be just a couple of minutes," the receptionist told him blandly, and Janson drifted off to look at the gallery of photographs in the reception area. They showed that the Harnett Corporation was currently working on water and wastewater networks in Bolivia, dams in Venezuela, bridges in Saskatchewan, power stations in Egypt. These were the images of a prosperous construction company. And it was indeed prospering—or had been until recently.

The company’s vice president of operations, Steven Burt, believed it ought to be doing much better. There were aspects of the recent downturn that aroused his suspicions, and he had prevailed upon Paul Janson to meet with Ross Harnett, the firm’s chairman and CEO. Janson had reservations about taking on another client: though he had been a corporate-security consultant for only the past five years, he had immediately established a reputation for being unusually effective and discreet, which meant that the demand for his services exceeded both his time and his interest. He would not have considered this job if Steven Burt had not been a friend from way back. Like him, Burt had had another life, one that he’d left far behind once he entered the civilian world. Janson was reluctant to disappoint him. He would, at least, take the meeting.

Harnett’s executive assistant, a cordial thirtyish woman, strode through the reception area and escorted him to Harnett’s office. The space was modern and spare, with floor-to-ceiling windows facing south and east. Filtered through the building’s polarized glass skin, the afternoon sunlight was reduced to a cool glow. Harnett was sitting behind his desk, talking on the telephone, and the woman paused in the doorway with a questioning look. Harnett gestured for Janson to have a seat, with a hand movement that looked almost summoning. "Then we’re just going to have to renegotiate all the contracts with Ingersoll-Rand," Harnett was saying. He was wearing a pale blue monogrammed shirt with a white collar; the sleeves were rolled up around thick forearms. "If they’re not going to match the price points they promised, our position has to be that we’re free to go elsewhere for the parts. Screw ’em. Contract’s void."

Janson sat down on the black leather chair opposite, which was a couple of inches lower than Harnett’s chair—a crude bit of stagecraft that, to Janson, signaled insecurity rather than authority. Janson glanced at his watch openly, swallowed a gorge of annoyance, and looked around. Twenty-seven stories up, Harnett’s corner office had a sweeping view of Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago. A high chair, a high floor: Harnett wanted there to be no mistaking that he had scaled the heights.

Harnett himself was a fireplug of a man, short and powerfully built, who spoke with a gravelly voice. Janson had heard that Harnett prided himself on making regular tours of the company’s active projects, during which he would talk with the foremen as if he had been one himself. Certainly he had the swagger of somebody who had started out working on construction sites and rose to the corner office by the sweat of his brow. But that was not exactly how it happened. Janson knew that Harnett held an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern and that his expertise lay in financial engineering rather than in construction engineering. He had put together the Harnett Corporation by acquiring its subsidiaries at a time when they were strapped for cash and seriously under-priced. Because construction was a deeply cyclical business, Harnett had recognized, well-timed equity swaps made it possible to build a cash-rich corporation at bargain-basement prices.

Finally, Harnett hung up the phone and silently regarded Janson for a few moments. "Stevie tells me you’ve got a real high-class reputation," he said in a bored tone. "Maybe I know some of your other clients. Who have you worked with?"

Janson gave him a quizzical look. Was he being interviewed? "Most of the clients that I accept," he said, pausing after the word, "come recommended to me by other clients." It seemed crass to spell it out: Janson was not the one to supply references or recommendations; it was the prospective clients who had to come recommended. "My clients can, in some circumstances, discuss my work with others. My own policy has always been across-the-board nondisclosure."

"You’re like a wooden Indian, aren’t you?" Harnett sounded annoyed.

"I’m sorry?"

"I’m sorry, too, because I have a pretty good notion that we’re just wasting each other’s time. You’re a busy guy, I’m a busy guy, we don’t either of us have time to sit here jerking each other off. I know Stevie’s got it in his head that we’re a leaky boat and taking on water. That’s not how it is. Fact is, it’s the nature of the business that it has a lot of ups and downs. Stevie’s still too green to understand. I built this company, I know what happens in every office and every construction yard in twenty-four countries. To me, it’s a real question whether we need a security consultant in the first place. And the one thing I have heard about you is that your services don’t come cheap. I’m a great believer in corporate frugality. Zero-based budgeting is gospel as far as I’m concerned. Try to follow me here—every penny we spend has to justify itself. If it doesn’t add value, it’s not happening. That’s one corporate secret I don’t mind letting you in on." Harnett leaned back, like a pasha waiting for a servant to pour him tea. "But feel free to change my mind, OK? I’ve said my piece. Now I’m happy to listen."

Janson smiled wanly. He would have to apologize to Steven Burt—Janson doubted whether anyone well disposed toward him had called him "Stevie" in his life—but clearly wires had got crossed here. Janson accepted few of the offers he received, and he certainly did not need this one. He would extricate himself as swiftly as he could. "I really don’t know what to say, Mr. Harnett. It sounds from your end like you’ve got everything under control."

Harnett nodded without smiling, acknowledging an observation of the self-evident. "I run a tight ship, Mr. Janson," he said with smug condescension. "Our worldwide operations are damn well protected, always have been, and we’ve never had a problem. Never had a leak, a defection, not even any serious theft. And I think I’m in the best position to know whereof I speak—can we agree on that?"

"A CEO who doesn’t know what’s going on in his own company isn’t really running the show, is he?" Janson replied equably.

"Exactly," Harnett said. "Exactly." His gaze settled on the intercom of his telephone console. "Look, you come highly recommended—I mean, Stevie couldn’t have spoken of you more highly, and I’m sure you’re quite good at what you do. Appreciate that you came by to see us, and as I say, I’m only sorry we wasted your time…."

Janson noted his use of the inclusive "we" and its evident subtext: sorry that a member of our senior management inconvenienced us both. No doubt Steven Burt would be subjected to some withering corporate scorn later on. Janson decided to allow himself a few parting words after all, if only for his friend’s sake.

"Not a bit," he said, rising to his feet and shaking Harnett’s hand across the desk. "Just glad to know everything’s shipshape." He cocked his head and added, almost incidentally: "Oh, listen, as to that ‘sealed bid’ you just submitted for the Uruguay project?"

"What do you know about it?" Harnett’s eyes were suddenly watchful; a nerve had been struck.

"Ninety-three million five hundred and forty thousand, was it?"

Harnett reddened. "Hold it. I approved that bid only yesterday morning. How the hell did you—"

"If I were you, I’d be worrying about the fact that your French competitor, Suez Lyonnaise, knows the figures, too. I think you’ll discover that their bid will be precisely two percent lower."

"What?" Harnett erupted with volcanic fury. "Did Steve Burt tell you this?"

"Steven Burt gave me no information whatsoever.

Anyway, he’s in operations, not accounting or business affairs—does he even know the specifics of the bid?"

Harnett blinked twice. "No," he said after a pause.

"There’s no way he could know. Goddammit, there’s no way anyone could know. It was sent by encrypted e-mail from our bean counters to the Uruguayan ministry."

"And yet people do know these things. Because this won’t be the first time you’ve been narrowly outbid this year, will it? In fact, you’ve been burned almost a dozen times in the past nine months. Eleven of your fifteen bids were rejected. Like you were saying, it’s a business with a lot of ups and downs."

Harnett’s cheeks were aflame, but Janson proceeded to chat in a collegial tone. "Now, in the case of Vancouver, there were other considerations. Heck, they had reports from the municipal engineers that they found plasticizers in the concrete used for the pilings. Made it easy to cast, but weakened its structural integrity. Not your fault, of course—your specs were perfectly clear there. How were you to know that the subcontractor bribed your site inspector to falsify his report? An underling takes a measly five-thousand-dollar bribe, and now you’re out in the cold on a hundred-million-dollar project. Pretty funny, huh? On the other hand, you’ve had worse luck with some of your own under-the-table payments. I mean, if you’re wondering what went wrong with the La Paz deal…"

"Yes?" Harnett prompted urgently. He stood up with unnatural rigidity, as if frozen.

"Let’s just say Raffy rides again. Your manager believed Rafael Nuñez when he told him that he’d make sure the bribe reached the minister of the interior. Of course, it never did. You chose the wrong intermediary, simple as that. Raffy Nuñez took a lot of companies for a ride in the nineties. Most of your competitors are wise to him now. They were laughing their asses off when they saw your guy dining at the La Paz Cabana, tossing down tequilas with Raffy, because they knew exactly what was going to happen. But what the hey— at least you tried, right? So what if your operating margin is down thirty percent this year? It’s only money, right? Isn’t that what your shareholders are always saying?"

As Janson spoke, he noticed that Harnett’s face had gone from flushed to deathly pale. "Oh, that’s right— they haven’t been saying that, have they?" Janson continued. "In fact, a bunch of major stockholders are looking for another company—Vivendi, Kendrick, maybe Bechtel—to orchestrate a hostile takeover. So look on the bright side. If they have their way, none of this will be your problem anymore." He pretended to ignore Harnett’s sharp intake of breath. "But I’m sure I’m only telling you what you already know."

Harnett looked dazed, panicked; through the vast expanse of polarized glass, muted rays of sun picked out the beads of cold sweat on his forehead. "Fuck a duck," he murmured. Now he was looking at Janson the way a drowning man looks at a life raft. "Name your price," he said.

"Come again?"

"Name your goddamn price," Harnett said. "I need you." He grinned, aiming to disguise his desperation with a show of joviality. "Steve Burt told me you were the best, and you sure as shit are, that’s obvious. You know I was just yanking your chain before. Now, listen, big guy, you are not leaving this room before you and I come to an agreement. We clear about this?" Perspiration had begun to darken his shirt in the areas beneath his arms and around his collar. "Because we are going to do a deal here."

"I don’t think so," Janson said genially. "It’s just that I’ve decided against taking the job. That’s one luxury I have as a consultant working alone: I get to decide which clients I take. But really—best of luck with everything. Nothing like a good proxy fight to get the blood racing, right?"

Harnett let out a burst of fake-sounding laughter and clapped his hands together. "I like your style," he said. "Good negotiating tactics. OK, OK, you win. Tell me what you want."

Janson shook his head, smiling, as if Harnett had said something funny, and made his way to the door. Just before he left the office, he stopped and turned. "One tip, though—gratis," he said. "Your wife knows." It would have been indelicate to say the name of Harnett’s Venezuelan mistress, so Janson simply added, obliquely but unmistakably: "About Caracas, I mean." Janson gave him a meaningful look: no judgment implied; he was, speaking as one professional to another, merely identifying a potential point of vulnerability.

Small red spots appeared on Harnett’s cheeks, and he seemed stricken with nausea: it was the look of a man contemplating a ruinously expensive divorce on top of a proxy fight he was likely to lose. "I’m willing to talk stock options," he called after Janson.

But the consultant was already making his way down the hall toward the elevator bank. He had not minded seeing the blowhard squirm; by the time he reached the lobby, though, he was filled with a sense of sourness, of time wasted, of a larger futility.

A voice from so long ago—another life—echoed faintly in his head. And this is what gives meaning to your life? Phan Nguyen asked that, in a thousand different ways. It was his favorite question. Janson could see, even now, the small, intelligent eyes; the broad, weathered face; the slender, childlike arms. Everything about America seemed to engage his interrogator’s curiosity, with equal parts fascination and revulsion. And this is what gives meaning to your life? Janson shook his head: Doom on you, Nguyen.

As Janson stepped into his limousine, which had been idling on Dearborn just outside the building’s lobby, he decided to go straight to O’Hare; there was an earlier flight to Los Angeles he could catch. If only Nguyen’s questions could be as easily left behind.

Two uniformed women were standing behind a counter as he entered the Platinum Club lounge of Pacifica Airlines. The uniforms and the counter were both the same blue-gray hue. The women’s jackets featured the sort of epaulets to which the major airlines were so devoted. In another place and time, Janson reflected, they would have rewarded extensive battle-field experience.

One of the women had been speaking to a jowly, heavyset man who wore an open blue blazer and a beeper clipped to his belt. A glint of badge metal from his inside coat pocket told Janson that he was an FAA inspector, no doubt taking his break where there was human scenery to be enjoyed. They broke off when Janson stepped forward.

"Your boarding card, please," the woman said, turning to him. She had a powdery tan that ended somewhere below her chin, and the kind of brassy hair that came from an applicator tip.

Janson flashed his ticket and the plastic card with which Pacifica rewarded its extremely frequent fliers.

"Welcome to the Pacifica Platinum Club, Mr. Janson," the woman twinkled.

"We’ll let you know when your plane is about to board," the other attendant—chestnut bangs, eye shadow that matched the blue piping on her jacket—told him in a low, confiding voice. She gestured toward the entrance to the lounge area as if it were the pearly gates. "Meantime, enjoy our hospitality facilities and relax." An encouraging nod and a broad smile; Saint Peter’s could not have held more promise.

Carved out between the structural girders and beams of an overloaded airport, venues like Pacifica’s Platinum Club were where the modern airline tried to cater to the carriage trade. Small bowls were filled not with the salted peanuts purveyed to les misérables in coach but with the somewhat more expensive tree nuts: cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans. At a granite-topped beverage station, there were crystal jugs sticky with peach nectar and fresh-squeezed orange juice. The carpeting was microfiber swank, the airline’s signature blue-gray adorned with trellises of white and navy. On round tables interspersed among large armchairs were neatly folded copies of the International Herald Tribune, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times. A Bloomberg terminal flickered with meaningless numbers and images, shadow puppets of the global economy. Through louvered blinds, the tarmac was only just visible.

Janson flipped through the papers with little interest. When he turned to the Journal’s "Market Watch," he found his eyes sliding down column inches of familiarly bellicose metaphors: bloodshed on Wall Street as a wave of profit takers launched an onslaught against the Dow. A sports column in USA Today was taken up with the collapse of the Raiders’ offense in the face of the rampaging blitzes of the Vikings’ line-men. Meanwhile, invisible speakers piped in a song by the pop diva du jour, from the soundtrack of a blockbuster movie about a legendary Second World War battle. An expense of blood and sweat had been honored by an expense of studio money and computer-graphics technology.

Excerpted from The Janson Directive by Robert Ludlum

Copyright © 2002 by Myn Pyn LLC.

Published in 2002 by St. Martin’s Press

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2006

    My First Ludlum

    I had been concerned that Ludlum's action- packed thrillers would be difficult for me to grasp, but I was happily surprised, that the novel is structured so even a novice like me can pick up on everything. And enjoy it too. This book is not a heartless thriller, it has plenty of emotion, as well as good plot, twists, and held my interest the whole 680 pages. The politics and intrigue were explained on a need-to-know basis to understand every phase of the story. Now a new genre for me to read!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2007

    Love Ludlum!

    I'm only half way through this one. One point I'll make right away keep a dictionary handy. I don't remember any other Ludlum novel where he flexed his extensive vocabulary in such quantity. I thought I had a good grasp of the English language, being a 51-year old American. I find I'm looking up one or two words PER PAGE! I also find I'm thinking of Jason Bourne a great deal, feeling that he could fit this novel as Paul Janson does. Mr. Ludlum, though, is not predictable, ever. Every time I'm getting comfortable in the story, here comes a bullet or bad guy. And who do you trust? Practically no one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2004

    WOW!!! A Literary Classic!

    When I hear that a book is not finished by its author, I am always skeptical. Many books that I have read that have not been finished by or completely written by a great author seem a bit contrived and artificial. I have read books by Hemingway and Agatha Christie that don't seem quite vintage, and it was my fear that this was going to be the same type of deal. Boy, was I wrong! This is hands down one of Ludlum's very best, right up next to The Bourne Identity. I was blown away by the complex story and the never-ending action and suspense. The book was long, but I was ever-so thankful for that, as I didn't want one of the best books that I have ever read to end. I am telling you, read this book, you won't regret it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2005

    heart-pounding and highly thrilling

    Robert Ludlum is very talented in the way he weaves his story. 'The Janson Directive' reflects his marksmanship at weaving stories so that the reader is caught up in the story and is re-living the whole plot. The book is about a very skilled, covert-operation agent known as Paul Janson who resign from his covert job after he has served in the Vietnam War. Janson then took up a job as a security consultant and wanted nothing to do with covert operations again or anything that will resonate memories of his years in Vietnam. Little did he know that he will going back to his detested-job sooner than he expected when the deputy director of a private company known as Liberty Foundation consults him to rescue their founder, Peter Novak from the clutches of a deadly terrorist cell that is based in Anura and is headed by a man that calls himself 'The Caliph.' Janson unaware that the intended rescue is a plot to put his life in danger and pit him against the US government, takes up the offer [which obviously did not go as planned] and he became the most wanted man by US government and intelligence. Janson now has to save his own life and try to find the whole truth behind this conspiracy that he's a victim of by devising his own conspiracy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Outstanding Finale!

    To some readers, this Ludlum novel may have distracting passages that almost read like essays, and since we don't know where Ludlum left off before he died and someone else took over for him, I would like to suggest another possibility to this departure from his usual treatment. Authors who want to lend authenticity to their stories do far more research than they can actually use in a story. Often, in the first draft, they include everything -- its called overwriting -- until they are ready to revise. And then they edit back unwieldy descriptions in favor of keeping the story and pace moving forward. Ludlum may have died before he could do this, but in leaving his research in, the editor has left us with another Ludlum legacy. If we were to separate these passages from the main story line, we would have an extraordinary thesis on today's terrorists--he described their warped mindset--what motivates them, their history, their homelands, their grievances, their hopes and dreams. Ludlum provides needed insight into today's enemy, and that's always been his greatest power--his books have not only thrilled us, they have educated us about so many things--government structures we never experience, about people we never meet in our daily lives, and now at the end, he helps us see America the way terrorists see us--from the oppressed to those deluded with power, whether on the side of the enemy or within our own ranks of government and commerce. He has created characters we want to meet again, and for his last work, what a memory to leave with us if that is not the case. Paul Janson and Jessica Kincaid--today's hero and heroine--the kind our world needs in a time when trust is threatened. Ludlum does not disappoint his fans. This is an amazing book that reveals nothing until the last chapter and even then the suspense does not let up until the last page.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Joshh

    Hi imma josh i forgot to tell ya imma14.....nook sex????? I WANT YOU..ddo you want me?????i have abs ....

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Hanna

    Sure sophl

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2012

    Sofia 2 every1

    Wut up people i'm 12 wanna chat?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2012

    Lex

    Interesting facts we HAD to know about you Maddie,thank you :(

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2012

    Hey elena

    Des

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2012

    Hey im maddie

    Hi im maddie i like to fart at nights i pee in the sinks i make art out of poop( my own poop) i like sex and everything elese! Wanna chat?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2012

    Ludlum lives

    Great read don't know how I missed this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    Ludlum has lost it!

    This might have been ok but it is 3 times too long, full of faux literary prose that contributes nothing to the story line. I forced myself to read the whole thing to see if there was some method to the madness, but there wasn't!!

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  • Posted April 12, 2012

    Highly recommend

    Enjoyed it very much am now ready his second Janson book

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  • Posted April 1, 2012

    The Usual

    If you're a fan of Ludlum, you'll like this - lots of action and international intrigue, tactical situations described in great detail. The hero is virtually invulnerable and piles up the bodies of the expert assassins sent to get him. On the other hand, he's clueless as to the big picture. I figured out the plot key about 150 pages before Janson did. This raises the question of why the various conspirators are so eager to kill him when he's so much easier to dupe. I can't give this one more than a marginally favorable rating.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    Best One Ever

    So i am a huge Ludlum fan, started with Bourne Supremacy, and found Janson Directive at the library. I began to read it and couldn't put it down. Though he didn't solely write it, I believe it's his best.

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  • Posted January 6, 2012

    highly recommed

    increably supenceful; action around every turn; up there with the bourne identity.

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  • Posted December 28, 2011

    N/A

    I have placed the books on my notbook as I have left the Ebook reader at home. Have tryed to transfer the books to my E-book reader and am having a problem with the instructions. A friend that is a computer viz will do that for me, I hope he can?

    Once done I will read the books and will submitt the review again.

    Thank you for asking.

    Jack Zimmermann

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 4, 2011

    Excellent read

    Talk about suspense and intrigue! So many twists and turns it'llmake your head spin

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  • Posted January 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Plenty of action and Surprises!

    As I was reading "The Janson Directive" I found that the plot was extremely interesting and soon got so involved with Mr. Ludlum's world of espionage and intrigue that I could hardly put the book down. Like many other fans of Mr. Ludlum his death marked a dark day for me. I considered him one of the premier writers of this century. While this book is far from being the author's best it is still an entertaining and action packed book with plenty of spins and surprises. Like all of his books the book is ten times better than the movie. Highly recommend.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews

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