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Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Legacy (Bourne Series #4)

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Overview

Once, Jason Bourne was notorious in the clandestine world of covert-ops as one of the CIA's most expert international killers for hire.  Out of the ashes of his violent past he's emerged today as a Georgetown professor, living a quiet life, retired from danger--until he narrowly escapes the bullet of a faceless assassin. And when two of Bourne's closest associates are murdered, Bourne knows that his legacy has followed him--and set him up as the prime suspect for the brutal crimes. The quicksand of lies and ...
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Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Legacy (Bourne Series #4)

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Overview

Once, Jason Bourne was notorious in the clandestine world of covert-ops as one of the CIA's most expert international killers for hire.  Out of the ashes of his violent past he's emerged today as a Georgetown professor, living a quiet life, retired from danger--until he narrowly escapes the bullet of a faceless assassin. And when two of Bourne's closest associates are murdered, Bourne knows that his legacy has followed him--and set him up as the prime suspect for the brutal crimes. The quicksand of lies and betrayals is deeper than Bourne ever imagined.  Hunted by the CIA as a dangerous rogue agent, he has only one option to stay alive--and one last chance to stay one step ahead of an unseen assailant whose vengeance is personal. Pursued across the globe, Bourne's on the run, and on the edge of discovering the truth--that he's become the expendable pawn in an international terrorist plot.  One that's taking every living witness with it and plunging Bourne one step closer to the world-shattering consequences of...the Bourne Legacy.
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  • The Bourne Legacy
    The Bourne Legacy  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

For sound, life-preserving reasons, trust is not a currency freely dispensed by Jason Bourne. Nevertheless, for many years, he had trusted his longtime friend Boris Karpov, a Russian general just recently appointed to head his country's most elite spy agency. That friendship dissolves in a heartbeat when Bourne learns that Karpov has accepted an assignment to kill him. A Jason Bourne thriller worthy of Robert Ludlum himself.

Publishers Weekly
Brick seems completely comfortable sitting in the narrator's seat of Lustbader's (Black Heart, etc.) substantial espionage thriller, which brings Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne back for a fourth outing. Bourne's peaceful life as a family man and teacher of Eastern studies at Georgetown University is brutally interrupted by a sudden sniper attack and the double murder of his two best friends. Framed for the killings, Bourne is forced back into the violent world he had hoped never to revisit. What follows is a roller coaster ride of intrigue and betrayal that will take Bourne halfway around the world in an effort to clear his name. Along the way, he uncovers a deadly plot against an upcoming summit on terrorism. Brick handles the large cast and international settings with ease, keeping his foreign accents on the light side. Even when the writing strays toward the melodramatic, Brick maintains his straightforward reading style. While some transitions happen so quickly that listeners may be confused as to where they are and who is speaking, Brick knows how to keep the action moving and the characters grounded and real. Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's hardcover (Forecasts, June 7). (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"It's a hearty serving of meat and potatoes action adventure, just the sort of fare that both Ludlum's and Lustbader's fans relish."

Publishers Weekly

 

"Lustbader remains a fine choice to fill Ludlum's large shoes, and he has delivered a work worthy of the Bourne legacy."

USA Today

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312365288
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2009
  • Series: Bourne Series , #4
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Premium Edition
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 179,235
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 7.48 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Van Lustbader is the author of numerous novels in a variety of styles, but is most widely known as the author of twenty international bestselling thrillers including The Ninja and Black Heart. Born in New York City, he currently lives in New York State.

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Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

David Webb, professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, was buried beneath a stack of ungraded term papers. He was striding down the musty back corridors of gargantuan Healy Hall, heading for the office of Theodore Barton, his department head, and he was late, hence this shortcut he had long ago discovered using narrow, ill-lighted passageways few students knew about or cared to use.

There was a benign ebb and flow to his life bound by the strictures of the university. His year was defined by the terms of the Georgetown semesters. The deep winter that began them gave grudging way to a tentative spring and ended in the heat and humidity of the second semester's finals week. There was a part of him that fought against serenity, the part that thought of his former life in the clandestine service of the U.S. government, the part that kept him friends with his former handler, Alexander Conklin.

He was about to round a corner when he heard harsh voices raised and mocking laughter and saw ominous-seeming shadows playing along the wall.

"Muthfucka, we gonna make your gook tongue come out the back of your head!''

Bourne dropped the stack of papers he had been carrying and sprinted around the corner. As he did so, he saw three young black men in coats down to their ankles arrayed in a menacing semicircle around an Asian, trapping him against a corridor wall. They had a way of standing, their knees slightly bent, their upper limbs loose and swinging slightly that made their entire bodies seem like blunt and ugly aspects of weapons, cocked and ready. With a start, he recognized their prey was Rongsey Siv, a favorite student of his.

"Muthafucka,'' snarled one, wiry, with a strung-out, reckless look on his defiant face, "we come in here, gather up the goods to trade for the bling-bling.''

"Can't ever have enough bling-bling,'' said another with an eagle tattoo on his cheek. He rolled a huge gold square-cut ring, one of many on the fingers of his right hand, back and forth. "Or don't 0you know the bling-bling, gook?''

"Yah, gook,'' the strung-out one said, goggle-eyed. "You don't look like you know shit.''

"He wants to stop us,'' the one with the tattooed cheek said, leaning in toward Rongsey. "Yah, gook, whatcha gonna do, kung-fuckin-fu us to death?''

They laughed raucously, making stylized kicking gestures toward Rongsey, who shrank back even farther against the wall as they closed in.

The third black man, thick-muscled, heavyset, drew a baseball bat from underneath the voluminous folds of his long coat. &'grave;That right. Put your hands up, gook. We gonna break your knuckles good.'' He slapped the bat against his cupped palm. "You want it all at once or one at a time?''

"Yo,'' the strung-out one cried, "he don't get to choose.'' He pulled out his own baseball bat and advanced menacingly on Rongsey.'

As the strung-out kid brandished his bat, Webb came at them. So silent was his approach, so intent were they on the damage they were about to inflict that they did not become aware of him until he was upon them.

He grabbed the strung-out kid's bat in his left hand as it was coming down toward Rongsey's head. Tattoo-cheek, on Webb's right, cursed mightily, swung his balled fist, knuckles bristling with sharp-edged rings, aiming for Webb's ribs.

In that instant, from the veiled and shadowed place inside Webb's head the Bourne persona took firm control. Webb deflected the blow from tattoo-cheek with his biceps, stepped forward and slammed his elbow into tattoo-cheek's sternum. He went down, clawing at his chest.

The third thug, bigger than the other two, cursed and, dropping his bat, pulled a switchblade. He lunged at Webb, who stepped into the attack, delivering a short, sharp blow to the inside of the assailant's wrist. The switchblade fell to the corridor floor, skittering away. Webb hooked his left foot behind the other's ankle and lifted up. The big thug fell on his back, turned over and scrambled away.

Bourne yanked the baseball bat out of the strung-out thug's grip. "Muthafuckin' Five-O,'' the thug muttered. His pupils were dilated, unfocused by the effects of whatever drugs he'd taken. He pulled a gun—-a cheap Saturday-night special—-and aimed it at Webb.

cf0With deadly accuracy, Webb flung the bat, striking the strung-out thug between the eyes. He staggered back, crying out, and his gun went flying.

Alerted by the noise of the struggle, a pair of campus security guards appeared, rounding the corner at a run. They brushed past Webb, pounding after the thugs, who fled without a backward glance, the two helping the strung-out one. They burst through the rear door to the building, out into the bright sunshine of the afternoon, with the guards hot on their heels.

Despite the guards' intervention, Webb felt Bourne's desire to pursue the thugs run hot in his body. How quickly it had risen from its psychic sleep, how easily it had gained control of him. Was it because he wanted it to? Webb took a deep breath, gained a semblance of control and turned to face Rongsey Siv.

"Professor Webb!'' Rongsey tried to clear his throat. "I don't know—-'' He seemed abruptly overcome. His large black eyes were wide behind the lenses of his glasses. His expression was, as usual, impassive, but in those eyes Webb could see all the fear in the world.

"It's okay now.'' Webb put his arm across Rongsey's shoulders. As always, his fondness for the Cambodian refugee was showing through his professorial reserve. He couldn't help it.

Rongsey had overcome great adversity—-losing almost all his family in the war. Rongsey and Webb had been in the same Southeast Asian jungles, and try as he might, Webb could not fully remove himself from the tangle of that hot, humid world. Like a recurring fever, it never really left you. He felt a shiver of recognition, like a dream one has while awake.

"Loak soksapbaee chea tay?'' How are you? he asked in Khmer.

"I'm fine, Professor,'' Rongsey replied in the same language. "But I don't...I mean, how did you...?''

"Why don't we go outside?'' Webb suggested. He was now quite late for Barton's meeting, but he couldn't care less. He picked up the switchblade and the gun. As he checked the gun's mechanism, the firing pin broke. He threw the useless gun in a trash bin but pocketed the switchblade.

Around the corner, Rongsey helped him with the spill of term papers. They then walked in silence through the corridors, which became increasingly crowded as they neared the front of the building. Webb recognized the special nature of this silence, the dense weight of time returning to normal after an incident of shared violence. It was a wartime thing, a consequence of the jungle; odd and unsettling that it should happen on this teeming metropolitan campus.

Emerging from the corridor, they joined the swarm of students crowding through the front doors to Healy Hall. Just inside, in the center of the floor, gleamed the hallowed Georgetown University seal. A great majority of the students were walking around it because a school legend held that if you walked on the seal you'd never graduate. Rongsey was one of those who gave the seal a wide berth, but Webb strode right across it with no qualms whatsoever.

Outside, they stood in the buttery spring sunlight, facing the trees and the Old Quadrangle, breathing the air with its hint of budding flowers. At their backs rose the looming presence of Healy Hall with its imposing Georgian red-brick facade, nineteenth-century dormer windows, slate roof and central two-hundred-foot clock spire.

The Cambodian turned to Webb. "Professor, thank you. If you hadn't come....''

"Rongsey,'' Webb said gently, "do you want to talk about it?''

The student's eyes were dark, unreadable. "What's there to say?''

"I suppose that would depend on you.''

Rongsey shrugged. "I'll be fine, Professor Webb. Really. This isn't the first time I've been called names.''

Webb stood looking at Rongsey for a moment, and he was swept by sudden emotion that caused his eyes to sting. He wanted to take the boy in his arms, hold him close, promise him that nothing else bad would ever happen to him. But he knew that Rongsey's Buddhist training would not allow him to accept the gesture. Who could say what was going on beneath that fortress like exterior. Webb had seen many others like Rongsey, forced by the exigencies of war and cultural hatred to bear witness to death, the collapse of a civilization, the kinds of tragedies most Americans could not understand. He felt a powerful kinship with Rongsey, an emotional bond that was tinged with a terrible sadness, recognition of the wound inside him that could never truly be healed.

All this emotion stood between them, silently acknowledged perhaps but never articulated. With a small, almost sad smile, Rongsey formally thanked Webb again and they said their good-byes.

Webb stood alone amid the students and faculty hurrying by, and yet he knew that he wasn't truly alone. Despite his best efforts, the aggressive personality of Jason Bourne had once again asserted itself. He breathed slowly and deeply, concentrating hard, using the mental techniques his psychiatrist friend, Mo Panov, had taught him for pushing the Bourne identity down. He concentrated first on his surrounding, on the blue and gold colors of the spring afternoon, on the gray stone and red brick of the buildings around the quad, of the movement of the students, the smiling faces of the girls, the laughter of the boys, the earnest talk of the professors. He absorbed each element in its entirety, grounding himself in time and place. Then, and only then, did he turn his thoughts inward.

Years ago he had been working for the foreign service in Phnom Penh. He'd been married then, not to Marie, his current wife, but to a Thai woman named Dao. They had two children, Joshua and Alyssa, and lived in a house on the bank of the river. America was at war with North Vietnam, but the war had spilled over into Cambodia. One afternoon, while he was at work and his family had been swimming in the river, a plane had strafed them, killing them.

Webb had almost gone mad with grief. Finally, fleeing his house and Phnom Penh, he'd arrived in Saigon, a man with no past and no future. It had been Alex Conklin who had taken a heartsick, half-mad David Webb off the streets of Saigon and forged him into a first-rate clandestine operative. In Saigon, Webb had learned to kill, had turned his own self-hatred outward, inflicting his rage on others. When a member of Conklin's group—-an evil- tempered drifter named Jason Bourne—-had been discovered to be a spy, it was Webb who had executed him. Webb had come to loathe the Bourne identity, but the truth was that it had often been his lifeline. Jason Bourne had saved Webb's life more times than he could remember. An amusing thought if it hadn't been so literal.

Years later, when they had both returned to Washington, Conklin had given him a long-term assignment. He had become what amounted to a sleeper agent, taking the name of Jason Bourne, a man long dead, forgotten by everyone. For three years Webb was Bourne, turned himself into an international assassin of great repute in order to hunt down an elusive terrorist.

But in Marseilles, his mission had gone terribly wrong. He'd been shot, cast into the dark waters of the Mediterranean, thought dead. Instead, he had been pulled from the water by members of a fishing boat, nursed back to health by a drunkard doctor in the port they'd set him down in. The only problem was that in the shock of almost dying he'd lost his memory.

What had come slowly back were the Bourne memories. It was only much later, with the help of Marie, his wife-to-be, that he had come to realize the truth, that he was David Webb. But by that time the Jason Bourne personality was too well ingrained, too powerful, too cunning to die.

In the aftermath, he'd become two people: David Webb, linguistics professor with a new wife and, eventually, two children, and Jason Bourne, the agent trained by Alex Conklin to be a formidable spy. Occasionally, in some crisis, Conklin called on Bourne's expertise and Webb reluctantly rose to duty. But the truth was that Webb often had little control over his Bourne personality. What had just happened with Rongsey and the three street thugs was evidence enough. Bourne had a way of asserting himself that was beyond Webb's control, despite all the work he and Panov had done.

Khan, having watched David Webb and the Cambodian student talking from across the quad, ducked into a building diagonally across from Healy Hall, mounted the stairs to the third floor. Khan was dressed much like all the other students. He looked younger than his twenty-seven years and no one gave him a second look. He was wearing khakis and a jeans jacket, over which was slung an outsize backpack. His sneakers made no sound as he went down the hallway, past the doors to classrooms. In his mind's eye was a clear picture of the view across the quad. He was again calculating angles, taking into account the mature trees that might obscure his view of his intended target.

He paused in front of the sixth door, heard a professor's voice from inside. The talk about ethics brought an ironic smile to his face. In his experience—-and it was great and varied—-ethics was as dead and useless as Latin. He went on to the next classroom, which he had already determined was empty, and went in.

Quickly now, he shut and locked the door behind him, crossed to the line of windows overlooking the quad, opened one, and got to work. From his backpack, he removed a 7.62-mm SVD Dragunov sniper rifle with a collapsible stock. He fitted the optical sight onto it, leaned it on the sill. Peering through the sight, he found David Webb, by this time standing alone across the quad in front of Healy Hall. There were trees just to his left. Every once in a while, a passing student would obscure him. Khan took a deep breath, let it out slowly. He sighted on Webb's head.

Copyright 2004 by the Estate of Robert Ludlum

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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

CHAPTER ONE


David Webb, professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, was buried beneath a stack of ungraded term papers. He was striding down the musty back corridors of gargantuan Healy Hall, heading for the office of Theodore Barton, his department head, and he was late, hence this shortcut he had long ago discovered using narrow, ill-lighted passageways few students knew about or cared to use.

There was a benign ebb and flow to his life bound by the strictures of the university. His year was defined by the terms of the Georgetown semesters. The deep winter that began them gave grudging way to a tentative spring and ended in the heat and humidity of the second semester's finals week. There was a part of him that fought against serenity, the part that thought of his former life in the clandestine service of the U.S. government, the part that kept him friends with his former handler, Alexander Conklin.

He was about to round a corner when he heard harsh voices raised and mocking laughter and saw ominous-seeming shadows playing along the wall.

"Muthfucka, we gonna make your gook tongue come out the back of your head!"

Bourne dropped the stack of papers he had been carrying and sprinted around the corner. As he did so, he saw three young black men in coats down to their ankles arrayed in a menacing semicircle around an Asian, trapping him against a corridor wall. They had a way of standing, their knees slightly bent, their upper limbs loose and swinging slightly that made their entire bodies seem like blunt and ugly aspects of weapons, cocked and ready. With a start, he recognized their prey was Rongsey Siv, a favorite student ofhis.

"Muthafucka," snarled one, wiry, with a strung-out, reckless look on his defiant face, "we come in here, gather up the goods to trade for the bling-bling."

"Can't ever have enough bling-bling," said another with an eagle tattoo on his cheek. He rolled a huge gold square-cut ring, one of many on the fingers of his right hand, back and forth. "Or don't you know the bling-bling, gook?"

"Yah, gook," the strung-out one said, goggle-eyed. "You don't look like you know shit."

"He wants to stop us," the one with the tattooed cheek said, leaning in toward Rongsey. "Yah, gook, whatcha gonna do, kung-fuckin-fu us to death?"

They laughed raucously, making stylized kicking gestures toward Rongsey, who shrank back even farther against the wall as they closed in.

The third black man, thick-muscled, heavyset, drew a baseball bat from underneath the voluminous folds of his long coat. "That right. Put your hands up, gook. We gonna break your knuckles good." He slapped the bat against his cupped palm. "You want it all at once or one at a time?"

"Yo," the strung-out one cried, "he don't get to choose." He pulled out his own baseball bat and advanced menacingly on Rongsey.'

As the strung-out kid brandished his bat, Webb came at them. So silent was his approach, so intent were they on the damage they were about to inflict that they did not become aware of him until he was upon them.

He grabbed the strung-out kid's bat in his left hand as it was coming down toward Rongsey's head. Tattoo-cheek, on Webb's right, cursed mightily, swung his balled fist, knuckles bristling with sharp-edged rings, aiming for Webb's ribs.

In that instant, from the veiled and shadowed place inside Webb's head the Bourne persona took firm control. Webb deflected the blow from tattoo-cheek with his biceps, stepped forward and slammed his elbow into tattoo-cheek's sternum. He went down, clawing at his chest.

The third thug, bigger than the other two, cursed and, dropping his bat, pulled a switchblade. He lunged at Webb, who stepped into the attack, delivering a short, sharp blow to the inside of the assailant's wrist. The switchblade fell to the corridor floor, skittering away. Webb hooked his left foot behind the other's ankle and lifted up. The big thug fell on his back, turned over and scrambled away.

Bourne yanked the baseball bat out of the strung-out thug's grip. "Muthafuckin' Five-O," the thug muttered. His pupils were dilated, unfocused by the effects of whatever drugs he'd taken. He pulled a gun---a cheap Saturday-night special---and aimed it at Webb.

With deadly accuracy, Webb flung the bat, striking the strung-out thug between the eyes. He staggered back, crying out, and his gun went flying.

Alerted by the noise of the struggle, a pair of campus security guards appeared, rounding the corner at a run. They brushed past Webb, pounding after the thugs, who fled without a backward glance, the two helping the strung-out one. They burst through the rear door to the building, out into the bright sunshine of the afternoon, with the guards hot on their heels.

Despite the guards' intervention, Webb felt Bourne's desire to pursue the thugs run hot in his body. How quickly it had risen from its psychic sleep, how easily it had gained control of him. Was it because he wanted it to? Webb took a deep breath, gained a semblance of control and turned to face Rongsey Siv.

"Professor Webb!" Rongsey tried to clear his throat. "I don't know---" He seemed abruptly overcome. His large black eyes were wide behind the lenses of his glasses. His expression was, as usual, impassive, but in those eyes Webb could see all the fear in the world.

"It's okay now." Webb put his arm across Rongsey's shoulders. As always, his fondness for the Cambodian refugee was showing through his professorial reserve. He couldn't help it.

Rongsey had overcome great adversity---losing almost all his family in the war. Rongsey and Webb had been in the same Southeast Asian jungles, and try as he might, Webb could not fully remove himself from the tangle of that hot, humid world. Like a recurring fever, it never really left you. He felt a shiver of recognition, like a dream one has while awake.

"Loak soksapbaee chea tay?" How are you? he asked in Khmer.

"I'm fine, Professor," Rongsey replied in the same language. "But I don't...I mean, how did you...?"

"Why don't we go outside?" Webb suggested. He was now quite late for Barton's meeting, but he couldn't care less. He picked up the switchblade and the gun. As he checked the gun's mechanism, the firing pin broke. He threw the useless gun in a trash bin but pocketed the switchblade.

Around the corner, Rongsey helped him with the spill of term papers. They then walked in silence through the corridors, which became increasingly crowded as they neared the front of the building. Webb recognized the special nature of this silence, the dense weight of time returning to normal after an incident of shared violence. It was a wartime thing, a consequence of the jungle; odd and unsettling that it should happen on this teeming metropolitan campus.
Emerging from the corridor, they joined the swarm of students crowding through the front doors to Healy Hall. Just inside, in the center of the floor, gleamed the hallowed Georgetown University seal. A great majority of the students were walking around it because a school legend held that if you walked on the seal you'd never graduate. Rongsey was one of those who gave the seal a wide berth, but Webb strode right across it with no qualms whatsoever.

Outside, they stood in the buttery spring sunlight, facing the trees and the Old Quadrangle, breathing the air with its hint of budding flowers. At their backs rose the looming presence of Healy Hall with its imposing Georgian red-brick facade, nineteenth-century dormer windows, slate roof and central two-hundred-foot clock spire.

The Cambodian turned to Webb. "Professor, thank you. If you hadn't come...."

"Rongsey," Webb said gently, "do you want to talk about it?"

The student's eyes were dark, unreadable. "What's there to say?"

"I suppose that would depend on you."

Rongsey shrugged. "I'll be fine, Professor Webb. Really. This isn't the first time I've been called names."

Webb stood looking at Rongsey for a moment, and he was swept by sudden emotion that caused his eyes to sting. He wanted to take the boy in his arms, hold him close, promise him that nothing else bad would ever happen to him. But he knew that Rongsey's Buddhist training would not allow him to accept the gesture. Who could say what was going on beneath that fortress like exterior. Webb had seen many others like Rongsey, forced by the exigencies of war and cultural hatred to bear witness to death, the collapse of a civilization, the kinds of tragedies most Americans could not understand. He felt a powerful kinship with Rongsey, an emotional bond that was tinged with a terrible sadness, recognition of the wound inside him that could never truly be healed.

All this emotion stood between them, silently acknowledged perhaps but never articulated. With a small, almost sad smile, Rongsey formally thanked Webb again and they said their good-byes.

Webb stood alone amid the students and faculty hurrying by, and yet he knew that he wasn't truly alone. Despite his best efforts, the aggressive personality of Jason Bourne had once again asserted itself. He breathed slowly and deeply, concentrating hard, using the mental techniques his psychiatrist friend, Mo Panov, had taught him for pushing the Bourne identity down. He concentrated first on his surrounding, on the blue and gold colors of the spring afternoon, on the gray stone and red brick of the buildings around the quad, of the movement of the students, the smiling faces of the girls, the laughter of the boys, the earnest talk of the professors. He absorbed each element in its entirety, grounding himself in time and place. Then, and only then, did he turn his thoughts inward.

Years ago he had been working for the foreign service in Phnom Penh. He'd been married then, not to Marie, his current wife, but to a Thai woman named Dao. They had two children, Joshua and Alyssa, and lived in a house on the bank of the river. America was at war with North Vietnam, but the war had spilled over into Cambodia. One afternoon, while he was at work and his family had been swimming in the river, a plane had strafed them, killing them.

Webb had almost gone mad with grief. Finally, fleeing his house and Phnom Penh, he'd arrived in Saigon, a man with no past and no future. It had been Alex Conklin who had taken a heartsick, half-mad David Webb off the streets of Saigon and forged him into a first-rate clandestine operative. In Saigon, Webb had learned to kill, had turned his own self-hatred outward, inflicting his rage on others. When a member of Conklin's group---an evil- tempered drifter named Jason Bourne---had been discovered to be a spy, it was Webb who had executed him. Webb had come to loathe the Bourne identity, but the truth was that it had often been his lifeline. Jason Bourne had saved Webb's life more times than he could remember. An amusing thought if it hadn't been so literal.

Years later, when they had both returned to Washington, Conklin had given him a long-term assignment. He had become what amounted to a sleeper agent, taking the name of Jason Bourne, a man long dead, forgotten by everyone. For three years Webb was Bourne, turned himself into an international assassin of great repute in order to hunt down an elusive terrorist.
But in Marseilles, his mission had gone terribly wrong. He'd been shot, cast into the dark waters of the Mediterranean, thought dead. Instead, he had been pulled from the water by members of a fishing boat, nursed back to health by a drunkard doctor in the port they'd set him down in. The only problem was that in the shock of almost dying he'd lost his memory.
What had come slowly back were the Bourne memories. It was only much later, with the help of Marie, his wife-to-be, that he had come to realize the truth, that he was David Webb. But by that time the Jason Bourne personality was too well ingrained, too powerful, too cunning to die.

In the aftermath, he'd become two people: David Webb, linguistics professor with a new wife and, eventually, two children, and Jason Bourne, the agent trained by Alex Conklin to be a formidable spy. Occasionally, in some crisis, Conklin called on Bourne's expertise and Webb reluctantly rose to duty. But the truth was that Webb often had little control over his Bourne personality. What had just happened with Rongsey and the three street thugs was evidence enough. Bourne had a way of asserting himself that was beyond Webb's control, despite all the work he and Panov had done.

Khan, having watched David Webb and the Cambodian student talking from across the quad, ducked into a building diagonally across from Healy Hall, mounted the stairs to the third floor. Khan was dressed much like all the other students. He looked younger than his twenty-seven years and no one gave him a second look. He was wearing khakis and a jeans jacket, over which was slung an outsize backpack. His sneakers made no sound as he went down the hallway, past the doors to classrooms. In his mind's eye was a clear picture of the view across the quad. He was again calculating angles, taking into account the mature trees that might obscure his view of his intended target.

He paused in front of the sixth door, heard a professor's voice from inside. The talk about ethics brought an ironic smile to his face. In his experience---and it was great and varied---ethics was as dead and useless as Latin. He went on to the next classroom, which he had already determined was empty, and went in.

Quickly now, he shut and locked the door behind him, crossed to the line of windows overlooking the quad, opened one, and got to work. From his backpack, he removed a 7.62-mm SVD Dragunov sniper rifle with a collapsible stock. He fitted the optical sight onto it, leaned it on the sill. Peering through the sight, he found David Webb, by this time standing alone across the quad in front of Healy Hall. There were trees just to his left. Every once in a while, a passing student would obscure him. Khan took a deep breath, let it out slowly. He sighted on Webb's head.


Copyright 2004 by the Estate of Robert Ludlum
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 100 )
Rating Distribution

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(39)

4 Star

(22)

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(21)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 101 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 23, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    OK read but a pale imitation of the original

    Eric van Lustbader's plot moves along like a house on fire. It doesn't miss a beat and there are no skips in the story. But when you compare this story to the original trilogy by the late Robert Ludlum, it's like looking at a piece of paper instead of a block of wood - there's just no "there" there. <BR/><BR/>I had no problem with the character of Khan and who he turned out to be - Ludlum's plots always required you to suspend your belief in the logical and the ordinary, so that didn't matter one bit. But van Lustbader doesn't flesh Khan out at all, and makes too big a deal out of his reason for pursuing Jason Bourne. And unlike in Ludlum's books, there are no characters in this story with any redeemable values whatsoever. <BR/><BR/>If I want to visit Jason Bourne's world again I think I'll open one of Ludlum's books.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2008

    The Ludlum Legacy is ill-served by this book

    I was a devoted fan of Ludlum's Bourne series, so I was excited to discover that the Bourne estate had approved the continuation of the series. Although I wasn't familiar with Eric van Lustbader, I was eager to read this book. The Bourne Legacy disappointed me on many levels. Some of the characters may have shared names with Ludlum's characters, but the resemblance didn't go far beyond that. One of the things that bothered me the most was that van Lustbader's characters are emotionally binary: zero or volcanic. What character development was there seemed two-dimensional and unbelievable. I was willing to plow beyond the first few chapters in the hope that things would settle down, but I finally had to give up. The poor writing quality was too much for me. I can't recall the last book I read where I kept saying to myself, 'I can write better than this!' Honestly, I'm not being arrogant here -- I just felt like going through the text like a high school English teacher, marking the awkward dialogue and the klunky use of metaphors. Van Lustbader's later Bourne books may be better than this one, but I'm going to have to see some awfully good reasons to give them a try.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2008

    Bourne Fans - Stay Away

    This book is terrible for 3 reasons. 1. If the author is going to use a well known and loved character from previous books, then the history of that character should be incorporated into the book, and the long-term story should be advanced. This book does not do this. A good example of a book that does this is 'The Godfather Returns' by Mark Winegarder. 2. Do not make the FBI, CIA, KGB, or the Mob into mental midgets. In this book, a lone assassin outthinks Bourne, and the CIA and FBI are clueless in terms of chasing him. 3. Some of the plot points in this book are far fetched. For example, Bourne is being held by the bad guy in a room. This room is secret, and gaurded by some advanced security measures. A character rescues Bourne, and how do they escape. The drain for the blood, is big enough for two men to jump in and it leads to a river. Why would a drain be that big, it should be the size of a bathroom drain. And if for some reason, it had to be, why not have bars or some other type of security measures at the end of the tunnel. Another example is a man is thrown out of an airplane that is taking off. This man is not injured at all. I don't know how fast a plane needs to go to lift off, but to land on on a concrete pavement, going that speed will either kill you, or put you in the hospital for a very long time. This book is just terrible.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2008

    MISLEADING -LUDLUM IS NOT THE AUTHOR!

    This book is so absurd i threw in the trash after 90 pages.He surely is no ludlem! our hero now in his sixties can defeat supermab-batman-the incredible hulk- plus chinese army with a switchblade. Problem is theres no credible explanation of how he does it! this book is absolute waste of money!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2012

    I like to read a book whenever possible before seeing the movie.

    I like to read a book whenever possible before seeing the movie. This book and the recent movie with the same title have nothing to do with one another, so do not bother if that is your purpose. Additionally, the book is poorly written. If you know that you already enjoy the author's work from previous novels, then have at it. Otherwise I would advise you to stay away from this one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2008

    The Bourne Legacy

    The Bourne Legacy, written by Eric Van Lustbader, features main character Jason Bourne, running from a Hungarian man by the name of Stepan Spalko. Spalko¿s plan is to release a bacteriological weapon on a hotel in Iceland where world leaders will be meeting. It is up to Bourne to stop Stepan from killing the world leaders. Jason must dodge all the things Stepan Spalko throws at him, such as a hired assassin named Khan. The story begins with David Webb a.k.a. Jason Borne, a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University in Virginia, being shot at as he walks out onto the campus. He thought his CIA days were over but now he realizes unknown people are after him. He is then chased all over the world, including Hungary and then ending up in Iceland. Jason Bourne is man who is very smart and has a quick thinking mind to help him get out of tight situations. Very few people are able to track Jason down because he is frequently moving around and he hides in secret. This is just one of many reasons why you should read this book to see what he is planning on doing next. One thing I liked about this book was that it was hard to put down. Every time I read a chapter, I always wanted to read on even when I was tired. I think that the reason why I kept reading was because at the end of every chapter, it always kept me in suspense. Overall, I think the book kept me interested and was never boring. Another thing I liked about this book was how Jason Bourne was able to escape death many times. In one chapter, Khan almost killed Jason but then a woman named Annaka came and almost shot Khan before he ran away. In another chapter, Jason was severely injured and was chased down by the Hungarian police, but he managed to find a vent to hide in. Throughout this book, Jason should have been killed many times but was able to escape with his quick thinking. Jason, Stepan, Khan, and Annaka are probably the four most important characters in the book. Jason and Annaka are always running from Stepan and Khan, but towards the middle of the book, there is a twist between Khan and Jason that makes the book much more interesting. I thought this book was amazing and I would recommend it. If you like action and suspense, then this book is for you. If you don¿t find this story interesting in the beginning, then this probably isn¿t the book for you. You may have to re-read some of it to fully understand the story as it can get a little confusing but it was great.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    Fuckers

    Have any of you seen the movies like supremacy?

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A so-so read

    Read the first 3 Bourne book this is a little disappointing. Not very believable or realistic. Don't think I would try another in Bourne series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    Eric may be no Ludlum...

    But I have no complaints with the exrension of the series by Lustbader. I thought the Legacy was engaging. Must not have been too terrible... the Bourne Legacy is filming now.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Good book - not a page-turner

    I like this genre of book. My favorite authors are Brad Thor and Vince Flynn. The story had good twists but it seem to have any real surprises. In some parts where the characters were reflecting on past memories, I found myself skipping paragraphs which I rarely do because they seemed irrelevant to the plot. Not supportive of it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2013

    Very great read

    Keeps you glued from cover to cover

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2013

    True Bourne Excitement

    Eric Van Lustbader truly captures Robert Ludlum's Bourne character in this thrilling tale. I would recommend the entire Bourne series to those who love a good spy novel with intricate details and surprises.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    Want to suck my

    PENIS!!!!!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2013


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  • Posted January 18, 2013

    Close to the Ludlum experience

    Van Lustbader is an accomplished writer, but the story line doesn't quite have the depth that Ludlum put into the original three stories. I did like this book enough to start the next in the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2012

    Not worth the read

    I could go into great detail about why this is a terrible book. Suffice it to say that if you have ever actually read the original Ludlum books, this is so bad that it will give you a headache. Don't bother.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2012

    recommended

    Loved the story line.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 1, 2012

    Must read if you love Jason

    A thriller ride roller coaster read I could not put it down

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012

    A good read.

    Not as fast paced as the movies but enjoyable.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    Excellent Book!

    I loved it! Another winner in the tradition of the Ludlum thrillers!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 101 Customer Reviews

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