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This is the first novel published after author Robert Ludlum's death in 2001, but was written competely by him. It is considered one of his best works, but I don;t agree with this. The plot is far fetched and although entertaining and brilliant, there are other works from him that are better quality.
Paul Janson used to be the best of the best. As a Navy SEAL there was no one better. Now further on in years, he owrks as a security consultant and is the best at that, too, picking and choosing his jobs. When he gets a call that an old friend has been abducted by militants who plan to execute him, he responds by leading the rescue team. However, things go horribly wrong and Janson finds himself being used as a scapegoat for a whole bunch of killings and other deeds. He must escape capture at the same time as finding out what is really going on.
Another good plot from Ludlum, with an incredibly imaginative handful of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. There are a large element of unbelievable scenes here, although this is well masked by the long descriptive passages and intense thriller style of writing that the author is well known for.
The story flows very smoothly, and at over 600 pages this is par for the course with Ludlum. A great spy thriller to keep you turning the pages despite the unbelievable nature of a lot of it. The book is available from amazon.co.uk for £5.19.
I had not read any books by Robert Ludlum before reading this one so I didn?t know what to expect. It was listed as a bestseller so I thought ?what the heck, it can?t be that bad!? Fortunately, it turned out to be a gripping, exciting and enjoyable read?. Basic Plot Paul Janson is an ex special agent who has more hang-ups than a walk-in wardrobe. He is emotionally blackmailed into rescuing Peter Novak (a Noble Peace Prize winner and the man who rescued Janson from captivity some years back) from revolutionaries (people Janson blames for his pregnant wife?s death) on an island in the Indian Ocean. Janson builds a team of highly skilled agents including a close friend for the retrieval of Novak. All goes well and they rescue Novak and another unplanned hostage. Unfortunately there is not room for Janson on the escaping helicopter ? he escapes in an inflatable boat. But as he leaves the helicopter that his colleagues and hostages are in explodes leaving no survivors. Janson is left grief stricken and travels to Athens to tell his friend?s wife of her husband?s death. Whilst there he realises that he is under surveillance and that his life is in danger. What follows is a roller coaster of events in which Janson discovers that he is being blamed for the death of Novak and that the American government have enlisted snipers to find him and kill him. Janson eventually escapes to Hungary, realises that Novak is somehow still alive and then uncovers information that tells him that the figure of Peter Novak is not a real character. What follows is Janson?s quest to discover the truth: Who is the person masquerading as Peter Novak? This leads Janson to uncover government corruption and the true fate of his old nemesis. My verdict This is a truly international blockbuster, with the action taking the main characters from Vietnam, the Indian Ocean, Athens, London, Amsterdam, Italy, Hungary to America. Throughout the plot Jans
on gets into many ?impossible to get out of? situations ? all of which he does get out of ? sometimes ingeniously and sometimes all too farfetched (e.g. using a dog and a radio transmitter to break into a world class security system) and easily so. Even so, these situations add extreme tension and excitement to the plot. On the minus side, Ludlum?s descriptions can be gratuitous in their depiction of violence, particularly those episodes describing acts of torture (there are several). And the body count is high. If you enjoy novels by Tom Clancy, you will probably enjoy this too. I would recommend ?The Janson Directive? as it is a good read, and I would probably read other Ludlum books sometime in the future. But it is obviously not for everyone, especially if you don?t like violence and torture. Oh, and its 640 pages long and available in paperback - RRP £6.99 (£5.59 and cheaper from Amazon). Publisher: Orion Mass Market Paperback ISBN: 0752849646