The author, Robert Ludlum, is someone who can really paint a vivid picture of anywhere in the world he wants to take you. In this story there are lots of places involved. He is an exceptional writer with a great attention to detail, unlike any I’ve ever experienced before. He packs a load of information onto each and every page. This makes it a not so easy read, but if you can stay with it, the rewards are well worth it.
This story starts off with a floating body in the ocean waters just off the beautiful coast of Marseille. The a trawler comes by and rescues the man, who is also shot, and hasn’t much hope of living. He’s been in the water for 12 long hours, freezing.
So once they hit the coast, the man is taken to a doctor. He finally comes to and suffers from amnesia, and has no idea who he is. The only thing he has is a fiche, which has been implanted into his hip, with the number and the name from some Swiss bank account. It’s the only clue to his identity, aside from that, he could be just about anyone.
The doctor continues his work with the man, but gradually realizes that this man is not an average man, but a very highly trained professional of some kind, and believes him to be an assassin. The story move ahead to a deadly chase with the man trying to find out his true identity. No matter where he goes, people are wanting to kill him. He begins to realize that he is very capable in dealing with these situations, more than just an average joe. He strives to discover his connection and identity with the Swiss bank, and to find out who he really is. But he has to do it before Carlos (Europe’s most lethal hit man), or the American authorities can do away with him.
While Bourne is trained as a killer, responsible for many deaths, you still find yourself rooting for him. You realize that you only know him since the amnesia, and aren’t sure what he was before that. He could be someone totally different from what’s being revealed at this time.
The whole character of Bourne is indeed quite interesting. It’s a very clever concept, and you are contantly discovering new things as the story unfolds, at the same time as the man himself. And you have no guarantee that everything is as it seems, so you find yourself trying to figure things out and make assumptions as you stay glued to every detail.
The Bourne Supremacy and the Bourne Ultimatum are the two sequels that dig deeper into his past. There’s also one called the Bourne Legacy, written by Eric Van Lustbader as our Robert Ludlum.