Eric Van Lustbader is the author of numerous novels in a variety of styles, but is most widely known as the author of 20 international bestselling thrillers including THE NINJA and BLACK HEART. Born in New York City, he currently lives in New York State. Robert Ludlum launched his career as a bestselling writer with THE SCARLATTI INHERITANCE in 1971, the first of a string of international bestsellers. There are more than 300 million copies of his books in print and they have been translated in 32 languages.
Lustbader's cookie-cutter fifth Jason Bourne novel in the Ludlum franchise (after The Bourne Deception) downgrades the title character to a mere co-star with villain Leonid Arkadin, a graduate of the same covert training program, who also possesses almost superhuman combat skills. Bourne and Arkadin's globe-trotting pursuit of each other drives the main plot, which includes yet another secret cabal bent on world domination, Severus Domna. The members of Severus Domna have their eye on a ring Bourne possesses that's a clue to the location of King Solomon's legendary gold. Arkadin's use of silly aliases (e.g., Stanley Kowalski, Frank N. Stein) dissipates any effort at realism, while implausible and formulaic side stories involving Soraya Moore, ousted from her position with the CIA, don't help. Those who don't mind Bourne's devolution from the tortured amnesiac soul Ludlum created into a stock action hero will be most satisfied. (June) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
No one is what he or she seems to be. Lustbader's fifth installment (after The Bourne Deception) of Ludlum's saga of rogue agent Jason Bourne finds Bourne in possession of a ring with a cryptic engraving. Bourne, a product of the newly reformed ruthless and clandestine American Central Intelligence program called Treadstone, is still being hunted by his former employer. Treadstone is anxious to capture Bourne and Russian Leonid Arkadin, two of their top lethal graduates, to find out where their training went wrong. If that fails they want to manipulate the killer-with-a-conscience Bourne and the unscrupulous Arkadin into destroying each other. As Bourne works to put the shattered pieces of his memories back together, he doesn't know whom or what to trust. And time is running short for Bourne as various parties work to gain control over the ring, a key to unimaginable wealth, and terminate the indestructible Bourne. Verdict Thriller addicts who love intricate webs of conspiracy mixed with an adrenalin rush of action and global adventure will snap this one up. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/10; for more summer thrillers, see Andrew Smith's "Short Takes: Summer Men's Fiction," p. 68.-Ed.]--Susan O. Moritz, Montgomery Cty. P.L.s, MD Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.