The Bourne Supremacy is Robert Ludlum’s sequel to his 1980 bestseller The Bourne Identity.
Here David Webb is pulled from university teaching to return to being Jason Webb, an assassin working for the U.S. government.
The U.S. government secures Webb’s cooperation by kidnapping his wife.
While Webb has been recovering from the physical and mental trauma of his former life, someone in the Far East hired an assassin to impersonate him.
Highly placed American diplomats fear assassinations of highly-placed individuals will trigger an invasion of Hong Kong by mainland China, disrupting economies worldwide.
Most of the novel’s action takes place in Hong Kong’s crowded streets and back alleys, where men change their allegiance for a $20 bill.
Readers need to pay close attention as Ludlum constructs stories within stories.
In the Orient — and in American political life — things are often not what they seem and it’s assumed that every assertion is a lie.
While Ludnum’s characters are not, one hopes, the sort of folk readers rub shoulders with every day, they are believable in their context.
It’s not necessary to read Ludlum’s 1980 and 1986 bestsellers as a set—Ludlum’s too good a writer for that—but doing so gives The Bourne Supremacy greater impact.
The Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlum
Random House, ©1986. 597 p.
1986 bestseller #4; my grade: B+
©2019 Linda G. Aragoni