The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
I haven’t seen the film version of this book, starring Matt Damon, nor its sequel. I have a feeling that Hollywood took liberties with the novel, if only to remove the references to the Vietnam War and the Cold War. Originally, published in 1980 it reads a bit dated after more then twenty years.
A man is discovered, badly scarred and nearly drowned by a French fishing vessel. As he slowly recovers in the house of an ex-patriate British doctor, now living in disgrace in France, the man begins to recall events and faces, but no names including his own. A small piece of microfilm has been implanted under his skin and this leads him to a Swiss bank account containing millions of dollars, along with some other secrets that several governments would like kept hidden. Is this man actually Jason Bourne, an operative of the U.S. government sent to find and kill the international terrorist known as Carlos? Or is there more to Bourne, if that truly is his name?
Robert Ludlum is a master at this type of thing and it’s easy to see why he continues to have an audience of millions worldwide. Three and a half stars.