Review

Robert Ludlum's The Janus Reprisal

by Jamie Freveletti

Prolific and well-respected author Robert Ludlum passed away in March 2001.  Now, nearly 12 years after his death, he seems to be more popular than ever. Initial thanks for the Ludlum resurgence can be given to movie producer Doug Liman, who envisioned a new Jason Bourne series starring Matt Damon. The success of that trilogy re-opened the entire tome of Ludlum’s work for other authors to re-imagine.

Eric Van Lustbader has taken the mantle of the Jason Bourne series and written more novels featuring the amnesiac super-spy than Ludlum himself penned. Obviously, readers were not ready to give up on the characters created by one of the most beloved authors of spy fiction who ever lived. The Bourne saga is his centerpiece, but was far from the only series that came from his fertile imagination.

"Jamie Freveletti has done a wonderful job of immediately establishing a deadly and highly plausible premise and then building the tension to an almost unbearable level. THE JANUS REPRISAL never gets bogged down in dull “spy speak” and instead races forward with the energy of a super-charged Bourne film..."

THE JANUS REPRISAL follows in the footsteps of Ludlum’s Covert One idea --- an idea that has spawned novels by authors such as Philip Shelby, Gayle Lynds and Kyle Mills. This time out, award-winning novelist Jamie Freveletti lends her imaginative talents to the Covert One series with a book that is nearly impossible to put down and moves at the speed of light without pause.

Covert One operative Colonel Jon Smith is attending a conference in The Hague that includes the world’s leading authorities on infectious diseases. Scientists and political figures from around the globe are in attendance, making this place an ideal target for terrorism. The novel jumps right in with a terrorist attack on the hotel where the conference is taking place, and Smith must call on all of his Covert Ops training to make it out alive.

In taking down a gunman bent on killing him, Smith comes across a strange and unsettling find. The gunman’s inside jacket pocket contained three photos --- one of Smith, one of British MI6 officer Peter Howell, and one of an unknown female.  What is the connection between these three people, and how do they fit into a terrorist attack that was obviously a ruse for a much more nefarious plot --- especially knowing that infectious diseases were the key note of the conference and in the wrong hands could be a deadly weapon?

Through the investigative work of Smith’s Covert One team, they identify the mystery woman as Rebecca Nolan, a top-tier investment banker on Wall Street. Through much persuading, Smith is able to make Nolan realize the danger she is in. She lets on that a Middle-Eastern client whom she has made many offshore deposits may be behind this attack. Dattar is a Pakistani warlord who has vowed revenge on the United States and all their allies in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and subsequent retaliation against his beloved al Qaeda compatriots.

Dattar and his cronies are now in possession of a deadly form of hepatitis with the potential to kill 97% of the people it comes in contact with. Their plan is to release it via the NYC subway system and effectively cripple the greatest city in the world in ways far more damaging than the fatal events that occurred on 9/11. To make matters worse, a group known as the Janus Consortium may be backing his murderous efforts. The Janus Consortium is made of nations that have felt slighted for decades by the UN and choose to enact their own brand of justice on the world. Jon Smith needs to pull out all stops and utilize every asset and skill set he possesses to have any chance of thwarting this imminent attack.

Jamie Freveletti has done a wonderful job of immediately establishing a deadly and highly plausible premise and then building the tension to an almost unbearable level. THE JANUS REPRISAL never gets bogged down in dull “spy speak” and instead races forward with the energy of a super-charged Bourne film --- making readers of Robert Ludlum proud and extremely satisfied.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on September 28, 2012

Robert Ludlum's The Janus Reprisal
by Jamie Freveletti

  • Publication Date: May 28, 2013
  • Genres: Adventure, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 0446539856
  • ISBN-13: 9780446539852