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Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Evolution


Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Evolution

THE BOURNE EVOLUTION, the latest entry in the Jason Bourne saga, opens with two incidents that are eerily close to both recent and current events. The first is a mass shooting that takes place in Las Vegas, very similar to the tragedy that occurred there during the country music concert back in 2017. In the novel, it is an antique car show and goes down as the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Sixty-six individuals are reported dead, but that number may actually be 67. We will return to this discrepancy later.

Next, in New York City, French-Canadian reporter Abbey Laurent is attending a speech given by local congresswoman Sofia Ortiz, who bears a stunning resemblance to the outspoken AOC. Ortiz is speaking out against Big Tech and their role in every American's personal data. She doesn't get too far before she is taken out by a sniper's bullet right in front of Abbey.

"This Bourne is exciting and interesting, using his unique skill set for himself in a more contemporary setting without missing a step. The evolution is upon us, and I cannot wait to see what Freeman does next with this legendary character."

Certain influential people want to lay blame on a well-known assassin who simply goes by the name Cain. We know him better as Jason Bourne…and, no, he did not commit either of these acts. He attempts to reach out to his oldest friend from his Treadstone days, Scott DeRay, but Scott won't have anything to do with him. Bourne has been burned by everyone and every organization he has known, so he is completely on his own. Nevertheless, he does not plan to go away quietly and intends to do whatever it takes to discover who is setting him up and why. He begins by paying a visit to Quebec City and to Abbey, who has no idea that she herself is a target for assassination. In true Bourne fashion, he avoids some close calls and gets her out of Canada, but not before she witnesses one of her closest friends being murdered right before her eyes.

Bourne initially takes Abbey as a semi-hostage, but eventually lets her know his side of things and that he does not trust anyone. He also assures her that not only did he not assassinate Ortiz, but that he actually was the one who knocked Abbey out of the way during the post-assassination melee as a second bullet was intended to take her out as well. The two are now working in tandem to get back to NYC, where they target an attorney Abbey knows who may be part of the group known as Medusa, which she suspects is behind all of this. Abbey plays Carson Gattor well by alerting him that she may have a contact, a source inside Medusa, who needs legal help. Bourne later plays himself as he meets with Carson, letting him know that he is working on ferreting out a mole inside Medusa. Of course, this puts a target right on Carson’s back, and he will be dead before they can find out much from him. In fact, he is just one in a long line of important and connected people who have outplayed their hand with Medusa and must be eliminated.

Bourne meets with Scott to assure him that he is not a traitor or working with Medusa. He also needs the assistance of Scott's new employer, Carillon, specifically from a tech standpoint as he and Abbey must figure out the relationship between Medusa and the high-tech firm Prescix. Things go sideways in NYC when an ex-colleague of Bourne, Benoit, locates him and Abbey at their safe house on an assignment to take them out. Their bond is deeper than that, and Bourne and Benoit come to an impasse agreement --- that is, until a bullet takes off Benoit's head, which again was intended for Bourne.

Bourne and Abbey's next trek leads them to Las Vegas, where they will get many of the answers they need about Medusa and Prescix. This includes finding out that there is enough firepower between the two to start a war. It is also in Las Vegas where Bourne will learn the truth about his ex-lover, Nova, who was the 67th victim of the Vegas mass shooting. It all culminates in a final showdown in the Caribbean, where everything will come to light. If it sounds like a lot, this review does not even scratch the surface. The action is non-stop and makes for some breathless reading. I cannot remember having this much fun with a Jason Bourne novel.

Brian Freeman was “born” to take on this series (pun definitely intended). In THE BOURNE EVOLUTION, Bourne isn't weighed down as much by the past and all the people who have done him wrong. We've already gone down that road. This Bourne is exciting and interesting, using his unique skill set for himself in a more contemporary setting without missing a step. The evolution is upon us, and I cannot wait to see what Freeman does next with this legendary character.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on August 7, 2020

Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Evolution
by Brian Freeman

  • Publication Date: May 25, 2021
  • Genres: Adventure, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 0525542612
  • ISBN-13: 9780525542612