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Jason Bourne Book #1

Written by Robert LudlumAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Robert Ludlum



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On Sale: August 14, 2012
Pages: 608 | ISBN: 978-0-307-81378-7
Published by : Bantam Bantam Dell

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On Sale: December 09, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4159-6129-2
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On Sale: July 05, 2000
ISBN: 978-0-553-75139-0
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
His memory is a blank. His bullet-ridden body was fished from the Mediterranean Sea. His face has been altered by plastic surgery. A frame of microfilm has been surgically implanted in his hip. Even his name is a mystery. Marked for death, he is racing for survival through a bizarre world of murderous conspirators—led by Carlos, the world’s most dangerous assassin. Who is Jason Bourne? The answer may kill him.

Excerpt

The New York Times
Friday, July 11, 1975
FRONT PAGE

DIPLOMATS SAID TO BE LINKED WITH FUGITIVE TERRORIST KNOWN AS CARLOS


PARIS, July 10-France expelled three high-ranking Cuban diplomats today in connection with the worldwide search for a man called Carlos, who is believed to be an important link in an international terrorist network.

The suspect, whose real name is thought to be Ilich Ramirez Sanchez is being sought in the killing of two French counterintelligence agents and a Lebanese informer at a Latin Quarter apartment on June 27.

The three killings have led the police here and in Britain to what they feel is the trail of a major network of international terrorist agents. In the search for Carlos after the killings, French and British policemen discovered large arms caches that linked Carlos to major terrorism in West Germany and led them to suspect a connection between many terrorist acts throughout Europe.

Reported Seen in London

Since then Carlos has been reported seen in London and in Beirut. Lebanon.

Associated Press Monday, July 7, 1975 syndicated dispatch

A DRAGNET FOR ASSASSIN


LONDON (AP)-Guns and girls, grenades and good suits, a fat billfold, airline tickets to romantic places and nice apartments in a half dozen world capitals. This is the portrait emerging of a jet age assassin being sought in an international manhunt.

The hunt began when the man answered his doorbell in Paris and shot dead two French intelligence agents and a Lebanese informer. It has put four women into custody in two capitals, accused of offenses in his wake. The assassin himself has vanished--perhaps in Lebanon, the French police believe.

In the past few days in London, those acquainted with him have described him to reporters as good looking, courteous, well educated, wealthy and fashionably dressed.

But his associates are men and women who have been called the most dangerous in the world. He is said to be linked with the Japanese Red Army, the Organization for the Armed Arab Struggle, the West German Baader-Meinhof gang, the Quebec Liberation Front, the Turkish Popular Liberation Front, separatists in France and Spain, and the Provisional wing of the Irish Republican Army.

When the assassin traveled--to Paris, to the Hague, to West Berlin-bombs went off, guns cracked and there were kidnappings.

A breakthrough occurred in Paris when a Lebanese terrorist broke under questioning and led two intelligence men to the assassin's door in Paris on June 27. He shot all three to death and escaped. Police found his guns and notebooks containing “death lists” of prominent people.

Yesterday the London observer said police were hunting for the son of a Venezuelan Communist lawyer for questioning in the triple slaying. Scotland Yard said, “We are not denying the report,” but added there was no charge against him and he was wanted only for questioning.

The Observer identified the hunted man as Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, of Caracas. It said his name was on one of the four passports found by French police when they raided the Paris apartment where the slayings took place.

The newspaper said Ilich was named after Vladimir Ilych Lenin, founder of the Soviet state, and was educated in Moscow and speaks fluent Russian.

In Caracas, a spokesman for the Venezuelan Communist Party said filch is the son of a 70-year-old Marxist lawyer living 450 miles west of Caracas, but “neither father nor son belong to our party.”

He told reporters he did not know where Ilich was now.

Chapter One



The trawler plunged into the angry swells of the dark, furious sea like an awkward animal trying desperately to break out of an impenetrable swamp. The waves rose to goliathan heights, crashing into the hull with the power of raw tonnage; the white sprays caught in the night sky cascaded downward over the deck under the force of the night wind. Everywhere there were the sounds of inanimate pain, wood straining against wood, ropes twisting, stretched to the breaking point The animal was dying.

Two abrupt explosions pierced the sounds of the sea and the wind and the vessel's pain. They came from the dimly lit cabin that rose and fell with its host body. A man lunged out of the door grasping the railing with one band, holding his stomach with the other.

A second man followed, the pursuit cautious, his intent violent. He stood bracing himself in the cabin door; he raised a gun and fired again. And again.

The man at the railing whipped both his hands up to his head, arching backward under the impact of the fourth bullet. The trawler's bow dipped suddenly into the valley of two giant waves, lifting the wounded man off his feet; he twisted to his left unable to take his hands away from his head. The boat surged upward, bow and midships more out of the water than in it, sweeping the figure in the doorway back into the cabin, a fifth gunshot fired wildly. The wounded man screamed, his hands now lashing out at anything he could grasp, his eyes blinded by blood and the unceasing spray of the sea. There was nothing he could grab, so he grabbed at nothing; his legs buckled as his body lurched forward. The boat rolled violently leeward and the man whose skull was ripped open plunged over the side into the madness of the darkness below.

He felt rushing cold water envelop him, swallowing him, sucking him under, and twisting him in circles, then propelling him up to the surface--only to gasp a single breath of air. A gasp and he was under again.

And there was heat, a strange moist heat at his temple that seared through the freezing water that kept swallowing him, a fire where no fire should burn. There was ice, too; an icelike throbbing in his stomach and his legs and his chest, oddly warmed by the cold sea around him. He felt these things, acknowledging his own panic as he felt them. He could see his own body turning and twisting, arms and feet working frantically against the pressures of the whirlpool. He could feel, think, see, perceive panic and struggle--yet strangely there was peace. It was the calm of the observer, the uninvolved observer, separated from the events, knowing of them but not essentially involved.

Then another form of panic spread through him, surging through the heat and the ice and the uninvolved recognition. He could not submit to peace! Not yet! It would happen any second now; he was not sure what it was, but it would happen. He had to be there!

He kicked furiously, clawing at the heavy walls of water above, his chest burning. He broke surface, thrashing to stay on top of the black swells. Climb up! Climb up!

A monstrous rolling wave accommodated; he was on the crest, surrounded by pockets of foam and darkness. Nothing. Turn! Turn!

It happened. The explosion was massive; he could hear it through the clashing waters and the wind, the sight and the sound somehow his doorway to peace. The sky lit up like a fiery diadem and within that crown of fire, objects of all shapes and sizes were blown through the light into the outer shadows.

He had won. Whatever it was, he had won.

Suddenly he was plummeting downward again, into an abyss again. He could feel the rushing waters crash over his shoulders, cooling the white-hot heat at his temple, warming the ice-cold incisions in his stomach and his legs and . . .

His chest His chest was in agony! He had been struck--the blow crushing, the impact sudden and intolerable It happened again! Let me alone. Give me peace.

And again!

And he clawed again, and kicked again . . . until he felt it. A thick, oily object that moved only with the movements of the sea. He could not tell what it was, but it was there and he could feel it, hold it.

Hold it! It will ride you to peace. To the silence of darkness . . . and peace.


The rays of the early sun broke through the mists of the eastern sky, lending glitter to the calm waters of the Mediterranean. The skipper of the small fishing boat, his eyes bloodshot, his hands marked with rope burns, sat on the stern gunnel smoking a Gauloise, grateful for the sight of the smooth sea. He glanced over at the open wheelhouse; his younger brother was easing the throttle forward to make better time, the single other crewman checking a net several feet away. They were laughing at something and that was good; there had been nothing to laugh about last night. Where had the storm come from? The weather reports from Marseilles had indicated nothing; if they had he would have stayed in the shelter of the coastline. He wanted to reach the fishing grounds eighty kilometers south of La Seyne-sur-Mer by daybreak, but not at the expense of costly repairs, and what repairs were not costly these days?

Or at the expense of his life, and there were moments last night when that was a distinct consideration.

'Tu es fatigue, hein, mon frere?” his brother shouted, grinning at him. “Va te coucher mainaintenant. Laisse-moi faire.”

“D'accord,” the brother answered, throwing his cigarette over the side and sliding down to the deck on top of a net. “A little sleep won't hurt.”

It was good to have a brother at the wheel. A member of the family should always be the pilot on a family boat; the eyes were sharper. Even a brother who spoke with the smooth tongue of a literate man as opposed to his own coarse words. Crazy! One year at the university and his brother wished to start a compagnie. With a single boat that had seen better days many years ago. Crazy. What good did his books do last night? When his compagnie was about to capsize.

He closed his eyes, letting his hands sonic in the rolling water on the deck. The salt of the sea would be good for the rope burns. Burns received while lashing equipment that did not care to stay put in the storm.

“Look! Over there!”

It was his brother; apparently sleep was to be denied by sharp family eyes.

“What is it?' he yelled.

“Port bow! There's a man in the water! He's holding on to something! A piece of debris, a plank of some sort.”

The skipper took the wheel, angling the boat to the right of the figure in the water, cutting the engines to reduce the wake. The man looked as though the slightest motion would send him sliding off the fragment of wood he clung to; his hands were white, gripped around the edge like claws, but the rest of his body was limp-as limp as a man fully drowned, passed from this world.

“Loop the ropes!” yelled the skipper to his brother and the crewman. “Submerge them around his legs. Easy now! Move them up to his waist. Pull gently.”

“His hands won't let go of the plank!”

“Reach down! Pry them up! It may be the death lock.”

“No. He's alive . . . but barely, I think. His lips move, but there's no sound. His eyes also, though I doubt he sees us','

“The hands are free!”

“Lift him up. Grab his shoulders and pull him over. Easy, now!”

“Mother of God, look at his head!” yelled the crewman. “It's split open.”

“He must have crashed it against the plank in the storm,” said the brother.

“No,” disagreed the skipper, staring at the wound. “It's a clean slice, razorlike. Caused by a bullet; he was shot.”

“You can't be sure of that.”

“In more than one place,” added the skipper, his eyes roving over the body, “We'll head for Ile de Port Noir; it's the nearest island. There's a doctor on the waterfront.”

“The Englishman?”

“He practices.”

'When be can,” said the skipper's brother. “When the wine lets him. He has more success with his patients' animals than with his patients.”

“It won't matter. This will be a corpse by the time we c get them if by chance he lives, IT bill him for the extra petrol and whatever catch we miss. Get the kit; wet bind his head for all the good it will do.”

“Look!” cried the crewman. “Look at his eyes.”

“What about them?” asked the brother.

“A moment ago they were gray-as gray as steel cables.

Now they're blue!”

“The sun's brighter,” said the skipper, shrugging. “Or its playing tricks with your own eyes. No matter, there's no color in the grave.”

Intermittent whistles of fishing boats clashed with the incessant screeching of the gulls; together they formed the universal sounds of the waterfront. It was late afternoon, the sun a fireball in the west, the air still and too damp, too hot Above the piers and facing the harbor was a cobblestone street and several blemished white houses, separated by overgrown grass shooting up from dried earth and sand. What remained of the verandas were patched latticework and crumbling stucco supported by hastily implanted pilings. The residences had seen better days a number of decades ago when the residents mistakenly believed Il de Port Noir might become another Mediterranean Playground. It never did.

All the houses had paths to the street, but the last house in the row had a path obviously more trampled than the others. It belonged to an Englishman who had come to Port Noir eight years before under circumstances no one understood or cared to; he was a doctor and the waterfront had need of a doctor. Hooks, needles and knives were at once means of livelihood as well as instruments of incapacitation. If one saw le docteur on a good day, the sutures were not too bad. On the other hand, if the stench of wine or whiskey was too pronounced, one took one's chances.

Tant pis! He was better than no one.
Robert Ludlum

About Robert Ludlum

Robert Ludlum - The Bourne Identity
Robert Ludlum was the author of twenty-one novels, each a New York Times bestseller. There are more than 210 million of his books in print, and they have been translated into thirty-two languages. In addition to the Jason Bourne series—The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum—he was the author of The Scarlatti Inheritance, The Chancellor Manuscript, and The Apocalypse Watch, among many others. Mr. Ludlum passed away in March, 2001.
Praise

Praise

“Ludlum stuffs more surprises into his novels than any other six-pack of thriller writers combined.”—The New York Times

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