The Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlum

‘The Bourne Supremacy’ is Robert Ludlum’s second Bourne novel and unfortunately doesn’t reach the same high standard as ‘The Bourne Identity’. The book is almost 700 pages long and I felt as though I had to work to get through every page. But, when I thought about the plot later on, it was actually pretty good.

Jason Bourne (who never really existed) has gone back to his real life as David Webb, professor of Oriental Studies, at a University in Maine. Webb has married Marie (who stared in ‘The Bourne Identity’) and after years of therapy has mostly put Bourne behind him.

But, an assassin is operating in China using the name Jason Bourne. Those who need the pretender stopped decide that the ‘real’ Jason Bourne is the best person to stop him. So, they kidnap Marie to force the mild-mannered David Webb to once again become the ruthless killer Jason Bourne.

Throughout the book Bourne suffers major identity crises as his personality switches between David Webb, Jason Bourne and Delta (his Vietnam War persona). As the book progresses, Jason Bourne gradually takes over.

Besides the fake Jason Bourne, there is a much more sinister plot going on in China. So, there are many more people than the pretender who need to be dealt with by the master assassin.


I found much of the book to be far too wordy. Sometimes there were several pages where a single paragraph would have sufficed. Some of the Chinese people were portrayed quite while others were a bit clichéd.

The Marie in this book was a much weaker character than the one portrayed in ‘The Bourne Identity’. I also found the constant personality switching a bit difficult to deal with and I was left feeling about as confused as Jason Bourne/ David Webb/ Delta.

‘The Bourne Identity’ was a great book. This one was a bit of a chore. I’m hoping that book 3 – ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’ is a more enjoyable read.


Book Published 1986


See a full list of books by Eric Van Lustbader

See a full list of books by Robert Ludlum

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