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The Janson Directive Hardcover – October 15, 2002

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 542 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (October 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312253486
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312253486
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #900,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Even after death, Robert Ludlum remains the master of the international spy caper, and whether this posthumously published new thriller was cobbled together by a real ghost or already completed before Ludlum died doesn't matter. All the trademarked Ludlum gifts of plotting, pacing, and suspense are on full display in this engrossing mystery about a former covert operative turned private security executive who's stranded, abandoned, and marked for murder by his old colleagues when he manages to survive an unsurvivable mission. Rescuing renowned philanthropist and statesman-without-portfolio Peter Novak from the clutches of the terrorist who murdered his wife and unborn child, Paul Janson watches, unbelieving, as the plane carrying Novak back to freedom explodes before his eyes. Soon after the first post-mission attempt on his life, Janson begins to put the pieces of the puzzle together, but Ludlum keeps the reader from seeing it whole until the last thrilling chapter. A page-turner that doesn't let up, this one will leave Ludlum's fans hoping there are more unpublished manuscripts where this one came from, a not unlikely possibility. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

Ludlum died in March 2001, but here he is again, back with yet another posthumous thriller. Such books rarely live up to the author's standards, but this one is different: it's vintage Ludlum-big, brawny and loaded with surprises. The hero is Paul Janson, a private security consultant who retired a few years ago after a notorious career as the U.S. government's go-to guy for nasty jobs no one else was willing to take. Against his better judgment, Janson accepts an assignment to rescue Peter Novak, a Nobel Peace Prize-winning philanthropist and international troubleshooter held captive by Islamic extremists on an island in the Indian Ocean. Janson pulls off the stunning rescue, but as they make their escape, Novak dies in a fiery explosion-or does he? Janson has his doubts; within hours, he finds himself targeted by separate groups of assassins for reasons that baffle him. As he zigzags his way across Europe, leaving piles of bodies at each stop, he begins to wonder who Novak really is. The answer he eventually discovers provides readers with one of Ludlum's most outrageous plot twists in years. Extremely engaging and agonizingly suspenseful, Ludlum's plot bolts from scene to scene and locale to locale-Hungary, Amsterdam, London, New York City-never settling for one bombshell when it can drop four or five. If this wild, unpredictable and colorfully cast novel is Ludlum's swan song (he supposedly left behind notes for several thrillers), it's a memorable one indeed.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Robert Ludlum was the author of twenty-seven novels, each one a New York Times bestseller. There are more than 225 million of his books in print, and they have been translated into thirty-two languages. He is the author of The Scarlatti Inheritance, The Chancellor Manuscript, and the Jason Bourne series--The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum--among others. Mr. Ludlum passed away in March, 2001.

Customer Reviews

The book, overall, doesn't bog down too much.
If you like fast moving action, a plot with multiple twists and are a technophile, this is your book.
This was a fun read and it's hard to put down one you start.
Gilda Dennis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By R. Shaff on July 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Well, we have two gentlemen to thank for this piece of work, Mr. Ludlum's long time agent, Henry Morrison and his editor, Keith Kahla. With a reported 90% of the manuscript completed, Messrs. Morrison and Kahla rounded out a gem in THE JANSON DIRECTIVE; this book rings true to the REAL Ludlum as opposed to the "Covert One" series carrying his name. This storyline has the same content, feel, flair, and panache as Ludlum's classics (PARSIFAL MOSAIC, THE MATARESE CIRCLE, The BOURNE series...), which makes sense in that he wrote the vast majority of THE JANSON DIRECTIVE. I guess true Ludlumites will be hoping Mr. Ludlum left behind several more uncompleted manuscripts to quench our endless thirst for his works. Regardless, THE JANSON DIRECTIVE certainly was a nice surprise.
For those unfamiliar with Ludlum, the basic premise of most of his thrillers is to create an arguable hero, a villanous cabal or individual, and place our hero against impossible odds. The price of failure? The fate of the world.
Our hero in THE JANSON DIRECTIVE is Paul Janson, a legendary superspook retired from the clandestine covert agency where he made his career. His taste for brutality and violence bitter, the loss of his wife and the desire to live a solitary existence, Janson joins the ranks of the entrepreneur and hires himself out as an industrial consultant. The peaceful life takes a turn south when he is contacted by a representative of the Liberty Foundation, a private organization devoted to peace and democracy throughout the world. The Foundation's founder and nobel prize-winning laureate, Peter Novak, has been kidnapped and is scheduled to be publicly the same terrorist group responsible for his wife's death.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Tucker Andersen VINE VOICE on October 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Suspense - Action - Intricate Plotting - Wonderful Intrigue - All the things which Robert Ludlum provided the reader in his most successful books are contained in THE JANSON DIRECTIVE. This is an action adventure thriller to rival the Jason Bourne trilogy, and fans will hope that a sequel for Paul Janson was also conceptualized before Ludlum's death.
Paul Janson, a retired field operative from the covert agency Consular Ops is clandestinely recruited to attempt an exfiltration of Peter Novak, a billionaire and Nobel Peace Prize winner who has been kidnapped by nationalist rebels on the island kingdom of Anura and is to be executed in three days time. After being informed of the details of the mission by Marta Lang (head of Novak's philanthropy - the Liberty Foundation), when Lang thanked him for providing she and her associates with hope Janson remained silent but concluded that "perhaps false hope was better than none at all". And indeed, on the verge of apparent success a terrible tragedy occurs as Part One ends. For reasons totally unknown to Janson or the reader, a "beyond salvage" is then issued by Janson's former agency and he is targeted for death.
The remaining eighty percent of the book involves unraveling the intertwined mysteries of the life of Peter Novak, the Vietnam wartime experiences of Paul Janson, the role of the secret ops of the U.S. government, the disappearance of Marta Lang, and the continuing role of the masterful Anuran rebel leader, the Caliph, who has also a fateful link with Janson's past.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Best Of All on July 11, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Initially published one year after the death of Robert Ludlum, the nearly finished manuscript to this action-packed novel of government deception and cover-up was reportedly completed by his editor.

If not for his legendary Jason Bourne character, the main character in this novel - Paul Janson - could have been the Ludlum franchise in movies and successful book sequels.

And it is more than eliminating the first "n" in the last name for the misunderstood hero to be like Jason, as there are a number of close parallels; he is a Vietnam veteran who survived the sadistic manipulations of a commander, worked in a government covert agency that ultimately will try to eliminate him and is haunted by scenes from his past, including the murder of his pregnant wife by a terrorist organization.

The hunt for Janson is started when an "off-the-books" rescue attempt of a billionaire philanthropist goes terribly wrong, which leads to friends becoming enemies in a fast-paced game of searching for answers in the shadows between fact and disinformation.

Meticulous details and patented Ludlum plot twists make this novel more than a summertime read. This recent reissue clearly shows that Ludlum was moving in a direction to produce another seminal hero in the thriller genre.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By C. Cunningham on November 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
If, like me, you have been waiting for that one spectacular posthumous work from the immortal master of international intrigue, then your patience has been richly rewarded. Since his death in March 2001, the first few offerings bearing his name were of the poor-to-bland variety. However, THE JANSON DIRECTIVE is pure, unadulterated, vintage Ludlum.
Security consultant Paul Janson, a retired Consular Ops covert operative, is suddenly thrown back into his former role when he is called upon to rescue Pete Novak, an international businessman, philanthropist and diplomat. Janson's mission eventually goes terribly wrong, and soon he is being targeted for death by the very same people who were once his allies, his former protégé being the assassin who seeks him out. If he wants to live, and save the man who once saved him, he must unravel a conspiracy that permeates the highest government powers.
What makes THE JANSON DIRECTIVE so brilliant is the myriad of detail which gives added color to the storyline. Sometimes the details were a bit to graphic for my taste, but I never once considered putting the book aside, even for a moment. It's true that the dialogue is more "electric" than Ludlum's previous work, however, the plot is just as complex and technical as any of his international conspiracies. The storyline, written prior to 9/11, is right out of the most recent headlines; a true Ludlum trademark. He always seems to know what will make tomorrow's news before it becomes news. Nevertheless, I am perplexed by the publisher's silence as to the true author of this work. Knowing who to give credit to would certainly satisfy my insatiable curiosity.
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