Jason Bourne back in action

Book review by Sebastian Lim

Title: The Bourne Defiance

Author: Brian Freeman

Publisher: Head of Zeus

ISBN: 9781803285924

Brian Freeman’s breakneck fourth Jason Bourne thriller (after 2022’s The Bourne Sacrifice) is the 18th overall in the series and the Treadstone secret agent remains locked in a confrontation against his nemesis, the Russian mole and assassin known as Lennon.

Meanwhile, Jason Bourne is lying low in Paris, spending time with Abbey when he can.

Things seem calm, until one morning, when he notices something out of place. Telling Abbey to get ready just in case he gives her the signal to run, he goes to investigate.

Instead, he ends up finding Nova, a former lover and finds out that she is sent by Bourne’s longtime handler, Nash Rollins, to alert him that Treadstone agents around the world are being targeted. So far, six are already dead.

It turns out that the kill orders are related to a job done seven years ago, code name Defiance. Nova is on the list, and Jason Bourne aka Cain is also being hunted, because Lennon was part of that job from the very beginning.

No one associated with Treadstone now or then seems to know what Defiance was, other than a series of hits, until Bourne uncovers the truth.

As he follows the trail of bodies left in the wake of Defiance, Bourne learns of its connection to a mysterious, unsolved plane disappearance from a decade ago. Digging deeper, Bourne learns of bioweapons and political tensions involving Iran and high-level US officials hovering around the downed plane. This makes him more determined to find out the details, hoping they will point the way to his own survival.

As Abbey, Nova, and Jason find themselves in danger, and with Lennon as part of the plot, it becomes critical for Bourne to stay one step ahead of his arch- enemy. It all comes to an exciting climax, when Cain aka Bourne, and Abel aka Lennon aka Bourne (he’s the original Jason Bourne and used this name as one of his covers), have one final showdown. And on top of that, there are shocking deaths, and when Bourne finally gets the answers he’s seeking, he finds that it costs him dearly.

The action is relentless but expertly rendered, and Bourne remains a fascinating character even after more than 40 years. Series fans will leave this thriller fascinated, satisfied, and still hungry for more.

This is another great novel in the Jason Bourne series. It will capture your attention the moment you start reading it, and as the pages turn, you will be losing track of time as you stay glued to the suspense and action. It’s that good. And Freeman does an outstanding job writing these novels. A great read.

Sebastian Lim is an experienced journalist and editor who now runs his own book review blog — coolreadsseb.blogspot.com. The views expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent that of The Weekly-Echo.