The Bourne Ultimatum: Book Review

The Jason Bourne books have been one of the best spy thriller books of the last 50 years. And we will be reviewing the third book in the series, The Bourne Ultimatum. Keep reading to find out the summary and why you should read this novel next!

The Bourne Ultimatum Summary

David Webb, aka Jason Bourne has to go back to work after a message in the form of a murder indicates that Carlos the Jackal has resurfaced. He is Webb’s old nemesis and Webb will do anything to put him down, including be Jason Bourne again

The Bourne Ultimatum book cover
The Bourne Ultimatum book review

Carlos the Jackal has gotten older and before he dies, he wants to do two things: Kill Jason Bourne and get revenge against the KGB facility where he was trained and turned away his craziness. The plan is set into motion by Carlos as he uses his organization “The Old Men of Paris” who are mostly criminals. They work for Carlos in and in return, their families reap the benefits and live a life of comfort.

As Webb becomes Bourne, he knows that Carlos will try to come after his family which is why he sends them to her brother’s residence in the Caribbean for protection. With nothing holding him back, Bourne tracks down any leads to The Old Men of Paris and Carlos to hunt him down and kill him.


The Bourne Ultimatum movie trailer

While the movies are far more popular, The Bourne Ultimatum novels are still great. The storytelling and suspense is unmatched and it is no wonder that the books turned into a successful movie franchise. Spy novels have become cliché but Robert Ludlum is part of the reason. He has created a lot of the tropes and was able to make his novels different yet still a great read.

For the most part, spy novels always make for a good time. That is until you read too many in a short time and realize the craziness of the plot as the risks and reality make little sense. It is no wonder that they make incredible movies because those stunts and explosions are an escape from reality. 

The Bourne Ultimatum series may be the best adult spy series in my opinion. Alex Rider takes the crown for the best kids spy series and each cater to their audience. The James Bond series misses the cut because while they are great books, they are short and do not build the suspense like Ludlum does in his books.

The Bourne Ultimatum


If you have seen the movies or want to dive into a spy novel or series, then this book is for you. There is a lot of suspense and Ludlum is master when it comes to writing spy novels. The stakes are higher than ever and Jason Bourne is on the case. Happy Reading!

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5 thoughts on “The Bourne Ultimatum: Book Review

  1. MI6 says:

    You must read Robert Ludlum’s novels (including The Bourne Sacrifice) and don’t stop at just watching the films if you’re an espionage aficionado, an Ian Fleming follower, a 007 devotee or just “Bourne” a spy catcher and know who wrote the “Trout Memo”. Of course, by now you should also have read Bill Fairclough’s epic spy novel Beyond Enkription in The Burlington Files series, written for espionage cognoscenti and real spies.

    Talk about disinformation as effective as any Robert Ludlum could create, its protagonist, Edward Burlington aka Fairclough is just as “fast and furious” as any James Bond or Jason Bourne has been or even the Gray Man was meant to be but with one subtle difference. All his exploits in London, Nassau and Port au Prince are based on hard facts (some of which you can even check) and laced with ingenious spycraft tricks even espionage illuminati haven’t come across.

    By the way, Fairclough’s MI6 handler Mac knew Ian Fleming, Kim Philby and Oleg Gordievsky. No surprise then that John le Carré refused to write a series of collaborative spy novels with Fairclough given Philby ended John le Carré’s MI6 career. Little wonder then that in hindsight Ian Fleming was thankful that he didn’t work directly for MI6 and Robert Ludlum thankful that he didn’t sacrifice himself for the CIA. For more see the brief News Article dated 31 October 2022 in TheBurlingtonFiles site.


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