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Publisher's Summary

One of the world's greatest men has been kidnapped! Nobel laureate, financier, and philanthropist Peter Novak - a billionaire committed to fostering global democracy through his Liberty Foundation - has been captured by the Caliph, a near-mythical terrorist who plans to execute him in a matter of days.

Running out of time and hope, Novak's people turn to a man with a history of defeating impossible odds: Paul Janson. For decades, Janson was a legendary covert operative and assassin. Now he has retired, and nothing could lure him back - nothing except Peter Novak, who once saved Janson's life.

Backed by the considerable resources of the Liberty Foundation, Janson assembles a crack extraction team to rescue Novak from his fortress prison. But the operation goes horribly wrong and Janson is marked for death, the target of a "beyond salvage" order.

Now he is running for his life, pursued by Jessica Kincaid, an agent who, as a student of Janson's own lethal arsenal of tactics, can anticipate his every move. To survive, Janson must outrace a conspiracy that has gone beyond the control of its creators. To win, he must counter it with a conspiracy of his own. Janson's only hope is to uncover the nearly unimaginable truth behind these events - a secret that has the power to foment wars, topple governments, and change the course of history.

©2002 Myn Pyn LLC; (P)2002 Audio Renaissance, a Division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC

Critic Reviews

"All the trademarked Ludlum gifts of plotting, pacing, and suspense are on full display in this engrossing mystery." (
"Vintage Ludlum - big, brawny, and loaded with surprises." (Publishers Weekly)
"A marvel of stunning physical detail...Ludlum's best since The Bourne Identity." (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall


I enjoy the story. Great intrigue. The reader does a great job.

  • Overall
  • Joel
  • Washington, DC, United States
  • 12-25-06


I've read many Robert Ludlum books in the past, and can generally count on Mr. L for a good vacation read; the equivalent of a decent movie. In this case, perhaps it is the cloying narration, or maybe it's just the incredibly cliched, wooden dialog, but I had to quit: I just could not listen past the first hour or so.

If you ignore my warning and buy this, you'll be treated to:

1 - hackneyed dialog like "but how could he have known?? How!?!" or "I'll need good men, the best in their field. And they'll have to be men I can *trust*".

2 - female characters of every nationality all speaking with similar accents

3 - characters you just don't care about

Stay away from this one. If you'd like a thriller, I'd recommend something by Michael Connelly, like the excellent Lincoln Lawyer, or Echo Park.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great book

Wonderful! The suspense is great the way ludlum can unfold a story is a truly amazing thing. Could be slightly faster moving jansen is stumbling around for a long time before he figures out squat!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Bad and then worse

If I could rate this book zero stars, I would. The characters are so predictable and the dialogue had me rolling my eyes every five minutes. I am one of those suckers who has to finish every book, so I was forced to suffer through all the way to the end. The plot by itself is not terrible, but the writing messes it up big time. If he asked himself one more rhetorical question.... I love a good story and am not a picky literature critic, but this was a huge waste of time. Last but not least, this book is EXTREMELY anti-American.

2 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Janson Directive

Great read , you will love it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


An excellent plot. If you like Bourne series you will like this too. It is a different flavor of Jason Bourne type story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Typical Ludlum

As a long-time fan of Robert Ludlum, I enjoyed this book, but find the narrator annoying. I have listened to several books narrated by Paul Michael, and have recently noticed that he has a habit of dropping the 's' from plural words. This isn't consistent, but often enough to become distracting. He often seems to omit sibilant sounds - patience becoming payshun, experience becoming experient. Most reviewers seem to enjoy his narration, however, so perhaps I have just become super-critical, having listened to so many readings by Scott Brick. This is a 5 star story, but I have to subtract 1 star for the narration.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Peter
  • Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada
  • 12-11-06

Very tedious

This was my first Robert Ludlum book and will be my last. I must agree with some previous 2 star reviewers and their points. If not for Paul Michael's narration I would not have finished this book, although I did fast forward toward the end Why? because the constant digression from the storyline was distracting, boring and annoying, maybe an abridged version would keep ones interest.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • T. Moyer
  • Sinking Spring, Pa USA
  • 08-06-06

Very Enjoyable

This is my first Ludlum book. Call me dense but the plot wasn't predictable to me. Maybe after I read a few more of this author's novels I would have something different to say, but as a newbie, I enjoyed the twists and turn of the story. I will be trying out another Ludlum. This story definitely held my attention the entire length of the book. 4 instead of 5 because my suspension of disbelief was a bit taxed at times, but I don't mind enduring a little incredulity for an entertaining thriller.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Best of its Genre

Well crafted and believable.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful