Picks and Pans Review: The Bourne Identity

updated 04/07/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/07/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Robert Ludlum

The author of those megathrillers The Chancellor Manuscript and The Holcroft Covenant is back, this time with an amnesia victim hunted for crimes he can't remember. Ludlum's technique is the same, a dizzying succession of scenes. His hero is shot in the head during a fight at sea in a violent storm. An alcoholic doctor performs a miracle of brain surgery. The patient becomes, in succession, Jean-Pierre, George P. Washburn, Jason Bourne, Briggs, Cain, Delta and David Webb, acquires a bad limp, $5 million and a beautiful Canadian girl who knows all about banking. The chief villain is Carlos, the infamous European terrorist, but the CIA and U.S. Army try to kill Bourne too. After 500 grueling pages he remembers his name, though he actually may be his own brother. Readers who get that far will be so glad they're finished they won't care if he's his own grandfather. (Marek, $12.95)

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