For a man who has been dead almost two years, Robert Ludlum can sure deliver one heck of a thriller. This one, which Ludlum was near finishing at the nine of his death in March 2001, introduces Paul Janson, a covert operative who gave up his cloak and dagger after his pregnant wife was killed by terrorists. He is reluctantly lured back into the mayhem to rescue an international philanthropist being held captive by Muslim extremists on an island in the Indian Ocean.
The story careens from there to Amsterdam, Hungary, Washington, D.C., and ultimately New York City, as Janson tries to solve the mystery and save the world. There are enough hairpin plot twists along the way to give a reader whiplash, but who's complaining? Loaded with all the intrigue, paranoia and real-life paralels that made Ludlum famous, Janson goes by in a whoosh. (St. Martin's, $27.95)
BOTTOM LINE: Dead men do tell tales—sometimes terrific ones