The Bourne Supremacy
||This article consists almost entirely of a plot summary and it should be expanded to provide more balanced coverage that includes real-world context. (April 2013)|
|The Bourne Supremacy|
The Bourne Supremacy first edition cover
|Publication date||February 11, 1986|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||597 pp (First edition)|
|Dewey Decimal||813/.54 19|
|LC Classification||PS3562.U26 B68 1986|
|Preceded by||The Bourne Identity|
|Followed by||The Bourne Ultimatum|
The Bourne Supremacy is the second Jason Bourne novel written by Robert Ludlum, first published in 1986. It was the sequel to Ludlum's bestseller The Bourne Identity (1980) and precedes Ludlum's final Bourne novel, The Bourne Ultimatum (1990).
Plot summary 
In the first book, The Bourne Identity, Jason Bourne suffered amnesia. Over the course of the book he regained his memory with the help of a Canadian economist, Marie, and later found that he was previously an operative of the Central Intelligence Agency in an elite project in Southeast Asia and Vietnam codenamed Medusa. Following the American forces withdrawal from Vietnam he joined Project Treadstone 71, where he was used as bait for the infamous European assassin, Carlos the Jackal. Bourne took credit for various kills in China and the rest of Asia, acting as a rival to the Jackal, in order to draw him out of hiding.
At the beginning of The Bourne Supremacy, Bourne has recovered from most mental and all physical injuries and is teaching Asian studies at a university in Maine under his real name of David Webb. He is also living happily on campus with Marie and is getting regular psychological tests from his doctor, Morris Panov.
Meanwhile, high-ranking U.S. officials discuss an increasingly alarming situation in the People's Republic of China, where a popular Communist official is planning a hostile takeover of the country, using a Bourne imitator to eliminate his political rivals. The officials decide to use Webb to kill the Chinese official, but know of his mistrust of the U.S. government. Aware of Webb's deep-seated emotional instability due to the loss of his first wife and children in Vietnam, they hatch a plan to abduct Marie and throw Webb back into the default state under which he operated for Medusa.
It is then that a representative of the U.S. Government arrives and informs Webb of an imitator in Asia, someone who is killing under the name of Jason Bourne, a name feared in Asia because of the accredited kills during his work with Treadstone 71. Webb is told he requires a more visible security force because there is evidence someone wants him dead.
Soon thereafter, Marie is abducted by unknown men while Webb is at the University. Webb returns to the house, finds clues to her abduction, and immediately phones government officials, threatening to leak information about Treadstone and Medusa in an attempt to get assistance. He finds out information has been manipulated in order to make him seem crazy and delusional, and that his only course of action is to follow the instructions left for him by the kidnappers. He turns to the only person he thinks will be able to help him, Alexander Conklin. Conklin is convinced there is government involvement but that they have lost control of the situation and the hired guns holding Marie are no longer in their control. Webb who now has transformed back into his hated persona of Jason Bourne now has no choice but to go to Hong Kong and play out the scenario to get Marie back. There he meets with a wealthy Tai-Pan who wants Bourne to bring back the imposter Jason Bourne because the imposter killed his wife.
Marie, held captive in a British hospital, fakes an illness and escapes, taking refuge with Catherine Staples, a former colleague employed at the Canadian consulate in Hong Kong. She is later contacted by Conklin, who confronts Under-Secretary MacAllister and Ambassador Havland, the orchestrators of the plan to manipulate Webb. Webb, tracing the impostor Bourne through Kowloon and Macau, tracks him to mainland China, where he encounters Echo, another former Medusa operative, who is also tracking down the impostor Bourne, who he personally trained. They track Bourne to a meeting in a bird sanctuary, where Echo is captured, and executed by Sheng Jo Yang, the Chinese nationalist leader that Havland has been desperately trying to eliminate. Webb captures the impostor Bourne, but in attempting to swap the impostor for Marie, is misled by MacAllister, as Marie is still held in secret by Conklin. Without Marie, Webb has stated clearly he will kill the impostor, whom Havland and MacAllister need to track down Yang. Thinking Marie has been killed, Bourne assaults Havland's "sterile house" estate, where the impostor is killed and Bourne nearly as well, saved only by the timely arrival of Marie and Conklin.
Bourne is then told of the whole plan and why Havland had to abduct Marie. Since Bourne has seen what Sheng is capable of, he says that he must go back into the fray and kill Sheng. McAllister goes with Bourne, and during their search for Sheng, McAllister explains that he must be the one to kill Sheng, that was his plan from the start. The meeting between Sheng and Bourne and McAllister takes place on the Chinese border, and during the meeting McAllister is shot before he can make the kill, so Bourne has to kill Sheng instead. They escape with Sheng's helicopter.
Publication history 
- 1986, US, Random House ISBN 0-394-54396-3, Pub date February 11, 1986, Hardback.
- 1987, US, Bantam Books ISBN 0-553-26322-6, Pub date February 1, 1987, Paperback.
- 1986, UK, Grafton ISBN 0-246-12572-1 Pub date April 10, 1986, Hardback.
- 1987, UK, HarperCollins ISBN 0-553-17299-9, Pub date March 5, 1987, Paperback.