WRITING STYLE: 4/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4/5
During his long career as a writer, Robert Ludlum was well respected for the yarns he could spin, and the level of detail and complexity his plots had.
More often than not it meant that the books were huge, but they were a delight to read, especially in the grand climax scenes.
While my personal favourite was The Matarese Circle, there was another book that was equally good, The Janson Directive.
It was about a government contract killer, Paul Janson, who was being hunted by an unstoppable assassin after he takes on some deadly assignments.
Similar to other projects that have been taken up after the demise of Ludlum, the Janson project has also been taken up by another writer, one Paul Garrison.
He wrote The Janson Command before this, and in continuation of the series, The Janson Option is his latest offering. Somali pirates headed by Maxammed assault a superyacht and take hostage all its occupants, with a special interest in Italian countess Allegra Helms.
Kingsman Helms, her wife and also Petroleum Division President of American Synergy, hires Janson’s Catspaw Associates to do a rescue operation.
What looks like a straightforward assignment becomes a tale of dirty politics and deception on an international scale. How Janson and his associate/girlfriend Jessica Kincaid complete the rescue operation forms the basis of the plot.
For the book The Janson Command, Garrison was true to Ludlum’s style and had a slow and complicated plot, which did not go down well with many of the readers, what with attention spans being low and all.
As a course of rectification, The Janson Option sees more fast-paced storytelling, bringing out the exceptional writing qualities of Garrison himself.
One of the best things about the book is that you don’t have to worry about not having read any of the other books in the series.
Also, even if you have never heard of Robert Ludlum or not read his books before, it wouldn’t still affect you in any way. At the same time, even Ludlum fans will embrace the book, and identify with the complex plot and the characters themselves.
Another good thing about The Janson Option is that it feels like the series has been evolving with the changing times.
The first book and the third book are different in the way the story is dealt, and with modern warfare seamlessly built into the plot, you wouldn’t find anything amiss with the storytelling.
All in all, definitely worth reading.