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The Janson Directive (Paul Janson #1)

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,083 Ratings  ·  218 Reviews
When billionaire philanthropist Peter Novak is kidnapped by a terrorist known as The Caliph, it's up to Paul Janson—a legend in the notorious U.S. covert agency Consular Operations—to save him. But Janson's rescue operation goes horribly wrong…and soon Janson is marked for death, the target of a "beyond salvage" order issued from the highest level of the government. Now Ja ...more
Paperback, 768 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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K.D. Absolutely
Robert Ludlum, while living or now that he is dead, never fails to astonish me. His works are just different from most of the suspense-thriller novels around. Ludlum books are like a certain kind of apparel brand whose owners and tailors seem to have me in mind whenever they design and produce their clothes.

The Janson Directive was first published in 2002, a year after Robert Ludlum’s death. The question of whether he or some hired writers wrote this does not really matter. This book has the qu
Aug 04, 2014 Colin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Robert Ludlum book, although I had heard the name over the years, and read a few reviews of his books. As I had a whole English pound coin burning a hole in my pocket I tried this one. Some familiar ground to start off with, a terrorist preparing to do something horrid and killing one or two sentries and border guards in preparation. The horrid thing was the abduction of a man who, along with being rich beyond our wildest dreams uses his money and influence for the good of his ...more
Sep 24, 2012 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just like Robert Ludlum's 'Bourne' series and Lee Child's 'Reacher' books, you WANT to believe there is someone that kickass out there... We all know there isn't. So, as long as you take it as seriously as the 'Die Hard' movies they are excellent books.

In this story, the worlds greatest philanthropist, billionaire and all round good guy is kidnapped by terrorists. No ransom is demanded they just want to execute him.

Novak's people call in the one man killing machine Paul Janson. Janson puts to
Apr 07, 2013 Ferne rated it it was ok
Oh my! It has seemed to take me 'forever' to read this novel. I always thought of Robert Ludlum as a writer of suspense and thrillers. In the midst of reading this book, I did something I have never done before. I came back to the Goodreads web site to read the reviews of others. As I learned that this novel was an unfinished work at the time of Ludlum's death on 12-Mar-2001, my suspicions were confirmed. I know that an adult should rarely use the word 'never' in their vocabulary so I do not sta ...more
Sep 01, 2013 Teresa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
America secretly tries to influence the course of world history whilst appearing to stay at arms length but it all goes horrible wrong and eventually they have to rely on an ex super spy to save the day when their puppet decides he wants to control the strings himself. So utterly predictable I only kept on reading to see how dreadful it could get. In that respect it didn't disappoint it just kept on getting worse and worse.

Also I kept really irritated by glaring errors that a minimum of researc
Carl Alves
The Janson Directive was published after Robert Ludlum’s death. It’s very typical of a Ludlum novel filled with high-wire action scenes and loaded with twists and turns. In this novel, Paul Janson, a former assassin for the United States government who now runs a private security company is hired to rescue kidnapped Nobel Peace prize winner, Peter Novak. He is being held captive by Muslim extremists in the Indian Ocean. Just after his rescue attempt, Novak is killed in a fiery explosion. Instead ...more
Mar 08, 2014 Ed rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Ludlum and thriller fans.
The Janson Directive is one of 5 novels credited to Robert Ludlum and published after his death. It is not, then, surprising that this book was not as good as the ones he finished himself. We have no idea who actually edited and completed this novel but it lacks the patina of reality that Ludlum's previous efforts showed. It's not a bad story. I wouldn't have stayed with it through 760 pages if it was. It's just not a great novel.

Paul Janson, the protagonist, left the spy/assassination game only
Alexandra Bogdanovic
I have no words to express my disappointment or explain how truly horrible this book is. Having said that, the phrase, "what a load of rubbish" sums it up rather nicely.
It starts off with so much promise, but quickly dissolves into the type of anti-American rhetoric frequently promulgated by those on the left side of the political spectrum at home and abroad. Don't get me wrong -- of course America is not perfect and of course it can and should be criticized. Just not this way. It is an insult
Ron Holmes
Nov 16, 2014 Ron Holmes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in the series and the second Robert Ludlum book I have read. Robert Ludlum was a great writer with great attention to detail. This book is full of many twists and turns and fortunately for Janson he is able to navigate through it all. Of course, there was not enough sex, but Janson is getting up there in years.
Tessa Small
Jan 16, 2015 Tessa Small rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From an operatives point of view looking at the world he lives especially undercover out there far removed from the desk jockeys who make decisions, pass down orders and generally are deniable of responsibility, this story weaves in and out of just how wrong decisions taken by politicians can be and when disaster strikes how quickly they give out orders which prove wrong, then rescind those orders when faces with real people and lives, and when the problems of the world are solved how they promp ...more
jennifer  harris
Dec 06, 2014 jennifer harris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great Ludlum book of intrigue

I like intrigue, and the twists and turns kept me glued. This story will not fail you. If you have read his other books, read this one too,
Aug 19, 2015 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, fiction
It was very good many twists & turns. The main theme of it all eventually is revealed, being something completely hard to grasp but something only a select few will truly know!
Jason Sta. Maria
It was a bit common story. But anyway I can still say it was good enough atleast.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 09, 2016 Kelanth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spionaggio
La direttiva, in originale "The Janson Directive" è un romanzo di spionaggio scritto da Robert Ludlum e pubblicato nel 2002. Sembra confermato che se ne farà un film. A confermare il via libera al progetto è stato Dwayne Johnson, primo nome ad entrare nel cast del film che verrà adattato per il grande schermo da Akiva Goldsman (Angeli & Demoni).

Robert Ludlum, come già detto molte volte nelle mie precedenti recensioni è un maestro indiscusso del genere spy-story, tanto da meritarsi l'appellat
Aug 14, 2012 VaultOfBooks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By Robert Ludlum. Grade: A
The author of 37 novels, Robert Ludlum has been one of the busiest authors in literary circles. The Janson Directive is one of those 5 novels which were credited to Robert Ludlum and published posthumously.
The spy game cost Paul Janson everything that was most important to him, so it would take a lot to lure him back into it. But there is one person to whom Janson owes a huge debt- and he’s calling in his marker. Peter Novak has been kidnapped and faces execution at the
Keith Willcock
Oct 08, 2012 Keith Willcock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

As usual Mr Ludlum wastes no time in getting down to action in this non stop thriller. Our hero Paul Janson has reluctantly accepted a mission to rescue a world famous philanthropist from the clutches of a radical terrorist group who has kidnapped him and sentenced him to a beheading in , shall we say 48 hours. Not much time to work but Ludlum is a master at packing everything into a microscope and blowing it up in the shortest order possible and so it is to be once again. Stretching his almost
Oct 21, 2012 Anthony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, ebooks
I have to admit... despite the other "Robert Ludlum" series that I have already read, I haven't actually read one of Robert Ludlum's original novels written before he had passed and other authors had taken over the various series. Now, I have finally taken the time to read this particular novel because it's his original before recently a second book with the same main character, Paul Janson, has been taken over by another author.

I have read the Jason Bourne series, and the Covert-One (Lt. Col. J
Feb 07, 2013 Al rated it liked it

When billionaire philanthropist Peter Novak is kidnapped by a terrorist known as The Caliph, it’s up to Paul Janson—a legend in the notorious U.S. covert agency Consular Operations—to save him. But Janson’s rescue operation goes horribly wrong…and soon Janson is marked for death, the target of a "beyond salvage" order issued from the highest level of the government. Now Janson is running for his life, pursued by Jessica Kincaid, a young agent of astonishing ability who can anticipate and counter

David Roberts
Oct 05, 2013 David Roberts rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am reviewing the novel The Janson Directive by Robert Ludlum which is an excellent thriller which I bought from a car boot sale. Ludlum was the biggest selling author in the world at one time and does write carefully crafted thrillers. I enjoyed this book which is also a nice length at around 620 pages. The plot is a prominent man has his son kidnapped by terrorists in Sri Lanka and the Americans will help him with intelligence but won't get further involved because it may put American citizen ...more
Dec 15, 2007 Johnsergeant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, audiblecom
Downloaded from

Narrator: Paul Michael
Publisher: Audio Renaissance, 2002
Length: 20 hours and 36 min.

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 h
Jun 25, 2012 Adam rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Another awful plodding Ludlum, again, only read because it was all I could get from my local expatriates' swapshop. This and 'The Matarese Circle' were written thirty years apart, but the plot was almost identical. Ludlum shamelessly jumps on the bandwagon of Americans feeling guilty after 9/11 with a painfully politically correct tale of massive global conspiracy theory designed to target younger readers and absolve himself of the patriotic crud he proba ...more
Feb 20, 2012 Myra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The funniest thing! I can't remember reading this book before, but the first part of the book was so familiar. Then, when I got past the first 50-60 pages it was totally unfamiliar. At any rate, it was a good Ludlum thriller, similar in a lot of ways to the Bourne series. Paul Janson is an ex-Consular Operations agent who is hired by an international humanitarian organization to rescue the CEO of the organization from terrorists who plan to execute him live on an upcoming Muslim holiday. He pull ...more
Azar Ali Zain
Jun 17, 2015 Azar Ali Zain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Felt a bit of a drag in the middle, but the patience paid well: the twists were sharp and the details were so shockingly pertinent to what is happening today, that it will keep you at the edge and leaving the book gets very hard.
I already have a blockbuster movie based on the story in my mind, just visualizing it makes me feel thrilled! Another one of Ludlum's masterpieces, certainly. Enjoyed it thoroughly.
Arthur Gibson
This was a good book. It had good characters. It blended their past and their future and present in interesting ways. The big "surprise" was not something that I saw coming. About the only thing that brought this down for me was that I am finding a lot of his novels are following a formula. Get an agent, make sure we know he is the best. Put him in situations that place him beyond salvage (whether he has his memory or not is optional). Give him a strong, confident woman to assist him. Let him ru ...more
Randy Grossman
I recall enjoying reading Ludlum books when I was in the Navy in the 70s. However, I was pretty much disappointed with the majority of this book. Frankly, the term "Windbag" kept coming to mind regarding Ludlum's amount of time taken to describe various scenes in the book. I read the entire book but much of my reading was speed reading. It had some interesting moments, but just too much time to develop the story. Hopefully the next Ludlum book I read will bring back the former excitement I used ...more
Paul Rockthief
Apr 26, 2014 Paul Rockthief rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What the heck? I enjoy Ludlum's novels but this one was disjointed and not enjoyable. I get the notion that it was written ghost writers. Had a heck of a time getting through it. Ugh. It is one of the most unsatisfying books I have read lately. I think I will reread the Bourne series and get back into the real Ludlum groove.
Jan 19, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: casual-reads
Robert Ludlum books are implausible to the extreme; once that fact is accepted, they are great fun. This was my favorite of the few Ludlum novels I have read. This book wasted no time getting to the action, and the ending was both plausible (relatively speaking of course) and unexpected. Somebody always ends up alive who was presented as dead in these books, but the villain and his path to power were both interesting in this case. Furthermore, the protagonist only escaped a gun to the head one t ...more
Dick Pilskog
Very good book which took me a long time to read. I could not believe how an older spy guy could get out of trouble so many times he did but he had a little help along the way. Definitely spooky in more than one way than another. Good story with lots of twists and it ended as I wanted.
Cherry Young
Aug 07, 2008 Cherry Young rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Espionage and Action Thriller Lovers
Recommended to Cherry by: self
Am a big fan of Robert Ludlum. Don't know how I missed this one when it was originally published in 2002. Got it in paperback recently.
It's typical Ludlum: fast-paced intrigue and action on an international scale. Keeps you reading because you "have to" find out who's been pushing all the buttons.

Scary to contemplate that our US Government might actually be orchestrating "projects" under the wire that can have such devastating world-wide effects and that there perhaps are actually such arrogant
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Robert Ludlum was the author of twenty-seven novels, each one a New York Times bestseller. There are more than 210 million of his books in print, and they have been translated into thirty-two languages. He is the author of The Scarlatti Inheritance, The Chancellor Manuscript, and the Jason Bourne series--The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum--among others. Mr. Ludlum ...more
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Paul Janson (4 books)
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