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The Janson Directive (Paul Janson #1)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  6,901 Ratings  ·  252 Reviews
Nobel laureate, international financier, and philanthropist Peter Novak-a billionaire who has committed his life and fortune to fostering democracy around the world through his Liberty Foundation-has been kidnapped. The terrorist known as The Caliph is holding Novak in a near-impenetrable fortress and has refused to negotiate for his release, planning instead to brutally e ...more
Paperback, 693 pages
Published October 19th 2003 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published October 15th 2002)
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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
Sade Agbaje
Feb 05, 2017 Sade Agbaje rated it did not like it

i finished this catastrophe of a book.. too tired. Review to come later

My thought at the end of this book was simply this:

My only defense is this book actually started out really well, i read chapters 1-8 and i was thinking "oh shit this is going to be gooood."

Alas this book turned out to be absolutely underwhelming, chock full of middle east stereotypes: starring your favorite recurring themes such as,
westerners are evil "...the caliph was a leader in the struggle against the corruption of th

Apr 21, 2012 Joe rated it really liked it
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
Aug 04, 2014 Colin rated it liked it
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
Alexandra Bogdanovic
Feb 27, 2016 Alexandra Bogdanovic rated it did not like it
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
Mar 17, 2013 Ferne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Ron Holmes
Nov 16, 2014 Ron Holmes rated it really liked it
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.
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,
Sep 16, 2016 Abram rated it really liked it
I randomly purchased this book in amazon and when I started reading it , I just couldn't stop. A well Narrated Spy novel by Robert Ludlum. Fast paced<>twisty<>and heck of a suspense
Jason Sta. Maria
Jul 28, 2011 Jason Sta. Maria rated it it was ok
It was a bit common story. But anyway I can still say it was good enough atleast.
Mar 22, 2015 Nancy rated it really liked it
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!
Aug 14, 2012 VaultOfBooks rated it really liked it
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
May 10, 2017 Alexw rated it really liked it
Good action paced novel- just what you would expect from Ludlum- many plot changes that I didn't see coming so was enjoyable. If I was directing the movie abut the book would cast Bruce Willis as the aging hero and Kate Blanchett as the love interest.
Feb 07, 2013 Al rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

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

Keith Willcock
Oct 08, 2012 Keith Willcock rated it really liked it

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 14, 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
May 28, 2016 ATreads rated it really liked it
Reasons NOT to give this one four-stars...

1) Paul Janson is an awesome protaganist. So awesome in fact that he makes James Bond look like an amateur in CONVENIENTLY FINDING WAYS TO FINAGLE OUT OF EVERY SINGLE JAM HE IS IN. He's damn near flawless. He could make a spaceship out of a rotted jack-o-lantern and a few pieces of scrap metal. Not to mention he knows everything about every single piece of technology that shows up in this story. Tony Stark could learn things from this guy. Yessir, Paul J
Christian Scala
Jan 20, 2011 Christian Scala 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
Rohan Sarkar
Oct 20, 2016 Rohan Sarkar rated it really liked it
Tiny spoilers ahead. Nothing that will hamper your enjoyment of the book...

This is my first Ludlum book and I am happy to say, I was not disappointed. Infact, this turned out to be a great buy, or as we Indians say, “paisa vasool”, as in your money’s worth. Fast paced storyline, high octane action, fate of the world in balance and the whole shizznit. I have read a few reviews where the reader wanted the action and events to be grounded in reality but personally, I had no such problem. There is a
Mar 06, 2014 Ed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 15, 2007 Johnsergeant rated it really liked it
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
David Roberts
Oct 05, 2013 David Roberts rated it it was amazing
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
Karen Lawler
Feb 12, 2017 Karen Lawler rated it really liked it
This is a good book in the Ludlum tradition. The characters were well developed and the author held my attention with some useful twists and turns. I'll be interested to see if the series can sustain the quality of this first book.
Carl Alves
Apr 14, 2014 Carl Alves rated it liked it
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
Arthur Gibson
Jul 29, 2011 Arthur Gibson rated it liked it
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
Jan 24, 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
Joseph Lal
Oct 05, 2016 Joseph Lal rated it did not like it
TJD exists for the sole purpose of being a page-turner.
It wildly succeeds in this--it kept me interested and I finished it despite its ginormous size. It is a book with action sequence after plot twist after action sequence.
Unfortunately, aside from the plot, TJD fails in every other sense. Jessica Kincaid is the most unlikable unintelligently created character I've ever come across in a book, the dialogue is almost unbearable at parts, the story is too unbelievable, and worst of all, this boo
Jun 25, 2012 Adam rated it did not like it
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
Jul 23, 2016 Zafar rated it really liked it
I found this book quite entertaining. It is a traditional action thriller, amazingly well-written and gripping in its story. Paul Janson is a legendary ex-agent, who finds himself embroiled in a sinister plot of world-altering consequences. He faces the ultimate test of his career--a challenge that would force him to face the ghosts of his past; it would either change him irreversibly or he would perish trying to surmount this juggernaut.

I liked the water-tight prose, which made the book's appea
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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
More about Robert Ludlum...

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Paul Janson (4 books)
  • The Janson Command (Paul Janson, #2)
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