This page is about the Bourne Ultimatum novel. For the Bourne Ultimatum movie, click here.

The Bourne Ultimatum is the third Jason Bourne book, and the final one written by Robert Ludlum. It takes place long after Bourne was found floating, unconscious in the sea, his memory awash (see The Bourne Identity)...

Below is our summary of The Bourne Ultimatum, including extras, such as the prologue read from the audio book, and an excerpt from chapter 37.

Thirteen years ago, Jason Bourne emerged from the waters of the Mediterranean, a near-corpse with total amnesia. Determined to uncover the truth about his identity, Bourne was forced to rely on lethal skills that he had no memory of. Now, David Webb – the man behind the Bourne Identity – an Asian studies professor, husband (to Marie) and father of two, is again forced unleash his alter ego, Jason Bourne.
Bourne’s ultimate nemesis and deadly assassin, Carlos the Jackal, has vowed to accomplish two goals before retiring: First, Carlos will destroy the KGB facility of Novgorod, an anti-American spy training base, where the Jackal was trained and expelled for his overly-violent tendencies. Second, Carlos will find and kill Jason Bourne. Finding Bourne is no small task, however, as Bourne (David Webb) and his family are in deep-cover protective custody. Not even the director of the CIA (the DCI) knows Bourne’s true identity or whereabouts. (Read more below this video.)

Carlos relies on a large number of very old men who are devoted to doing his bidding, until their dying day, in exchange for financial compensation for their families. They are known as the Old Men of Paris. Bourne, aware of the threat of the Jackal, sends Marie and the children to stay with Marie’s brother (John St. Jacques), at a small Caribbean resort that he owns (which was funded by the David & Marie), the Tranquility Inn.

At the same time, Bourne works with his oldest and most-trusted friend, Alex Conklin, an ex-CIA agent who knows exactly what strings to pull to get the Agency’s assistance. Jason Bourne is content to have his wife and children as far as possible from his battle against the Jackal.

The Bourne Ultimatum Audio Book

Just like the rest of the Jason Bourne series books, the Bourne Ultimatum (which is Robert Ludlum's final Bourne novel) is available in audio book format.

Here's the prologue of The Bourne Ultimatum, as heard on the unabridged audio book.

01-02 Bourne Ultimatum - Prologue.mp3

If you'd like to get The Bourne Ultimatum audiobook CD's from Amazon, here you go/ Or, scroll down to the Bourne Ultimatum product carousel below.

Soundtrack: You can listen to, and download, the Bourne Ultimatum Soundtrack on the Multimedia page or the Movies page.

However, the Caribbean retreat is not as safe as Bourne thinks. The Jackal learns that Bourne’s wife and children have been sent there. In turn, he sends one of his “old men,” posing as a French war-hero, to assassinate Marie and the kids. After the old man discovers that he and his wife are to be killed after his mission is complete, he turns sides (against Carlos), killing an employee of the Jackal posing as a nurse.

Bourne hears of the killing and travels to the island. While he is there, Carlos arrives, intent on killing him, instead killing several others and only wounding Bourne (with a shot to the neck which has never failed to kill his targets).

Quite separately from Carlos, the members of the new Medusa are also trying to have Bourne killed. Medusa’s members now control many key world-leadership positions, as well as many corporations.

As part of his hunt for the Jackal, Bourne travels to Russia and meets with a contact of Alex Conklin’s. It turns out that Carlos has a man high up in the KGB, who is discovered by Bourne and Conkiln’s contact. The Jackal discovers this and kills his contact, along with 2 KGB agents following him (the contact).

After a mad chase, Carlos and Bourne end up in Novgorod, which Carlos has rigged with explosives. During the chaos, Bourne and Carlos lock horns in what becomes their final, deadly confrontation.

"Someone found us! Someone who's been looking for Jason Bourne for years and won't stop until he's got him in his gun sight. 

You were in charge of David's messed-up head, and I pulled every rotten string in Washington to get him and Marie out of Hong Kong alive. 

The rules were broken and we were found, Mo. You and me! The only official connections to Jason Bourne, address and occupation unknown!"

Alex Conklin talking to Dr. Morris Panov.

"Meditate on your own time, David Webb! I have no use for you, you weak, soft son of a bitch. Get away from me! 

I have to flush out a bird of prey I've wanted for thirteen years. His claws are razor-sharp and he's killed too often, too many, and now he wants to kill my own-your own. 

Get away from me!"

David Webb addressed by his alter ego, Jason Bourne.

Check out the carousel below for just about any Bourne Ultimatum product you could want: book, audio book (CD), movie (DVD & Blu-ray), and Soundtrack (CD)!


Read an excerpt from the Bourne Ultimatum (Chapter 37):

The night sky was angry, the storm clouds over Moscow swirling, colliding, promising rain and thunder and lightning. The brown sedan sped down the country road, racing past overgrown fields, the driver maniacally gripping the wheel and sporadically glancing at his bound prisoner, a young man who kept straining at his wire-bound hands and feet, his rope-strapped face causing him enormous pain, attested to by his constant grimace and his bulging frightened eyes.

In the rear seat, the upholstery covered with blood, were the corpses of General Grigorie Rodchenko and the KGB Novgorod graduate who headed the old soldier's surveillance team. Suddenly, without slowing down the car or giving any indication of his action, the Jackal saw what he was looking for and swerved off the road. Tires shrieking in the side-winding turn, the sedan plunged into a field of tall grass and in seconds came to a shatteringly abrupt stop, the bodies in the rear crashing into the back of the front seat. Carlos opened his door and lurched outside; he proceeded to yank the blood-drenched corpses from their upholstered crypts and dragged them into the high grass, leaving the general partially on top of the Komitet officer, their life fluids now mingling as they soiled the ground.

He returned to the car and brutally pulled the young KGB agent out of the front seat with one hand, the glistening blade of a hunting knife in his other.

"We have a lot to talk about, you and I," said the Jackal in Russian. "And you would be foolish to withhold anything. ... You won't, you're too soft, too young." Carlos whipped the man to the ground, the tall grass bending under the fall. He withdrew his flashlight and knelt beside his captive, the knife going toward the agent's eyes.

The bloodied, lifeless figure below had spoken his last words, and they were words that reverberated like kettledrums in the ears of Ilich Ramirez Sanchez. Jason Bourne was in Moscow! It had to be Bourne, for the terrified, youthful KGB surveillant had blurted out the information in a gushing, panicked stream of phrases and half phrases, saying anything and everything that might possibly save his life. Comrade Krupkin-two Americans, one tall, the other with a limp! We took them to the hotel, then to the Sadovaya for a conference.

Krupkin and the hated Bourne had turned his people in Paris-in Paris, his impenetrable armed camp!-and had traced him to Moscow. How? Who? ... It did not matter now. All that mattered was that the Chameleon himself was at the Metropole; the traitors in Paris could wait. At the Metropole! His enemy of enemies was barely an hour away back in Moscow, no doubt sleeping the night away, without any idea that Carlos the Jackal knew he was there. The assassin felt the exhilaration of triumph-over life and death. The doctors said he was dying, but doctors were as often wrong as they were right, and at this moment they were wrong! The death of Jason Bourne would renew his life.

However, the hour was not right. Three o'clock in the morning was not the time to be seen prowling the streets or the hotels in search of a kill in Moscow, a city in the grip of permanent suspicion, darkness itself contributing to its wariness. It was common knowledge that the night-floor stewards in the major hotels were armed, selected as much for their marksmanship as for their aptitude for service. Daylight brought a relaxation of the night's concerns; the bustling activity of the early morning was the time to strike-and strike he would.

But the hour was right for another kind of strike, at least the prelude to it. The time had come to call together his disciples in the Soviet government and let them know the monseigneur had arrived, that their personal messiah was here to set them free. Before leaving Paris he had collected the dossiers, and the dossiers behind those dossiers, all seemingly innocuous pages of blank paper in file folders until they were exposed to infrared light, the heat waves bringing up the typewritten script. He had selected a small deserted store in the Vavilova for his meeting ground. He would reach each of his people by public telephone and instruct them to be there by 5:30, all taking back streets and alleyways to the rendezvous. By 6:30 his task would be finished, each disciple armed with the information that would elevate him-and her-to the highest ranks of Moscow's elite. It was one more invisible army, far smaller than Paris, but equally effective and as dedicated to Carlos, the unseen monseigneur who made life infinitely more comfortable for his converts. And by 7:30, the mighty Jackal would be in place at the Metropole, ready for the early movements of awakening guests, the time for the rushing trays and tables of room-service waiters and the hectic confusion of a lobby alive with chatter, anxiety and bureaucracy. It was at the Metropole where he would be ready for Jason Bourne.

Copyright 1990 by Robert Ludlum.
Published by Bantam Books by arrangement with the author.