The Bourne Identity | Study Guide

Robert Ludlum

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The Bourne Identity | Book 3, Chapter 29 | Summary

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Summary

Arriving at André François Villiers's house, Jason Bourne finds the general waiting for him in the street. The car watching the house is gone, and his wife, Angélique Villiers, and Jacqueline Lavier have gone with it. Apparently, they have gone to see a priest, and the reader knows this priest is Carlos. Jason Bourne heads off to the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in the town of Neuilly-sur-Seine. Ahead, he sees a gray Citroën following a cab. General Villiers's wife and Lavier are in the cab, and the Citroën is likely their protection. Jason knows he must follow.

While watching the women go into the church, Jason has his worst flashback yet. He is in Southeast Asia, a killing machine obeying orders from the Monk. "The Monk?" he thinks.

Back in the present moment Jason waits outside the church. Angélique Villiers exits soon enough but without Jacqueline Lavier, and she is also carrying Lavier's purse. Now a priest exits the church. Suddenly, Jason understands what the reader has known for many chapters: it is Carlos!

The chase is on, but Jason loses his prey in a melee of gunshots and cars crashes. He runs into the church and finds Lavier dead in a confessional booth. Carlos stabbed her, staging her death as a suicide, complete with a note.

Desperate, Jason tries to deduce who will lead him to Carlos. Philippe d'Anjou, the gray-haired switchboard operator at Les Classiques? René Bergeron, the designer? Wait, he thinks. There are too many coincidences. Perhaps Bergeron is Carlos. He calls Marie St. Jacques and asks her to call the fashion house. If Bergeron answers, they'll know he is not the assassin. Sure enough, d'Anjou reports Bergeron is out of town for a few weeks.

Analysis

Carlos and Jason Bourne are almost in the same place at the same time—but no, it doesn't happen. Instead, the killer leaves Jacqueline Lavier as a sort of gift for Bourne, a macabre calling card. For his part Bourne is increasingly distracted and disturbed by his memories. His recollection of David Abbott—the Monk—is very emotional. Abbott is the one man who seems to care for Bourne, the closest the reader ever sees to a father figure. Perhaps General Villiers will take over that role, but he is about to kill his wife, making him a morally gray role model for Bourne—morally gray being something Bourne, as complicated and violence-prone as his situation tends to be, isn't. There are many stories are about a hero's search for his father who will ultimately prove evil (Star Wars, many Greek myths) or dubious. Marie, both lover and kind nurturer, may be Bourne's best hope for emotional health.

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