Two bestselling authors collaborate to spin a deadly tale of science, espionage and government gone fatally wrong.
Hades – that ancient place of Greek mythology we now call Hell – is the name of a seemingly unbeatable doomsday virus. For three frantic days, scientists in a US government laboratory have been trying to unlock the virus’s secrets as people across the continent die in excruciating agony. Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Jonathan ‘Jon’ Smith, MD, is summoned to a clandestine meeting in the dark of night in a Washington DC park with his oldest friend, an FBI agent. Suddenly attacked, Smith escapes home to find the woman he loves is dying of the virus.
Smith is a surgeon and career soldier with intelligence training. Assigned to the army’s high security Hot Zone infectious diseases institute at Fort Detrick, Maryland, he quickly uncovers evidence that his lover’s death was no accident. Everywhere he turns for information, Smith is stopped by forces he can’t see or name. Convinced she was murdered, he turns rogue to find the killer. Joining forces with a beautiful CIA agent, he uncovers a horrifying plot to infect millions with a deadly pandemic.
From London to California, Washington to Iraq, Smith risks everything against a powerful corporation, high officers in government and the US army, and a determined genius out to destroy them at any cost while the world is held to ransom for billions of dollars.
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With an unbroken string of bestsellers dating from the early 70s (beginning with 1971's The Scarlatti Inheritance) and over 200 million books sold, Robert Ludlum is an acknowledged superstar of the political thriller. Gayle Lynds, who was compared to Ludlum after her 1996 debut, Masquerade, has two successful novels and a slew of pseudonymous pulp fiction titles to her credit. Together--after a fashion--they serve up book one of Ludlum's new Covert-One series of trade paperback originals, Robert Ludlum's the Hades Factor.
After three disparate Americans succumb to a hitherto unknown Ebola-like virus, the United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) is pressed into service. Since the USAMRIID's top doctor (and former military intelligence operative) Lt. Col. Jon Smith has yet to return from an overseas conference, the job of heading the medical research team falls to Smith's colleague and fiancée, Dr Sophia Russell.
Upon Smith's return, he is sequentially treated to a life-or-death warning from a childhood friend (and rogue FBI agent), several nasty near-death experiences and the viscerally graphic demise of his wife-to-be, an apparent virus victim. Enraged and bereaved, Smith flies into action only to discover doctored files, expunged records, and the distinct likelihood that he's dealing with cases of murder-by-virus. As more questions are asked, more deaths occur, official channels slam shut and Smith finds himself a wanted man, battling his best friend, an evil-genius gazillionaire scientist, corrupt politicians and Third World terrorists. In other words, it's Smith versus all the usual suspects.
Ludlum and Lynds cover no new ground here. In fact, The Hades Factor owes as much to Tom Clancy's Op-Centre series and Richard Preston's The Hot Zone as it does to Ludlum's own considerable body of work. That said, The Hades Factor still delivers a respectable level of intrigue and suspense, will likely be snapped up by output-starved Ludlum fanciers and will be right at home on the bedside tables of Preston fans. --Michael HudsonReview:
‘A writer who bests the bestsellers.’
‘An ingenious storyteller with a wonderful and convincing imagination.’
Mario Puzo, author of The Godfather
‘Stuffs more surprises into his novels than any other six-pack of thriller writers combined.’
New York Times
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Book Description St. Martin's Griffin, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 000710166X