The powerful new novel in the bestselling Covert-One series.
Lt. Colonel Jon Smith, currently working as a medical researcher, is contacted by a Russian colleague with an urgent request that they meet in Venice in ten days. When they meet, however, his colleague is killed almost instantly in a hail of automatic gunfire but not before he passes on to Smith the vital intelligence – someone is out to steal Russia's store of the smallpox virus. Completely eradicated, smallpox is the deadliest of viruses and could well cause an epidemic of unheard of proportions should it be unleashed on the
population at large. Smith, with the help of his colleagues at Covert-One, must prevent the virus from being stolen. But his adversaries are several steps ahead of him and now he must find and stop the conspirators before they loose Armageddon upon the world.
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In Robert Ludlum's The Cassandra Compact, Covert-One, the president's personal, super-secret agency formed after some recent virus-driven chaos ( The Hades Factor, co-written with Gayle Lynds), is staffed by an unknown number of international covert operatives, including Dr Jon Smith, late of the USAMRIID. And a good thing, too, because someone's helped themselves to Russia's share of the world's last two stores of the smallpox virus, an eradicated yet hideously deadly bug with no ready vaccine.
That the pox was nabbed and who nabbed it is clear enough early on. Why such a seemingly large and disparate cadre of global citizens (keeping the players straight puts one in mind of Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First" routine) chose to pinch the bug and for what end are the novel's driving questions. Freelance Serbian uber-nasty, Ivan Beria, is among the apparent perpetrators as are Dylan Reed and Adam Treloar of NASA, Tony Price, the head of the super-secret NSA and a bunch of Russians. The good-guys roster claims Smith, Covert-One's head Nathaniel Klein, Briton and ex-SAS man Peter Howell, Smith's deceased girlfriend's sister and CIA operative Randi Russell, the girlfriend's best friend, backup shuttle astronaut Megan Olson and another bunch of Russians. Suffice it to say that Smith and company trot the globe, cat-and-mousing after the pox and in so doing careen through a classically speedy and Ludlumesque (if coincidence dependent) plot leaving large numbers of efficiently dispatched corpses in their wake. --Michael HudsonReview:
Praise for Robert Ludlum’s The Hades Factor
‘The new team has a pop hit on their hands that should bounce right up the bestseller list’ Kirkus Review
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Book Description St Martins Press, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 7101694