Robert Ludlum's The Cassandra Compact (A Covert-One Novel)

Ludlum, Robert; Shelby, Philip

Published by Doubleday Book Clubs
ISBN 10: 0007101686 / ISBN 13: 9780007101689
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Synopsis: Covert-One returns in the thrilling new series from the bestselling master of international suspense

For over thirty years, Robert Ludlum has been acknowledged as the master of international suspense and intrigue. With an unbroken string of bestsellers in nearly every country around the world, his audios have been heard by tens of millions of listeners.

In 2000, Ludlum managed to raise the bar yet again with his widely acclaimed bestsellers The Prometheus Deception and Robert Ludlum’s The Hades Factor, the first novel in his exciting new Covert-One series. Now Covert-One is back, in a novel that could only have come from the imagination of the world’s greatest storyteller.

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 to Smith the vital intelligence—someone is out to steal Russia’s store of the smallpox virus.

Completely irradiated, 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.

Review: Covert-One, the president's personal, super-secret agency formed after some recent virus-driven chaos (The Hades Factor, cowritten 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.

Most authors of international thriller-mysteries would give their right trench coat to make The New York Times® Best Sellers list. Of the late Robert Ludlum's 21 novels, 21 have resided upon that list. Where The Cassandra Compact, written with bestselling thriller author Philip Shelby (Gatekeeper, etc.), winds up is anyone's guess, but a few hundred thousand nightstands is a good place to start. And stay tuned for more installments--Ludlum may be dead, but he's not done yet. --Michael Hudson

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Title: Robert Ludlum's The Cassandra Compact (A ...
Publisher: Doubleday Book Clubs
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good

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