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Publisher's Summary

In the first installment of an exciting new series from Robert Ludlum, a teenage girl in Atlanta, an Army major in California, and a homeless man in Boston all die a horrible and painful sudden death from the devastating effects of an unknown virus. Lt. Col. Jonathan Smith, a combat doctor attached to the United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, is assigned to solve the mystery of the virus' abrupt appearance. But as the death count rapidly mounts by the dozens, hundreds, thousands - in America, and around the world - Smith finds himself trapped in a maelstrom of mystery and danger.

Hardly knowing where to turn or whom to trust, Smith assembles a ragtag private team to aid him in his search for the truth behind the deadly virus - a quest that will lead them to the highest levels and darkest corners of the globe.

©2000 by Myn Pyn LLC; (P)2000 by Audio Renaissance, an Imprint of Renaissance Media, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall


I love Ludlum, and this does NOT flow like this late great author. It's ponderous, patronizing, and pathetic! Obviously Gayle Lynds does not have what it takes to pull this off. The plot is obvious and aggravating. There's nothing like listening to highly trained spies whine! Please, do yourself a favor and listen to earlier Ludlum and stay away from this bomb.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I found this book excellent. The story and the narrative entralled me. I absolutely loved it. After the begining, I thought that the story would end on a depressing note, but it did not. In fact, it made me eager to hear the next book by this author. And I absolutely loved the narrator, something I've never before felt. His voice was mesmorizing.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Annece
  • Silver Spring, MD, USA
  • 08-24-04

Great Ludlum outstanding narrator

The prologue grabs your curiosity immediately and chapter one starts the action. You know it is fiction because some of the things Dr. Smith and his team get into and out of are just a little over the edge. But not so much that you want to turn it off.
I found myself sitting in my car unable to leave without putting on my headset so that I could continue listening on my walk from the parking lot to the office. Jason bourne was my first Ludlum character, but Dr. Smith and his team are fabulous. There is a lot of detail and description and the narrator's cammand of voices and accents makes it very interesting. I was so relieved to find two more from this series in the Audible library. As soon as I finished The Hades factor I went right on line to look for more in this series.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Thomas
  • Penfield, NY, USA
  • 01-16-03

OK story but way too wordy

This is my first encounter with Ludlum. The story was exciting but the whole thing seemed to just go on and on. By the end of the novel, I thought I began to catch where each of the authors ended and the other started. There's a lot of description that struck me as being overblown.

The reading was well-done for the most part. The brit started to sound a lot like Cary Grant as it went along, though.

All in all I found the book OK but I'm not jumping into the rest of the series. I may try another Ludlum to see if this excess wordiness is unique to working with a co-author.

24 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Brad
  • Silver Spring, MD, United States
  • 10-11-07

classic listen

i loved this book! it's been a long time since i've read this author, so i decided to listen to one of his books. ludlum is a genious! if you like his style, you'll love this book. it's got a very unique plot and the reader is exceptional.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Molly
  • Montara, CA, USA
  • 10-22-03

Ludlum fans beware

I think this novel must have been written by Gayle Lynds from an outline by Ludlum and then published to take advantage of Ludlum's huge fan base. Shame on you publisher!!

It is vaguely entertaining and the reader is good, but NOTHING like you'd expect from a real Ludlum novel. The facts are jumbled, the descriptions BLAND and often annoying, huge mistakes are frequent (i.e. according to this author they speak arabic in Iraq- as far as I know, and the CIA worldbook confirms this, they speak Persian or Turkish and only 1% speak arabic). This is just an example of the myriad distracting discrepancies. Moreover, where Ludlums "voice" is discerning and his characters express fairly complicated international opinions, Lynds is pretty jingoistic and simplistic.

The hardest thing for me though, as a Ludlum fan, are Lynds poor descriptions, the 2-D characters, the tendency to tell rather than "show" the action. If you're looking for lyrical prose, tight plotting, smart descriptions and truly memorable characters Ludlum's other novels are worth a purchase. Definitely try the Janson Directive read by Paul Michael. As far as the Hades Factor, I wish the publisher would let Ludlum rest in peace or find co-authors who are up to his level of storytelling. Sigh.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Marius
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • 06-15-06

Veni, Vidi, Virus

A typical Ludlum potboiler - always a good read/listen, and the narrator does it justice, with an excellent ear for accents and tones. As usual with this type of book, startling flaws are scattered about – as an example, a high-level autopsy fails to identify the fact that the victim was coshed just before death. Notwithstanding, the rollicking pace makes this a good one to listen to while cruising through the traffic.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • Roswell, GA, United States
  • 03-25-04

Good Story Strains Belief

The frequent preposterous plot devices left me saying, "Oh, come on!" However, the book is very well narrated; Paul Michael's accents and character voices are very enjoyable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


Poor, amateur writing. Story was alright but much too long, wordy and 'hackish'.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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This IS NOT Ludlum

in any way shape or form
a shameless attempt at exploiting Ludlum's name on the heels of the Bourne Identity success at the box office..
Save your credits and pen a protest to the publisher.
bad book to besmirch the name of a master.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Michael
  • 07-25-06

Covert-One: The Hades Factor

Great book but ruined by having a different reader starting part 2 of the book, hence my ratings.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • David Creamer
  • 03-09-16

well worth the listen

starts slow and works it's way into your conscience then from there it's like moving from a single prop aircraft to a full blown fighter jet, hold on to your hat.