On a remote island in the Canadian Arctic, researchers discover the wreckage of a mysterious World War II-era aircraft, a discovery that forces the Russian Federation into a shocking admission. The unmarked plane is a Soviet strategic bomber that disappeared with its crew more than fifty years ago while carrying two metric tons of weaponized anthrax.
Desperate to prevent a political and diplomatic firestorm, the U.S. president dispatches a Covert-One team led by Lieutenant Colonel Jon Smith to the crash site. But others have reached the frigid, windswept island first, including an international arms dealer and his crew of vicious mercenaries. As for the Russians, they are lying: a second, even deadlier secret rests within the hulk of the lost bomber, a secret the Russians are willing to kill to protect. Trapped in a polar wilderness, Smith and his team find themselves fighting a savage war on two front--against an enemy they can see and another hiding within their own ranks.
Ponderous prose and a less than credible plot-line weigh down Cobb's Covert-One novel, the seventh in a series (The Hades Factor, etc.) based on a concept created by the late Robert Ludlum. After the chance discovery of a crashed aircraft in the Arctic Circle, the Russians, who are on the verge of signing a landmark antiterrorism pact with the United States, inform President Samuel Castilla that it's a Soviet plane that went down in the 1950s while carrying a ton of weaponized anthrax. Castilla, who suspects that there's more to the story than the Russians are letting on, orders series Jonathan Smith, chief operative for the shadowy Covert-One intelligence service, and his team to investigate. Two women whose field skills are matched by their physical attractiveness join Smith, setting up predictable situations when they fall into the hands of the bad guys. Veteran thriller fans are likely to find the underlying premise behind the Russians' duplicity unconvincing.