Covert-One agents must trace the source of a deadly disease - and stop the outbreak of a Third World War.
A once-great nation is determined to rebuild its shattered empire, and lightning military strikes against its neighbours are planned. But first they must sow confusion and fear in the ranks of their enemies. They turn to one of the world's wealthiest and most powerful men. He has control over an undetectable and incurable bio-weapon, the perfect assassin's tool. Created using a strand of each victim's own DNA, it is the ultimate precision-guided silent killer. Lt Col. Jon Smith and his Covert-One operatives take orders from the US President: their mission is to stop this murderous conspiracy - and thwart the leaders who are seeking to restore their country to her former power...
One might think that time would have taken its toll on the crusty, disgruntled Soviet dinosaurs who want to return Russia to its Communist glory days, but evidently not. Larkin, helming Ludlum's Covert One series, has dreamed up a new bunch of hard-liners, armed with HYDRA, a designer poison that singles out and kills victims based on DNA. With HYDRA having dispatched numerous U.S. and allied intelligence agents, Russian President Viktor Dudarev is poised to launch Operation ZHUKOV, a takeover strike against Kazakhstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and half of Ukraine. Leading a covert investigation of HYDRA is series regular Lt. Col. Jonathan Smith, U.S. Army molecular biologist and chief operative of supersecret spy agency Covert One. There's nothing particularly new HYDRA is an unwieldy weapon (it must be tailor-made for each victim), and super-sleuth Jon spends far too much time ferreting out information that readers have known for hundreds of pages. The threat of a Russian takeover of lost territory may not raise the temperature high enough, and various subplots, such as an attempted assassination of the U.S. president, don't amount to much. There are plenty of excellent shoot-outs, but Larkin's last outing, The Lazarus Vendetta, was far more cutting edge. (On sale Aug. 1)
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The Moscow Vector
Tedious, implausible, too coincidental.