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The Cassandra Compact by Robert Ludlum
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The Cassandra Compact (2001)

by Robert Ludlum, Robert Ludlum, Phillip Shelby

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Covert-One (2)

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English (8)  Dutch (2)  All languages (10)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I'm generally a Ludlum fan. But do we really need another secret agency that will save the world on a weekly basis? Do we need more secret agents that cannot die (don't we already have Bourne)? Can we really not think of any bad guys besides Russian former KGB? The thriller publishing industrial complex missed these as rhetorical questions and answered a resounding yes! Sadly this is not classic Ludlum. This is outsourced writing at its worst.

Casting Big Pharna as bad guy was the one redeeming quality in this otherwise totally formulaic thriller. Recommended only for those looking do do research on why authors should stop writing after a finite number of novels, all others should stay home to shampoo their hair. ( )
  BookWallah | Dec 21, 2013 |
### Amazon.com Review

Covert-One, the president's personal, super-secret agency formed after some recent virus-driven chaos (__, 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 (__, 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*

### From Publishers Weekly

Ludlum continues to imitate his imitators in his second Covert-One biotech thriller (after The Hades Factor), this time with coauthor Shelby (Days of Drums, etc.). Medical researcher and sometime spy Lt. Col. Jonathan Smith aided by CIA agent Randi Russell, British operative Peter Howell and ultrasecret spymaster Nathaniel Klein faces another villainous plot to unleash a deadly disease on an unsuspecting populace. Retired from the Army Medical Research Unit for Infectious Diseases after the death of his fianc‚e, Smith heads to Venice to meet a Russian scientist who is killed by Sicilian mercenaries before he can warn Smith that a sample of smallpox is about to be stolen from a Russian bioresearch facility. Up against a global military-corporate conspiracy with moles at NASA, the Pentagon and the KGB, Smith follows the smallpox across the Atlantic to Houston Mission Control and beyond. The cinematic chase through changing landscapes and mounting body count gives the book its rapid pace, while insider politics, tradecraft and technical wizardry lend an extra kick. Boilerplate dialogue ("The hit came down as arranged. But there was an unexpected development. I'm expecting an update shortly") and movie logic (after ordering the space shuttle to land in Nevada with the most virulent smallpox strain ever and several dead astronauts aboard, the president hops Air Force One to go meet it) show Ludlum may leverage his brand name, but no longer delivers the complex situations that earned him his reputation as a premier writer of international intrigue. National advertising. (May 15)Forecast: Ludlum died just last month, and word is he left a few books in the works. It's been a while since he was in top form, but some readers are bound to overlook the telltale "Robert Ludlum's" in the title.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc. ( )
  Hans.Michel | Sep 13, 2013 |
I find books by Ludlum mostly good and this one is not an exception. From the very first page it took me on the journey and I could not get off on the way.
It is quite realistic: there are viruses, bacteria that are kept in laboratories. When they do fall into the wrong hands, the world faces a catastrophy. The fact that there are several threads makes the book nice to read for me, it keeps me busy while at the same time I can relax. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Mar 31, 2013 |
As book #2 in the covert-one series it lacked the so called character development seen in the first book so if you were a new coming and had not read the Hades Factor you may feel the characters were a little hollow.

However, as someone who has read the Hades Factor prior to this, I can definitely say the assumption of knowing the characters definitely aided this story - whilst the first book was ok, this one was firmly in 'good' territory.

A nice paced read. ( )
  HenriMoreaux | Mar 30, 2013 |
Another sterling read of the Covert One series. I deducted a half point due to the slow start but once the plot thickens it moves along at a brisk pace. A quick page turner with no real predictability other than the bad guys would lose in the end. ( )
  Lynxear | Mar 17, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Ludlumprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ludlum, Robertmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Shelby, Phillipmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Gulik, Henny vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
TĂłth, IngridTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"The Cassandra Compact" is the same book as "Robert Ludlum's The Cassandra Compact"
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312981589, Mass Market Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:50 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A Serb terrorist has been dispatched from Russia to spirit hazardous vials of deadly bacteria into the USA. However, the unknown American government agent receiving the vials and the Russian agent are both murdered and the vials stolen. Now Smith and Russuel, CIA agents, must track the vials down and stop the world from being held hostage.… (more)

» see all 8 descriptions

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