Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Hades Factor (Covert-One, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Hades Factor (Covert-One, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Hades Factor (Covert-One #1)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  7,211 Ratings  ·  241 Reviews
An unknown doomsday virus quickly claims the lives of four people across the country --- including Dr. Sophia Russell, a researcher leading the team trying to crack the disease. Devastated and enraged, her fiance, Lt. Colonel Jonathan Smith, uncovers evidence that his lover's death was no accident --- that someone out there has the virus, and the pandemic that threatens co ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 420 pages
Published March 15th 2001 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Hades Factor, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

KateMoxie No. I don't like this approach. That's why I stopped reading James Patterson novels. His name may be on the books, but they're obviously not written…moreNo. I don't like this approach. That's why I stopped reading James Patterson novels. His name may be on the books, but they're obviously not written by him. (less)
The Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Bourne Supremacy by Robert LudlumThe Bourne Ultimatum by Robert LudlumThe Matarese Circle by Robert LudlumThe Holcroft Covenant by Robert Ludlum
Best Robert Ludlum Books
28th out of 47 books — 58 voters
The Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanPoseidon’s Children by Michael  WestNemesis by Agatha ChristieEndangered by Dani HootsThe Curse of Betrayal by Taylor Lavati
Greek Mythological Names
28th out of 108 books — 65 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
K.D. Absolutely
I have to admit now: Robert Ludlum is my guilty pleasure.

His books are addictive. I don't mind having him as my most-read author. His stories give me cheap thrills. Cheap in both literal and figurative senses. Literal because his books are being sold for about $1 or $2 and they flood the second-hand bookshops. Figurative because whenever I mention to my literary friends that I love Robert Ludlum, I do not get thumbs up unlike when I say that my favorite author is Leo Tolstoy or Alan Hollinghurst
The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
I love Robert Ludlum. This book has the oddest set of characters ever in a Robert Ludlum book of international intrigue. This is a better spy novel than most spy novels.

Dr. Smith, morning the loss of his fiance' joins the hunt for her killer and finds out it was no lab accident. He has to call in every marker and favor from his past in counter espionage, a world he had thought he had left behind, to keep himself out of jail and alive long enough to save...the planet? From a deadly viral killer.
Feb 05, 2011 Joan rated it it was amazing
"The Hades Factor" is a thriller that I found fascinating. Ludlum portrays the evil character in such a believable fashion. Pandemics, pandemonium, blackmail on a massive scale - what more could a reader ask for?
Jun 09, 2012 Claire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is very fast paced & full of suspense. The drama starts at the very beginning & continues to the very last page. A book I'd recommend to all.
Marts  (Thinker)
Three persons fall victim to an awful and deadly virus and the scientists can't seem to figure it out... When Lt. Col. Smith returns from overseas he's attacked by some strange folk and then his fiancée also dies from this damned virus...
Can he and his team figure it out and prevent it and the evil fools behind this whole ill scheme from gaining more victims?

An exciting tale for thriller lovers...
Nov 04, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense-action
Great suspense, reads more like a down to earth Jason Bourne, rather than over the top James Bond. Action packed, even thought it is a little cliched with the fantastic looking people with haunted pasts ect ect.
Oct 02, 2009 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First, I should explain that I have read the book twice and seen the movie twice. Second, I am a big fan of Robert Ludlum's work. This is one of Ludlum's best efforts and I highly recommend either/both the book and the movie.

The story opens with the start of a plague. First a couple of soldiers die, then other people. Clearly easy to spread this disease and clearly it is deadly. No cure. Early the story takes on a mid-east terrorist theme and we begin to learn the disease is being spread by the
Jan 26, 2013 Jeanne rated it it was ok
Basically a quick read, (just grabbed it on the way out the door leaving for a trip), typical Ludlum (but not as good as earlier ones), [Spoiler Alert] where the beautiful lover of protagonist is killed, which sets him off on a quest to find those responsible. Far-fetched plot of virulent virus that is purposely manufactured and spread by evil leader of pharmaceutical company so that he can become even more wealthy by "miraculously" (and very conveniently) having millions of doses of the cure av ...more
Somnath Banerjee
Jul 13, 2015 Somnath Banerjee rated it liked it
Standard covert-one novel. As usual the plot is good, like other novels of the series. A deliberately engineered lethal virus is spread to cause a pandemic, for financial profits and it kills the fiancee of Smith, the protagonist. He starts an investigation which leads to capture of the powerful nexus. The story is decently paced, but at times paused by emotional ramblings. My favorite character is Marty, the computer geek. I could spot some minor flaws in the story line. If I got the chronology ...more
Jul 30, 2016 GymGuy rated it liked it
Have to say this reads somewhat like a "Dukes of Hazard" script. Tons of random action, chasing here and there and everywhere, quirky characters, improbable situations, black-and-white characters. I also got really, really tired of all the emotional diversions.

Other than that, not a bad read, just not super. I generally stick to books with a 4.0+ score. This one was 3.8 or so. Now I know why I stick with 4.0+.
Ben Adkison
After finishing Robert Ludlum 19s The Paris Option a few weeks ago, I realized it was actually part of a series of novels known as the Covert-One Novels. So, I went back and downloaded The Hades Factor, the first in the series. It 19s pretty standard Ludlum: Fun to read (especially as an audiobook), enjoyable characters (only somewhat believable), and hard to put down. Since I have a account, and multiple credits saved up, I 19ve now moved onto the next Covert-One Novel: The Cassandr ...more
Sep 21, 2014 William rated it it was ok
Interesting premise with the deliberate plague of a virus especially with the current Ebola scare, but not a very good read. Full of the hero that can do no wrong. He goes from one improbable super heroic action to the next with very few pages between. Accompanied, of course, by the predicable and improbable tough female. All while moping over the loss of his true love to the bad guys. Oh well, the book was worth what I paid for it (0).
Raashi Agarwal
Oct 21, 2014 Raashi Agarwal rated it it was amazing
First things first, the name suits the theme. An insidious virus that is waiting to unleash its true potential to turn the planet into the Hades. A thrilling odyssey involving the materialistic lust of Dr. Victor Tremont of Blanchard Pharmaceuticals for which he is willing to go to any lengths and Dr. Sophia Russel's fiance's and her sister's quest to end the pestilence and Dr. Tremont's diabolic plans make a riveting read. Besides this book sets the balls rolling for the Jonnathan Smith getting ...more
May 03, 2011 Keith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Army Lt. Col. Jonathan Smith, MD loses his beautiful fiancé to a strange new infectious disease, unknown to modern medicine and finds that when he attempts to find its source he becomes the target of a mysterious group of killers. As the story continues we find that the criminals were sent by the rogue executive of a pharmaceutical company which is responsible for the virus. There’s lots of action adventure but since this was written before 9/11 the communication technology and middle-east intri ...more
Nov 01, 2015 Bradford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Heart pumping action from start to finish. It is 1:59 AM. Couldn't put it down. Cannot wait for the next one.
Jan 28, 2016 Gus rated it it was ok
This novel is why you can judge a book by its cover, I thought this novel was written by

Ludlum and in the first couple of chapters I was wondering how someone who wrote such

rubbish could be so successful and then I read the front cover. Quite amazing because

the ideas/plot are pretty good but the writing is ridicously painful. It seems that these

thriller authors cannot write about a relationship without sounding as though they are

reading it out of a high school year book. Will have to read a real
Mar 03, 2016 Janet rated it it was amazing
These authors have managed to make the British character, Peter, actually interesting. I have found nearly every British character or book I have read to be very dour and boring. As if that's not bad enough, often there's a crushing depression runs throughout the book. Sorry, Brits. I guess it's that buck-up-old-boy attitude.
I hate little blurbs that stand out as untrue and divert me from my enjoyment of the book. An example of a "blurp" is that five policeman were in the room at the hospital wh
Mar 02, 2016 Kelanth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spionaggio
Laboratorio mortale, in originale "The Hadest Factor", è un romanzo thriller scritto nel 2000 da Robert Ludlum e Gale Lynds. Da questo romanzo è stata tratta liberamente la miniserie "Covert One: The Hadest Factor" in onda nel 2006. Diretto da Mick Jackson.

Robert Ludlum, come già detto molte volte nelle mie precedenti recensioni è un maestro indiscusso del genere spy-story, tanto da meritarsi l'appellativo di "Mr. Plot" -signor complotto-. Ha scritto 27 romanzi thriller. Il numero di copie dei s
Anastasia Pergakis
I will say I enjoyed reading this, even though it took me a while to get into it. I don't know if it was the style or maybe just the particular way the beginning was set up in a sort of "episodic" format that made it difficult, but once I was a few chapters into it, the story captured me and took me for a ride.

At first, I thought the main characters name, Jon Smith, was rather boring and I found it sad that such a strong character had such a simple and unimaginative name. Yet as time went on, I
Kristin Lundgren
Jun 30, 2012 Kristin Lundgren rated it really liked it
This is the first book in a series by Robert Ludlum and Gayle Lynds about a secret organization. This books is really a prequel, so you don't learn about Covert-One until the end. This book is about a young virus hunter and his wife, also a virus hunter, working side by side at USAMRIID. 3 cases, wide spread across the US, are brought to her attention while her husband is off at a conference in Europe, and also meeting with an old friend. She studies the virus, but it is new, similar to a hantav ...more
Sep 02, 2012 Erwin rated it really liked it
I think I must be a Ludlum fan. I like the way that Trevanian slyly pokes fun at this genre and the average man in Shibumi but there is only one Shibumi (well, two if you count Don Winslow's Satori, which I wouldn't count) but Robert Ludlum published 23 books in this genere before he passed away in 2001.

I first came across Ludlum when I read The Altman Code, which I found when searching for books about Shanghai. Personally, I found The Altman Code much more fun and interesting than Typhoon which
May 21, 2012 Ben rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 4th-quarter, mystery
The Hades factor is a fast paced book with many different stories from all sides of the book. Once you get into it you can't stop reading. When you think it's over, an entirely new variable comes in. You also can never really over think it. In fact, it helps a ton if you do. Overall, I think this book is amazingly well written and couldn't be better.
Initially, the Hades Factor starts with the mysterious deaths of three people from a disease. Jon Smith and Sophia Russel are on the case. They ar
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 07, 2013 Al rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
COVERT-ONE One of the leading suspense novelists, there are over 200 million copies of Robert Ludlum's books in print. The first entry in Covert-One, a bold new series of intrigue, espionage, and modern warfare, featuring three brave men who risk their lives to uncover the truth behind today's most deadly power plays... ROBERT LUDLUM'STHE HADES FACTOR "Ludlum pulls out all the stops and dazzles his readers."--"Chicago Tribune" A baffling virus has claimed the lives of four people across the coun ...more
Jul 03, 2013 Bob rated it really liked it
I found this book to be very enjoyable to read. It was a bit of a page turner and I finished it in about 4 or 5 days. It seems that it was not written by Ludlum but is based on ideas of his. The author did an excellent job of maintaining the style of Ludlum. For a book written 13 years ago it is still fairly relevant. The idea of a virus company manipulating the government with vaccines and semi-controlled infection epidemic is still a compelling idea. The only criticism of the story is I didn't ...more
David Roberts
Jun 21, 2013 David Roberts rated it really liked it
I am reviewing the novel The Hades Factor by Robert Ludlum et al which is a very good thriller which I bought from a carboot sale. Ludlum prior to his death was the world's biggest selling author. I think he's most famous for the Matthew Bourne series. This book is the first book in the Covert One series and at the end of the book this organisation is set up. The plot is someone has released a deadly virus on to an unsuspecting public. It starts off with a vagrant going in a pharmacists to buy s ...more
Jun 15, 2016 Karen rated it liked it
Shelves: own
A little different from most of Ludlum's books, I appreciated the story. A homeless man in Boston, an Army Major in California, and a teenage girl in Atlanta all die suddenly and painfully--each a victim of an unknown doomsday virus. For three days, a team of scientists is a U.S. government laboratory has been frantically trying to unlock the virus's secrets. When the leading researcher from that lab, Lt. Col. Jonathan Smith, returns from overseas, he barely survives a series of well-orchestrate ...more
Debapriya Ghosh
Aug 27, 2012 Debapriya Ghosh rated it it was ok
I had been a fan of Ludlum for certain things - a very thought out mystery, edge-of-the-seat thriller, pretty informative bits about contemporary history and political settings, and fast paced narrative.
This novel had very few of them or rather, very little parts of some of them.
The plot is good and unique - quite the Ludlum. But, I guess the ghost writer lost it at that.

A smart doctor and military man, a computer nerd, a no-nonsense ex-British Intelligence officer expert at using any kind of we
Nov 02, 2011 Robert rated it liked it
Shelves: suspense
As if I am not in the middle of enough series I thought I would start another one. My initial reaction was going towards four stars and then it went down a slippery slope to somewhere around 3 and a quarter. This is a very good book and very well written so why did I smack it down a bit? Well lets say this was a little on the PG, slipping towards the G rating. It seems like some of the situations where a good dose of violence should be doled out it was more like the bad guys just got a spanking ...more
Feb 15, 2015 Tina rated it it was amazing
I'm a big Robert Ludlum fan and this collaborative book with Gayle Lynds is another winner (in my book - yes pun intended). It starts out with a mystery virus that's killing people, the military is called in to help identify the virus so a cure/vaccine can be manufactured and then other top agencies around the world are consulted and no one can seem to identify this particular virus. I can't tell too much without giving it all away, but there is a conspiracy, some cloak and dagger sleuthing, sus ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
How does Ludlum's novel inspire you? 1 2 May 06, 2015 05:01PM  
why isn't there a movie based on this novel? 2 13 Jul 08, 2014 06:39PM  
Overall a good book 2 13 Sep 23, 2012 12:55AM  
  • The Ares Decision (Covert-One, #8)
  • The Bourne Deception (Jason Bourne, #7)
  • The Coil (Liz Sansborough, #2)
  • The Janson Command (Paul Janson, #2)
  • Biowar (Deep Black, #2)
  • Edge of Danger (Sean Dillon, #9)
  • White Death (NUMA Files, #4)
  • The Devil's Banker
  • Last Light (Nick Stone, #4)
  • This United State (Tweed & Co. #16)
  • By Order of the President (Presidential Agent, #1)
Robert Ludlum was the author of twenty-seven novels, each one a New York Times bestseller. There are more than 210 million of his books in print, and they have been translated into thirty-two languages. He is the author of The Scarlatti Inheritance, The Chancellor Manuscript, and the Jason Bourne series--The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum--among others. Mr. Ludlum ...more
More about Robert Ludlum...

Other Books in the Series

Covert-One (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Cassandra Compact (Covert-One, #2)
  • The Paris Option (Covert-One, #3)
  • The Altman Code (Covert-One, #4)
  • The Lazarus Vendetta (Covert-One, #5)
  • The Moscow Vector (Covert-One, #6)
  • The Arctic Event (Covert-One, #7)
  • The Ares Decision (Covert-One, #8)
  • The Janus Reprisal (Covert-One, #9)
  • The Utopia Experiment (Covert-One, #10)
  • The Geneva Strategy (Covert-One, #11)

Share This Book