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The Hades Factor (Covert-One, #1)
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The Hades Factor (Covert-One #1)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  5,092 ratings  ·  185 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 January 1st 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
...more
Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper
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.
...more
Claire
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.
Jim
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
...more
Jeanne
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
William
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).
Keith
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
Joan
"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?
Steve
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.
Raashi Agarwal
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
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
...more
Kristin Lundgren
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
Erwin
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
...more
Ben
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
...more
Bradley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Al
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
Bob
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
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
Debapriya Ghosh
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
...more
Robert
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
Jeff Yoak
I had read a couple of the Covert-One novels over the years, but am now starting the series at the beginning and following the overall story arch. It was a remarkably fun novel. Ludlum does an amazing job at writing action. The pace is always perfect -- never feeling either rushed or sluggish. I was surprised that all of the recurring characters in the series are not only introduced but well-developed right in the beginning.

I would recommend this to anyone who likes good action stories in genera
...more
Shem

Book Synopsis:

Read the book Summary from it's GoodReads Library entry.
I had previously read another book in this series; so was looking forward to seeing how the story/series began. I was disappointed.

The story itself was OK, but the whole "Covert-One" aspect was literally first touched in the Epilogue. It felt like a marketing gimmick added to an existing novel.

Plus I felt that this author had a very poor sense of time (small scale gun battles taking 5+ minutes, running a hundred yards measure
...more
Dick Pilskog
This was a preposterous book about many people who just wanted to get rich and the Food & Drug Administration fell flat on their behinds. Jon Smith just got out of fixes unbelievably but this was a good read and I loved it. Love those spy thrillers and we never know who the bad guy is until the last pages.
Glacebel Kaye Cello
I dont know if who's who Im giving the 3 stars. I am kind of disappointed because I wanted to read pure Ludlum but I grabbed a book from the series written by another author. Talk about carelessness. But I am glad this book took me to the outskirts of Baghdad which is really hard to took one's feet on.
Simon Lee
Typical Ludlum book and it's really good to read when compared to the Ludlum wannabes in the market today. No one comes close to the consistent quality of writing and storytelling that a class Ludlum contains.

The Hades Factor is introducing Jon Smith to us. Get past his name and you might like him. He's not as endearing as a Jason Bourne (problem... Bourne is the benchmark for evaluating Ludlum's books) because he works within the law and he works with a conscience. After the first book, I'm sti
...more
Pat
Typical. Drug company renegade who causes an epidemic and will get rich by selling the cure. Good guys are interesting, doctor at Fort Dietrik, English friend, computer wizard. Good.
Roseshadowpheonix
After reading first 5 pages:

Okay...
basically three people have already died...
Is this going to be a depressing book...
It seems kind of slow...
Okay...I will give it a chance.





Honestly this book is very slow and I guess I didn't really give it a chance so I might try reading it again someday.
Rachael Atamian
Not an earth shattering novel but a great little read. Action packed from beginning to end.
Qasim Shahid
Good book. Although set in the past the book still remained clever and captivating.
Kalle
First book in the Covert-One novel series, The Hades Factor is a good way to kick off 2012. It's harmless fun, with slightly too predictable plot that twists and turns nicely. I especially enjoyed the few scenes set in Iraq before the war. The pacing is a bit slower than some other Ludlum's novels, but it never slows down too much nor is it boring. If you like Ludlum's other novels, this is a sure choice, but otherwise it's nothing special. And after reading a couple of his works, this one man a ...more
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why isn't there a movie based on this novel? 2 8 Jul 08, 2014 09:39AM  
Overall a good book 2 12 Sep 22, 2012 03:55PM  
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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
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