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The Altman Code (Covert-One #4)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  4,861 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
Covert-One agent Jon Smith is sent to rendezvous in Taiwan with another agent who has acquired the ship's true manifest. But before Smith can get the document, he is ambushed, the second agent is murdered, and the evidence is destroyed. Smith escapes with only his life and a verbal message: The President's biological father is still alive, held prisoner by the Chinese for ...more
Paperback, 640 pages
Published August 31st 2010 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published June 17th 2003)
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K.D. Absolutely
Robert Ludlum died in 2001. This book came out in 2003 with Gayle Lynds as the co-author. This is the fourth book of the Covert-One series. Covert-One is a top secret U. S. agency that fights corruption, conspiracy and bio-weaponary at the highest and most dangerous level in the society. It is composed of ex-military men who are political and technical experts. Gayle Lynds co-created this series with Ludlum in 2000 with the release of its first book, The Hades Factor. Gayle Lynds is a woman who ...more
Steve Chaput
Apr 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like Tom Clancy, his fellow espionage/techno-thriller author, Ludlum has grown from being a single individual writer into something resembling a ‘cottage-industry’. No longer does he even have to write his own work, but he can simply come up with a plot (or concept) and let other writers take it from there. This is not to knock Ludlum, who has certainly proven with his dozens of international best sellers, that he can crank them out with the best of them. It’s just that by simply seeing his name ...more
Ron Holmes
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fourth book in the series and this one is just as good as the previous books. There is a lot of action, drama, plot twists and unexpected turns. Unfortunately, there is no sex to speak of actual or implied. Still, it is a very good read and I am ready for the next one.
Kristen Suagee-beauduy
Borrowed this from the bookshelf at work when I got snowed in for 2 days. Finished it because I figured a series started by the author of The Bourne Identity might be interesting. It was. As much as I imagine other pulp spy novels are.
The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
Another good rad from whoever took over Robert Ludlum's name. As always, I'd like to see more of Randi Russel, and now, what ever happened to the Uighers?

It's not as franticly paced as the previous three, but it's better in other ways (a smoother read perhaps?).

I was very amused by the spies watchign spies watching spies theme and the overlapping and depths of secrecy and politics. At times in the book, when Jon Smith went for a stroll it was almost like a Chinese Firedrill with all the agents
Downloaded from

Narrator: Don Leslie
Publisher: Macmillan Audio, 2003
Length: 15 hours and 36 min.

Publisher's Summary
On the dark waterside docks of Shanghai, a photographer is recording cargo being secretly loaded when he's brutally killed and his camera destroyed. Shortly thereafter Covert-One director Fred Klein brings the word to the President that there's a Chinese cargo ship rumored to be carrying tons of chemicals to be used by a rogue nation to create new biological weapons. Klei
Mar 20, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
"When word reaches the President of the United States that a Chinese cargo ship is transporting chemicals to a rogue nation intent on creating new biological weapons, the President knows he must act quickly to obtain the proof he needs. Covert-One agent Jon Smith (don't you just love the name ... Smith for a spy!!!) is sent to rendezvous in Taiwan with another agent who has acquired the ship's true manifest. But before Smith can get the document, he is ambushed, the second agent is murdered and ...more
Jeff Yoak
This book was a slow-started. I was also surprised to find out that it can really, really matter who does the narrating. Paul Michael *is* the voice of these characters for me and they just felt... wrong. Of course, this si the confounding item that this is (I think) the first of the novels that, though branded as Robert Ludlum, was written by someone else.

For other audiophiles, there is a copy with Paul Michael. It is out-of-print, and too late for me, but I found an amazon seller with it avail
Mar 29, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All you Robert Ludlum story haters out there don't be fooled by this book. I wasn't expecting to enjoy this because I hated the "Bourne" trilogy which was written too fast with implausible, motivationless twists added-in just to make the books longer. This one was not written by Ludlum, just based on notes prior to his death. It's offensive that his name is still featured in large letters on the cover, minimizing the real writer's name.

I liked the fact that the story took place in S.E. Asia beca
Wasn't as good as the others, so far. (I'm trying to read in publication order.) Second half was much better than the first, but everything just seemed to fall into order a little too easy. The description and conversation were Ludlum style, but the action, particularly at the climax, seemed scattered.
Janice Reisman
Dec 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be so exciting. I havent't read his books in years, so I was very excited to start this book, and happy that I did. It takes place in the U.S. and China. He keeps things moving with plently of gunplay and running about. His storytelling skill was still at an all time high. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Mar 21, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad - I enjoy an espionage story once and awhile
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Vrenzy gal
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it had alot goin on..there is soo mch inone book..its amazin..this was the first robert ludlum book i read and truly awesum..m hooked! a must read..its amazin!
May 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great thriller in the covert one series. There are a few gaps in the storyline, but overall a good read.
The last Ludlum I'll read. But it was decent for what it was...
Feb 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book after the slow start. Lots of twists and turns. I liked the characters - intelligently written.
Mar 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
read this a long time ago but I think I'd give it a 5
Jan 22, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very quick reading and a good spy novel.
Andreas Schmidt
Il classico, inverosimile, romanzo d'azione
Il classico romanzo d'azione in stile Ludlum; ho letto soltanto "laboratorio mortale" e devo dire che mi è stato più che sufficiente. A livello di trama il menù è sempre il solito. Ossia due superpotenze sul punto di dichiararsi guerra totale, tanto da portare il mondo ad una terza guerra mondiale o peggio ancora al paventato inverno nucleare. Insomma, the usual, with flying nukes then, thanks. Questa volta la superpotenza in questione, Stati Uniti a pa
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another superb Col John Smith thriller with a brilliant plot and a couple of other sub plots. Don't know if any films have been made following the adventures of John Smith but if not then there should be!
Aditya Patil
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is very interested from the start. It quickly picks up the attention of the author and makes him constantly craze to read the book. Definitely read this book if you like secret spy missions.
Elleh Rachelle
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best book I hv read so far this year
Blago Chanchev
A really good political thriller describing a bit of a Cold-War situation between two great powers. Onc you start reading, you can't stop really.
Aug 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have the Audio Renaissance version of the book.

The narrator, Don Leslie, does an excellent job of telling the story. Not only do the various characters speak in different tones of voice and different (believable!) accents, but the cadence of their speech changes as well. To me, the ability to change the speech cadence is what separates the great narrators from the mediocre.

The story itself is quite thrilling with action sequence after action sequence. This is not a political thriller and it d
Alice Harbin
Mar 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though it started slowly, it built up and captured my interest to the point that I could hardly put it down. I liked the way the USA had a president of Spanish-American heritage. Despite my ignorance of status in the government and military, I was able to follow the plot. The hero was extraordinary and so were some of his opponents. It made for an exciting time. It was original to have the president's long lost biological father be suddenly located in a prison in China. It reminds me of our curr ...more
Carl Alves
The Altman Code is a fast-paced thriller, while written in the same vain as Robert Ludlum’s novels, the writing is actually better than much of Ludlum’s work. The novel starts off with an intriguing premise. When Covert-One agent Jon Smith goes to rendezvous with another agent in Taiwan to get a ship manifest implicating the Chinese of nefarious acts, the agent is killed, and the ship destroyed. Smith is left with a message from the agent that the President’s father, thought to be long dead, is ...more
Ben Adkison
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fourth book in the Covert One Series created by Robert Ludlum. I'm pretty sure this is my favorite novel within the series so far, and it's solidified my faith in Gayle Lynds as a good thriller novelist. Set largely in China, this novel came alive in it's accurate portrayal of both that country and the shaky alliance that his been formed between America and the East in recent years. A recurring theme in Ludlum novels is the potential evils of unchecked capitalism and the military ind ...more
May 25, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is good, but not great. While the Covert One universe is still interesting and provides for lots of exciting action, this book seems to be poorly edited.

There are two plots, which are not at all related, other than by physical location and some of the people involved. The main plot is great, so the second plot just serves as a distraction, drawing the novel out. Cutting it would probably reduce the length of the novel by , but and not affect the main story negatively at all, and would
Feb 08, 2017 rated it liked it
A good book, but boring at times. It was for me hard to understand a lot of the words because I don't speak Chinese and Russian.
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  • The Cassandra Compact (Covert-One, #2)
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New York Times bestseller Gayle Lynds is the award-winning author of ten international espionage novels. Library Journal calls her “the reigning queen of espionage fiction.” The London Observer says she’s a “kick-ass thriller writer.” Lee Child calls her “today’s best espionage writer.”

Born in Omaha, NE, and raised in Council Bluffs, IA, Gayle graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree i
More about Gayle Lynds...

Other Books in the Series

Covert-One (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Hades Factor (Covert-One, #1)
  • The Cassandra Compact (Covert-One, #2)
  • The Paris Option (Covert-One, #3)
  • 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)

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