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Robert Ludlum's The Lazarus Vendetta: A Covert-One Novel [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Robert Ludlum , Patrick Larkin , Scott Brick
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 14 2004 Covert-One (Book 5)
The thrilling new novel in the bestselling Covert-One series. The previous Covert-One audiobook, Robert Ludlum’s The Altman Code, spent three months on the Publishers Weekly Audio Bestseller list
In the increasingly turbulent atmosphere of international politics, the once-grassroots anti-globalization movement has been slowly absorbed and taken over by the underground radical anti-technology group fronted by the mysterious figure known only as Lazarus. All attempts to infiltrate the group have failed, the intelligence agents involved have all disappeared without a trace. Now a sudden surge in the “deep chatter” detected by U.S. intelligence leads everyone to believe one thing—Lazarus is preparing to make his boldest move yet.
With Lazarus bringing deadly pressure to bear against the leading research facilities focusing on nano-technology, Lt. Col. Jon Smith—publicly a researcher for USAMRIID—is activated by Covert-One to bring his skills to bear in uncovering the truth behind the terrorists. With his friend and cohort CIA agent Randi Russell missing in the field, and with the help of former MI6 agent Peter Howell and computer whiz Marty Zellerbach, Jon Smith must find and uncover the truth about Lazarus where all others have failed. For unbeknownst to the world at large, the Lazarus Movement is only the tip of the iceberg in a scheme that will risk the lives of billions and forever change the world itself.


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From Publishers Weekly

Larkin (The Tribune) picks up the reins for the fifth entry in the Ludlum-spawned Covert-One biotech series (The Altman Code; etc.), bringing to the task a solid intelligence, some really scary nanotechnology and a writing style that sometimes lapses into cliché but always gets the job done. FBI Deputy Assistant Director Kit Pierson and her CIA counterpart, Hal Burke, are secretly working on an operation to destroy the Lazarus Movement, an environmental group run amok. Once a legitimate organization, the Lazarus Movement has been taken over by an evil scientist whose goal is—you guessed it—world domination. Thrust into the middle of this deadly struggle is series hero Lt. Col. Jon Smith, M.D., a scientist and operative for Covert-One, a super top-secret intelligence unit. When the Lazarus Movement's attack on a biotech lab releases a deadly brew of nanophages, microscopic killer devices that turn those unlucky enough to inhale them into piles of "reddish liquid sludge," some start to think that the movement's diabolical leader envisions a vastly depopulated world that he can redesign into an environmental paradise. The action careens from continent to continent, with the bad guys always a few steps ahead of the heroes. Eventually, everyone ends up on an island in the Azores, where, after a deadly firefight and some last-minute reversals, the inevitable conclusion arrives. Hand-to-hand action, intriguing science and plot speed will keep most techno-thriller readers nailed to their seats.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Booklist

Since his death in 2001, Ludlum has joined the ever-expanding ranks of such authors as V. C Andrews, Lawrence Sanders, and William Coughlin who are writing from beyond the grave. His latest Covert-One novel (written with the able "assistance" of Patrick Larkin) proves that even being entombed six feet under has not hampered his ability to write intricately plotted, action-packed spy yarns. Bioterrorists have gotten hold of some nasty nanophages (submolecular organic machines) that cause humans to dissolve into a pool of bloody slime (described quite graphically) and have no qualms about releasing them on the unsuspecting public. As the body count racks up into the thousands, the evidence seems to point to a militant environmental group, the Lazarus Movement, as the culprit. Unfortunately for the bad guys, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Smith (last seen in The Altman Code, 2003), not only a medical doctor and an expert in molecular biology but also an operative for the president's personal, supersecret intelligence agency Covert-One, has been assigned to investigate. Assisted by CIA agent Randi Russell and Peter Howell of British MI-6, Smith rappels (literally) from one perilous situation to the next. A bit over the top but a fast read and sure to delight fans of both espionage and the technothriller. Michael Gannon
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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1.0 out of 5 stars A Disappointment for true Robert Ludlum fans! April 20 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Since the death of Robert Ludlum the trustees of his estate have tried to hire people that reflect his style and legeacy to write under his name.
Patrick Larkin's book would likely stand better on his own then under Ludlum's Covert One Series.
At best it is a poor science fiction work and at worse it is a book that can easily be put down.
True fans of Ludlum's skills will remember that his books could never be put down - the intrigue, suspense and esponiage moved you at a great rate thru excellent story lines.
So far those writing under his name have not caught the excitement and fast moving pace that his plots were famous for.
This book especially misses the mark and was a disappointing read.
As a "compulsive fan" of each and every book that Ludlum has written I can only hope that the search for writers with a greater, realistic vision will write under his name and that others will publish works under their own names.
I think that the saddest thing would be for readers of this excellent author to slowly "fade away" and no longer look forward to publishing under his name.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Not Ludlum Quality April 28 2007
Format:Paperback
I have been trying to read this book for over a year. Truly, this has been the most disappointing book I have purchased in over 10 years. Robert Ludlum books were those I read when I had hours to devote to quiet and solitude because once started, the book was difficult, if not impossible, to put down. The Lazarus Vendetta, on the other hand, is difficult to pick up again. I have purchased and read novel after novel and have only gone back to this book when I had nothing new to read. I find myself reading and re-reading paragraphs because my mind has wondered and I have no comprehension what I just read.

The book is a huge disappointment and I would recommend that you go back and read something Ludlum, himself, actually wrote. I never get tired of re-reading his books. I wish the publisher would stop hiring writers that would probably fare better in another genre. Save your money and buy something else.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  44 reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (4 1/2) A Nanotechnolgy Thriller with Nonstop Action Nov. 13 2004
By Tucker Andersen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Patrick Larkin has written an excellent and exciting addition to the Covert-One series created by Robert Ludlum shortly before his death. The central protagonist is Army Lt. Colonel Jon Smith M.D., who was first introduced to readers in THE HADES FACTOR, the very fast paced initial book in the series. The other characters familiar to readers of previous books in the series include CIA agent Randi Russell and the British ex-MI6 operative Peter Howells, who team with Smith as he attempts to penetrate the secrecy surrounding the goals and leadership of an environmental group known as The Lazarus Movement. Fred Klein remains Smith's boss as the head of the ultra clandestine Covert-One operation that reports directly to President Sam Castilla; its very existence continues to be kept secret from not only Randi and Peter but even from the CIA and FBI as well as Congress.

This book follows the classic Ludlum style, a thriller combining fast paced action, a convoluted plot and a few individuals fighting seemingly far more powerful shadowy forces; all these elements linked by a conspiracy that apparently involves high level government operatives. In brief, the original focus of The Lazarus Movement on peaceful reform of environmental policies on a worldwide basis has gradually been replaced by an increasingly strident emphasis on anti-technology protests and an activist agenda of protests and demonstrations in support of its demands for the adoption of its radical eco-conscious agenda. Despite the intense efforts of governmental intelligence agencies around the world, they have been unable to discover either the location of the organization's headquarters or the identity of its leader, a shadowy figure known only as Lazarus. Suddenly, violence strikes a remote Lazarus agriculture experiment in rural Africa; this event seems to legitimize the organization's claims of persecution at the hands of the governments who oppose its anti-development agenda and further energizes the activists who increasingly dominate the Movement.

A major demonstration is planned to protest the scientific research being conducted at the Teller Institute for Advanced Technology in Sante Fe, New Mexico. This research involves some of the most highly classified and leading edge projects in the field of nanotechnology, the intersection of biology, chemistry and physics; projects whose potential to create machines so small that they could penetrate human cells and so powerful that they could be programmed to change structures at the subatomic level had allowed conspiracy theorists to sow fear with regard to both their misuse and their ability to eventually escape the control of the scientists who had created them. As the protesters assemble, apparently well orchestrated violence ensues which results in the deaths of many of the protesters, supposedly as the result of the inadvertent release of fatal nanophages under development at the Institute.

This story is an action filled thriller which uses nanotechnology as the key element of its story line, rather than a scientific thrller per se in the mold of Michael Crichton's PREY, which was a story utilized by Crichton to both inform the reader in detail about the technology and also aggressively promote his viewpoint concerning the need for scientific safeguards to be established with regard to such research. (See my review of PREY dated 12/2/2002 for a discussion of this issue.) This novel in contrast contains only peripheral discussion of the complex issues raised by the rise of cloning, genetic manipulation, and nanontechnology, such as when one character wonders "whether the speed of these advances...offers imperfect men too much power over themselves and over nature". However, these regerences only serve to further the plot, there is neither a deep examination of the technology nor an extensive and explicit philosophophical examination of the moral and ethical dilemmas the developers of such technology might encounter or the government's role in such development.

I highly recommend this book for readers who like action thrillers where the plot is revealed through the adventures of the protagonists rather than through extensive background provided by the author. (There is sufficient background information woven into the narrative for readers unfamiliar with the Covert-One series to thoroughly enjoy this book on a read alone basis, although the nuances of the character developments in those books will obviously be lost.) I was swept along by the compressed time frame of the story. Wih the exception of the prologue and epilogue all of the action takes place within a six day period. I have only two reservations - which are the reasons that I did not rate it five stars although I was very tempted to do so given how much I enjoyed it. First, and most importantly, even for a book of this genre there is an incredible amount of violence, some of it very graphic. While it is not sensationalist in nature and is in fact essential to the storyline, I nevertheless found the detailed description of the effect of the nanophage attacks on their victims sufficiently gruesome and sickening (despite their brevity) to downgrade the rating slightly. In addition, some of the exploits of Smith and his asociates bordered on the "superhero" variety rather than the merely heroic. In summary, this book ison a par with the best action thrillers that I have read recently, especially in that it avoids the overly detailed background information increasingly provided by authors in an attempt to promote a feeling of realism but which concomitantlyslows down the pace and therefore unavoidably detracts from my enjoyment of so many recent stories of this genre.

Tucker Andersen
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Ludlum Franchise Marches On March 20 2005
By Cardinal47 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Amazing that the Ludlum name can still instantly put novels on the the top 10 list ! This novel, another in the Covert-One series, is about nannotechnology being perverted to kill off a big chunk of the human race and achieve world domination. A little bit like Michael Crichton's State of Fear, this novel has an environmental movement gone bad, being used by evil figures for diabolical ends.It is reasonably well-written, fast-paced and keeps you turning the pages for the next event. The Bourne Identity, it is not.But it hooked me enough that I'll pick up the next in the series.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun ride even though the villain is hokey July 14 2006
By David Marsh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The lead villain in the Lazarus Vendetta is a mad scientist aptly named Lazarus leading a small army of equally mad mercenaries and equally mad subordinate scientists on a path to world domination and mass international genocide. On the other side of the fence, attempting to thwart this dastardly plan, is an American specials ops doctor named Jon Smith and a sly old British secret service agent named Peter Howell who soon discover that rogue FBI and CIA teams are also up to no good. Smith and Howell dash from one side of the globe to the other, battling wave after wave of enemy forces and all sorts of nasty weapons including bioengineered invisible nanobots which turn humans into gobs of slime, as they race against the clock to save the world. If the star roles were switched in this story and the American Jon Smith became British MI6 Peter Howell this could easily be a 007 novel. Yes the villains are that hokey. Still, the Lazarus Vendetta is a fast-paced ride, descriptive, topical, and author Patrick Larkin has definitely proved himself gifted with the pen.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 stars Nov. 12 2004
By Konrad Kern - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
See synopsis above.

Its seems the Nano-tech thriller is becoming quite popular and Patrick Larkin does a great job with this one. ('Nano' by John Robert Marlow was also a good nanotech thriller).

I thought it was an exciting read and it kept me enthralled to the end. I don't seem to remember any slow spots in the whole novel. Good from beginning to end.

Highly recommended.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars AN AWARD WINNING READING Nov. 6 2004
By Gail Cooke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The winner of six Earphone Awards, writer and stage consultant Scott Brick is a multi talented gentleman. His performances on radio, television and film are highly rated, as, quite obviously, are his audio book readings. He brings both panache and a sinister tone to this frightening tale of an ultimate evil. Fortunately for listeners he's the performer on both the Abridged and Unabridged editions.

Robert Ludlum needs no introduction to fans of high tech thrillers. His eye for detail and data based presentations have won him legions of fans over the past three decades. He, of course, introduced the Covert-One series, which is here continued by Patrick Larkin.

The Lazarus Movement, once a group with an authentic interest in protecting the environment, is now a maddened horde ruled by Lazarus, a sick scientist bent on controlling not just his movement but the entire world.

Lt. Col. Jon Smith, the dauntless hero of this series, is dispatched by Covert-One to not only find Lazarus but discover his secrets. The recent attack on a research facility which killed thousands has created pandemonium. And so the chase begins as Smith starts to suspect that eliminating Lazarus will not solve the problem at all.

- Gail Cooke
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