Robert Ludlum's The Lazarus Vendetta: A Covert-One Novel Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
The Kindle edition has very poor quality control, quite inexcusable. The typeface constantly changes from normal to bold, throughout the book. That is very distracting and annoying, because it's much more difficult to read with the constantly changing text. That's the reason for the 3 star rating.