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The Hades Factor was the first book in Robert Ludlum's Covert One series. The books are sometimes described as being "written in conjunction with" Ludlum, however most of these were released after he passed away. They are more likely based upon notes he wrote and several authors have then turned into a book. (All the books in the series sometimes have different authors - this one is written by Gayle Lynds.)
The main character of the series is Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Jon Smith, M.D., who is an agent for the ultra secret Covert One organisation. It answers directly to the president and is not known about by other intelligence departments of the US Government.
The Hades Factor introduces how Jon Smith became a member of Covert One and his relationship with other regular characters Randi Russell, Peter Howell and Marty Zellerbach.
Jon's official position is a research scientist with USAMRIID (United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases).
He returned to Fort Detrick, where he is stationed, after an assignment to find that his fiancée is dying. He tries to save her but fails. The autopsy reveals that she was murdered.
Jon goes after revenge and finds himself being pursued by the very government he works for.
Anyone who has read Ludlum's books and reads this should approach it as another author's work entirely. The story is very interesting and well written. I find it hard to put down the Covert One series of books, but I know some Ludlum fans do not always enjoy them.
The story line is gripping and the characters are interesting. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys thrillers and government conspiracies.