Another Review at MyShelf.Com

The Arctic Event
(Covert One)

by Robert Ludlum & James H. Cobb

      A multi-national arctic science expedition stumbles across a peculiar finding, the crash site of a Cold War era military aircraft. At first, it seems like the unfortunate, accidental demise of a propeller plane and its crew, but as news of the discovery reaches the rest of the world there are some unlikely players who take note. Russian diplomats in Washington soon begin acting edgy and anxious, and Russia requests a joint expedition to recover the site and preserve its contents. But behind closed doors, the Russians reveal that the aircraft belongs to them, and the cause for their concern involves its deadly payload. The crash soon threatens to become a major international incident. U.S. intelligence dispatches a team - led by Lt Col Jon Smith - from the secret organization known as Covert One to secure the site and its precious cargo. First, they must rendezvous with their Russian counterpart who has been secretly briefed on his nation's main priority, the protection of one of their most guarded and horrifying Cold War secrets. Unbeknownst to Smith, the Russians have also dispatched a Special Forces unit to ensure their secret is protected.

Elsewhere, an Eastern European illegal arms dealer gets a phone call from one of his operatives concerning the crash site, and suddenly the cargo becomes precious to more than just the US and Russia. A three-way race ensues with each respective party on a collision course with the others, and immense danger awaits them at the finish line, along with the lives of potentially millions of the world's citizens.

This is an engaging and timely read given the recent headlines about the arctic and the political debate surrounding it. The reader will no doubt be left wondering what kinds of secrets that vast wasteland will reveal in the coming years. This reader was also reminded of the dangers of the Cold War era, a time when the world seemed to always be one international incident from global thermonuclear war. The action was intense but not overbearing and the characters quite dynamic, especially the diabolical arms dealer, a nasty villain in every sense of the word. There was very little fluff and the story flowed well.

Those who enjoy military fiction will appreciate this one. It certainly gets this fan's recommendation.

The Book

Grand Central Publishing
September 2007
Mass Market Paperback / Reprint edition
0446699071 / 978-0446699075
Action / Military / Thriller
More at

The Reviewer

John Washburn
Reviewed 2007
NOTE: Reviewer John Washburn is the author of When Evil Prospers.
© 2007