Robert Ludlam's The Arctic Event
Grand Central, Sep 2007, $15.99
The photograph taken on remote Wednesday Island in the Canadian Arctic was a simple innocent display of the harshness of the wintry environs. However, incidentally the photo includes the wreckage of a WW II Russian bomber plane that shakes up the leaders of Russia and consequently the western governments. The Russians believe the lost plane that vanished five decades ago contained weapon-graded anthrax.
No one knows what weathering will have done to the plane or the sealed cargo. Covert One, consisting of the best operatives from several nations, is sent in to learn the status. US Army physician Lieutenant Colonel Jon Smith, CIA Agent Randi Russell and Russian history professor Valentina (Val) Metrace are the agents assigned to investigate. Also the Russians add Major Gregori Smyslov to the team with a special agenda that if a certain secret deadlier than anthrax is uncovered, he is to kill the Covert One team. No one on this sanctioned squad is aware that notorious armed dealers have sent cold blooded mercenaries to Wednesday Island to pick up the anthrax for resale value.
This is an exciting tribute to Robert Ludlum’s Covert One team as THE ARCTIC EVENTS is an entertaining exciting thriller. The Covert Team dies not trust the newest Russian assigned to them and has doubts about the loyalty of the professor; the Russians feels the same way about the Americans as they wonder what the Yanks will do with the cargo if found in containers that are movable. Although the arms dealing mercenaries add suspense, they seem more like intruders to a tense situation between teammates distrusting one another made tauter by adverse brutal weather and the other weapon.