On a remote island in the Canadian Arctic, researchers discover the wreckage of a mysterious World War II-era aircraft, a discovery that forces the Russian Federation into a shocking admission. The unmarked plane is a Soviet strategic bomber that disappeared with its crew more than fifty years ago while carrying two metric tons of weaponized anthrax.
Desperate to prevent a political and diplomatic firestorm, the U.S. president dispatches a Covert-One team led by Lieutenant Colonel Jon Smith to the crash site. But others have reached the frigid, windswept island first, including an international arms dealer and his crew of vicious mercenaries. As for the Russians, they are lying: a second, even deadlier, secret rests within the hulk of the lost bomber, a secret the Russians are willing to kill to protect. Trapped in a polar wilderness, Smith and his team find themselves fighting a savage war on two frontsagainst an enemy they can see and another hiding within their own ranks.
About the Author
ROBERT LUDLUM was the author of twenty-seven novels, each one a New York Times bestseller. There are more than 225 million of his books in print, and they have been translated into thirty-two languages. He is the author of The Scarlatti Inheritance, The Chancellor Manuscript, and the Jason Bourne series The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatumamong others. Mr. Ludlum passed away in March 2001. To learn more, visit www.Robert-Ludlum.com.
JAMES COBB, a longtime mystery/thriller writer, is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and an avid student of militaty history and technology. He is a member of the United States Naval Institute and the Navy League. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.
Date of Birth:May 25, 1927
Date of Death:March 12, 2001
Place of Death:Naples, Florida
Education:B.A., Wesleyan University, 1951
Read an Excerpt
Robert Ludlum's The Arctic Event
By James H. Cobb
Grand Central PublishingCopyright © 2007 Myn Pyn, LLC
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe Present Day The Canadian Arctic
Clad in Day-Glo orange parkas and snowmobiling suits, the three rope-linked figures leaned on their ice axes, forcing themselves up the last few yards to their goal. They had made their climb on the southern face of the ridge, its bulk shielding them from the prevailing wind. But now, as they struggled over the lip of the small, bare rock plateau at its peak, the full blast of the polar katabatics raked them, the wind chill driving the effective temperature from merely below freezing to well below zero.
It was a pleasant autumn afternoon on Wednesday Island.
The pale, heatless ball of the sun rolled along the southern horizon, filling the world with the strange, grayish glow of the weeks-long arctic twilight.
Looking down at the surrounding ocean, it was difficult to tell island from sea. The pack was closing in around Wednesday, the new, living ice buckling and jumbling up on the beaches. The only leads of free, dark water to be seen trailed behind the drifting icebergs on the horizon as they resisted the frozen constriction of the coming winter.
To the east, the driving winds had drawn a snow squall across the far end of the island, blurring the second, taller mountain intoan ominous dark bulk hinted at behind a ragged curtain of mist.
The vista was that of hell with the furnaces shut down, yet the three who viewed it were of the breed who found such sights exhilarating.
The team leader threw his head back and challenged the wind with a wild wolf howl. "I claim this mountain by right of conquest and hereby name it ... What in the hell are we going to name it anyway?"
"You were first man up, Ian," the smallest of the three climbers pointed out, her voice muffled by her wind mask. "So by rights it should be Mount Rutherford."
"Agh, no! This should not be!" the third member of the climbing team protested. "Our lovely Miss Brown is the first lady to climb this formidable peak. It should be Mount Kayla."
"That's very sweet, Stefan, but it still won't rate you more than a handshake back at the station."
Ian Rutherford, an Oxford biology major, chuckled. "I suppose we shouldn't worry about it. No matter what we might name it, we'll just end up calling it West Peak as we always have."
"You suffer from excessive realism, Ian." Stefan Kropodkin, of McGill's cosmic ray research program, grinned into the heavy woolen muffler that covered the lower half of his face.
"I think we need a little realism at the moment." Kayla Brown was in geophysics at Purdue. "We're already an hour off our schedule, and Dr. Creston wasn't too happy about us coming up here in the first place."
"Another man with little romance in his soul," Kropodkin grunted.
"We still have enough time for a few photographs," Rutherford replied, unslinging his rucksack. "Cresty certainly can't object to that."
They saw it as they cautiously worked around the perimeter of the tiny plateau, and it was the sharp eyes of the little geophysicist-to-be from Indiana who made the discovery.
"Hey, guys, what's that? Down there on the glacier."
Rutherford peered down into the saddle between the peaks. There was something there, just barely visible through the snow haze. He shoved his goggles up and pulled his binoculars out of their case. Being careful not to allow their frigid metal to touch his facial skin, he peered through them.
"Bloody hell! There is something down there!" He passed the field glasses to his friend. "What do you think, Stefan?"
The Eastern European looked for a long time. Then he lowered the binoculars. "It's a plane," he said wonderingly, "a plane on the ice."
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