The Geneva Strategy (Covert-One), By Jamie Freveletti

Three stars (of five)

Covert-One is back to delve into the world of bio-terrorism and disease dissemination. A number of high-ranking government officials are kidnapped without motive. Upon further examination, those who have key roles in America’s drone programming and strategy are among those taken, leading officials to wonder who or what they have on their hands. As the victims begin turning up, they show signs of brainwashing. Jon Smith and the Covert-One team begin an investigation that takes them to Dr. Laura Taylor, currently in custody, whose created a drug to remove memories related to post-traumatic stress syndrome. Her research could have haunting parallels to the brainwashing Smith has seen in these victims. Smith must not only determine an antidote for the brainwashing, but also recover the head of the drone project before someone begins carrying out drone strikes all over the world and uses these drugs to overpower countless innocent victims.

Freveletti expressed thanks in the acknowledgements for being asked by the Ludlum family estate to create another Covert-One novel. Her premise is actually quite interesting and, at times, the story flows well and keeps its momentum for the reader to enjoy. However, for some reason or another, the story loses its excitement, even as the action does not dissipate. Freveletti has kept a handle on her Ludlum series writing, unlike a certain James Bourne author whose slaughtered the foundation that Ludlum put into all his work. However, as seems quite common amongst all those who carry on the Ludlum torch, the adaptations fall short of the original product.

Kudos, Madam Freveletti for your ardent effort. While Robert Ludlum has left some large shoes to fill, you try to tromp around and do him justice.