Covert-One Books in Order: How to read Robert Ludlum’s series?

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks!

The Covert-One series follows a team of political and technical experts, belonging to a top-secret U.S. agency called Covert-One. Lead by Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Jonathan ‘Jon’ Jackson Smith, M.D., they fight corruption, conspiracy, and bioweaponry at the highest levels of society.

American writer Robert Ludlum (author of the Jason Bourne original series) created the Covert-One series, overseeing the first three novels with Gayle Lynds and Philip Shelby before his death. Following Ludlum’s death, his estate has continued to publish novels under The Ludlum brand, including a number of Covert-One books.

How to read the Covert-One Series in Order?

Every entry in the Covert-One book series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.

  1. The Hades Factor – An unknown doomsday virus has claimed the lives of four people across the country-including Dr. Sophia Russell, a research scientist working to understand the disease. Bitter and broken-hearted over her death, Lt. Colonel Jon Smith is determined to uncover the cause of the virus that killed her-and prevent it from turning into a pandemic of epic proportions.
  2. The Cassandra Compact – A Serb terrorist has been dispatched from Russia to spirit hazardous vials of deadly bacteria into the United States. His mission: deliver it to an unknown American government agent. Now Covert-One operative Jon Smith and CIA undercover agent Randi Russell must track it down, find the madman who possesses it, and stop him before he holds a defenseless world hostage with the power to render the human race extinct.
  3. The Paris Option – A fiery explosion in the dark of night shatters one of the laboratory buildings in Paris’s esteemed Pasteur Institute. Under the cover of visiting his friend Marty Zellerbach, who was severely injured when the Pasteur lab was destroyed, Covert-One agent Jon Smith flies to Paris to investigate. Following a trail that leads him across two continents, Smith uncovers a web of deception that threatens to wreck havoc and forever reshape the world.
  4. The Altman Code – Covert-One agent Jon Smith is sent to Taiwan to uncover the truth about a ship and its cargo, a truth that probes the deepest secrets of the Chinese ruling party, the faction in Washington working to undermine the elected government, and the international cabal who is thrusting the world to the very brink of war.
  1. The Lazarus Vendetta – Lt Col. Jon Smith is activated by Covert-One to bring his skills to bear in uncovering the truth behind a terrorist names Lazarus. For, unbeknown to the world at large, the Lazarus Movement is on the brink of setting in motion a deadly scheme that will risk the lives of billions and for ever change the nature of the world.
  2. The Moscow Vector – A once-great nation is determined to rebuild its shattered empire, and lightning military strikes against its neighbours are planned. But first they must sow confusion and fear in the ranks of their enemies. Lt Col. Jon Smith and his Covert-One operatives take orders from the US President: their mission is to stop this murderous conspiracy – and thwart the leaders who are seeking to restore their country to her former power…
  3. The Arctic Event – In a desolate island deep within the Arctic, a scientific expedition photographs the wreckage of a bomber. Covert-One’s Lt. Col. Jon Smith leads a team to secure the site. But on the island they find themselves confronted with a traitor from within their ranks. Gradually they become aware that the ancient bomber conceals something else: a secret so deadly that it could trigger a Third World War…
  4. The Ares Decision – When a US Special Forces team is wiped out by a group of normally peaceful farmers in Uganda, Covert-One operative Jon Smith is sent to investigate. He finds evidence of a parasitic infection that for centuries has been causing violent insanity and then going dormant. This time, though, it’s different. And as Smith and his team are cut off from all outside support, they begin to suspect that forces much closer to home are in play…
  1. The Janus Reprisal – Criminal warlord Oman Dattar, held for crimes against humanity, escapes while his men attempt to steal a new strain of deadly bacteria being showcased at an international conference. In the wrong hands, it has the power to devastate nations – and Dattar and his men have it firmly in their sights to use in their plot to bring down the West once and for all. Can Jon Smith stop him or is it already too late?
  2. The Utopia Experiment – The Merge is a device destined to revolutionise the world and make the personal computer and smart phone obsolete. It could also change the face of warfare for ever. But is the Merge really as secure as its creator claims? And what is the Pentagon so desperate to hide? Smith and Russell are determined to learn the truth – but will they pay with their lives…?
  3. The Geneva Strategy – One evening in Washington, DC, several high-ranking members of government disappear in a mass kidnapping. Among the kidnapped is Nick Rendel, a computer software coding expert in charge of drone programming and strategy. Jon Smith and the Covert-One team begin a worldwide search to recover the officials and find Nick Rendel before the kidnappers obtain the power to carry out drone strikes anywhere in the world…
  4. The Patriot Attack – When top Covert-One operative Jon Smith vanishes during a mission to recover mysterious material from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear reactor, CIA agent Randi Russell goes on an unsanctioned mission to find him. She discovers that Japan has been developing next-generation weapons systems in preparation for a conflict with China. The Covert-One team must work to avoid a battle certain to kill tens of millions of people and leave much of the planet uninhabitable.

If you like the Covert-One reading order, don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to discover more book series.

Similar Posts


  1. I corresponded wit Kyle Mills and Jamie Freveletti. They had no news, so I wrote to McMillan USA
    This was their reply in Novc. 2020. I haven’t followed up since.
    We have no news about a continuation of this series, apologies that I can’t give you more information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *