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The Paris Option
By Robert Ludlum and Gayle Lynds

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The Paris Option

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The Paris Option
A Covert-One Novel
By Robert Ludlum and Gayle Lynds
Center Point Large Print Edition, (2003)
ISBN: 1-58547-272-7
Genre: Espionage Thriller

Reviewed by Herbert White - April 14, 2003

The Paris Option is a Covert-One novel written by Robert Ludlum and Gayle Lynds. Ludlum passed away well before this novel was published. Consequently, it is anyone's guess, how much work he put into the actual writing of this book. Nonetheless, you will find that his spirit fills every page. Lynds is a master 'thriller' novelist in her own right, with several books to her credit, including Mosaic and Mesmerized. Their collaboration in The Paris Option has served to create a suspenseful espionage thriller that moves at breakneck speed.

The Paris Option is the third Covert-One novel to be released. Again, reprising his previous role, we find Dr. Jon "Jonathan" Smith - secret agent extraordinary. Smith is a Lieutenant-Colonel in the US army who is on 'loan' to Covert-One from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). His job, to discover why some odd things are happening in the US - such as power grids going off line and planes disappearing from the radar. To get to the bottom of the mystery, Smith travels to Paris to find out if Emile Chambord had succeeded in creating a DNA computer. The task would have been made simpler if he could have asked Chambord. However, Chambord had recently been killed in a massive explosion at the Pasteur Institute. So the big question is, did Chambord succeed in creating a DNA computer, and if so, has somebody stolen it?

If the DNA computer exists, it is fastest, most powerful computer to ever be invented. In the hands of the 'wrong' people, they can use it to spread a swath of devastation and mayhem over the entire world. Smith is unable to get to the bottom of this nefarious plot on his own, so he teams up with CIA Agent Randy Russell and Peter Howell, who works with MI6. Together, they are a formidable team. But even the best team can have 'difficulties' when they are out maned, out gunned, and when they have to match wits with a super computer!

The first two Covert-One novels were Hades Factor and The Cassandra Compact. As with the first two books in this story, The Paris Option is a fun and diverting read. The story is a little more far-fetched than the first two Covert-One novels, but I like a little fiction in my fiction... The story is fast-paced, with lots of explosions and chases, and a pretty girl or two that will help translate this book into an action-packed movie. This is a marvelous example of the international espionage genre at its best.

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