Considering this novel was published when I was just 4 years old, its amazing how it blew my mind when I got to read it some 10 years later. Raise the Titanic! was my first Cussler novel and set the bar for historical thrillers. I'm impressed how to combine the topics of oceanography, Cold War espionage, marine salvaging, Western mining and that legendary ship. I'm still probably scared of the deep sea in general, but I started to appreciate the romance and heady thrill of seafaring. Its a pity the movie adaptation was a complete piece of shit, but making a screenplay out of a Dirk Pitt book needs a lot of faithfulness to the story (they never learned with Sahara).
Does Dirk score? God bless you please, Mrs. Seagram.
Biological warfare is taken for a spin here as another stereotypical top-secret US weapon is appropriated by the inappropriate parties - in this case, a secret cabal within the white South African government (yes, kids, there was this thing called Apartheid) as a means to extend their dominance and hold over the region. It seems a bit far-fetched, but i liked the historical parts as usual - there's already the familiarity of the opening scene of something happening in the past that kickstarts future events. There's also a Fawkes character leading the charge to blow up Washington DC (heh). This book also serves to our introduction to Congresswoman Loren Smith.
Does Dirk score? Did I mention this book introduces Congresswoman Loren Smith?
A female character (who loves the term May-December) from the previous book is a focal point in this heady adventure into finding a lost train. I liked it a lot because of the New York-centric (state, not the city) plot, and it involves several parts that would make your head spin - revolutionary Quebecois, a Canada being sold, a mysterious train robbery, and a potential showdown between the US and its colonial masters. It also introduces a new villain - Foss Gly, a Mountie-turned-mercenary who survives the events of the book to bedevil Pitt for another day. There's also a darker tone as heads of state play fast and loose with the rules to achieve their personal goals. Pitt, of course, is the linchpin of why they're even able to do so.
Does Dirk score? Apparently, the May-December character can make exceptions.
Cubans, El Dorado, and moon wars, oh my. A hunt for lost cache of gold from the fabled Golden City turns out to be an explosive Cold War battle that suspends reality and somehow posits that Fidel Castro would do a180 degree from his Soviet sponsors and embrace the Americans. Pitt is once again put through the wringer, but by now i secretly think he's part-Wolverine - he has a low-level healing factor that keeps him chugging on. From all the seemingly disparate plotlines, Cussler manages to keep everything together, suspending for a moment that Pitt is supposed to be a mortal man, and hits his stride consistently.
Does Dirk score? In a roadside pipe ditch, of all places.