Clive Cussler is the author and co-author of a great number of international bestsellers, including the famous Dirk Pitt (R) adventures, such as Odessa Sea; the NUMA (R) Files adventures, most recently Nighthawk; the Oregon Files, such as Typhoon Fury; the Isaac Bell historical thrillers, which began with The Chase; and the recent Fargo Adventures which lastly included The Romanov Ransom. He lives in Arizona.
The master of action/adventure fiction strikes oil with this nonstop thriller, which tangles ancient Viking runes, Captain Nemo's Nautilus, the Red Baron, water propulsion engines, murderous oil magnates, undersea catastrophes and cruise ship explosions into a knot that only Dirk Pitt and his laconic sidekick Al Giordino can unravel. Dirk spots smoke on the horizon from his NUMA research vessel and races to the flaming cruise ship Golden Dolphin in time to save most of the 2,000 passengers and crew, including Kelly Egan, beautiful daughter of the inventor of engines that run on seawater. Dr. Egan drowns, leaving Kelly with a leather case that she believes contains the secrets of his life's work but a couple of ruthless villains want it, too, and with Dirk's help she narrowly escapes. When the Dolphin wreck sinks, Pitt and Giordino use a mini-sub to search for arson clues, but the NUMA ship and crew are hijacked while the sub is under and Pitt and Giordino drift until rescued by a private boat. They then cross paths with Curtis Zale, a ruthless oil baron bent on monopoly and unafraid of using mass murder to gain his ends. Meanwhile, Congresswoman Loren Smith, Pitt's erstwhile lover, heads a committee probing Zale and is added to the target list. Cussler speeds and twists through the complex plot and hairbreadth escapes, giving the thriller the intensity and suspense of a NASCAR race. Historical asides of submarine lore, Jules Verne minutiae and references to Viking runes in America add touches of real-life oddity to the mix, and nothing will prepare even longtime Cussler fans for the major surprise he drops at the end. (Aug. 13) Forecast: Bombs away! A 750,000-copy first printing, a $750,000 ad/promo campaign, an author tour and the simultaneous release of a Putnam Berkley audiotape and CD are all in the cards; instant, long-term entrenchment on top-10 lists is forecast. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
There are few authors writing today who respect their listeners as much as Cussler. He knows exactly what we want: edge-of-the-seat excitement, captivating characters, and a thoroughly enjoyable hero. Valhalla Rising, the author's 16th Dirk Pitt novel, doesn't disappoint. As with the previous books, this one begins long ago in the mists of history. A Viking crew who have found their way to North America are trapped in a cave. Jumping ahead to the years shortly after the Civil War, a naval vessel is sunk by a mysterious "sea creature" that is piloted by a wild-eyed, red-haired man who looks suspiciously like a Viking. Then we arrive at the present (actually 2003) when the world's most luxurious cruise ship meets a horrible fate on her maiden voyage. Enter Dirk Pitt and his NUMA gang, and the stage is set for one heck of an action thriller. Reader Scott Brick presents the story with crisp diction and an appreciation for the mastery of language that epitomizes a Cussler book. Highly recommended. Joseph L. Carlson, Lompoc P.L., CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.