From Publishers Weekly
In the bloated fourth Dirk Pitt novel from Cussler and son Dirk (after Arctic Drift), evildoers Ozden Aktan Celik and Ozden's sister, Maria, who are bent on Muslim domination of the Middle East, plot to blow up sacred Muslim sites like Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock and pin the blame on the CIA in particular and the West in general. Dirk, the director of the National Underwater and Marine Agency, and the Celiks are both searching for lost religious artifacts related to Jesus, artifacts whose rediscovery could embarrass certain powerful members of the British establishment. The authors keep the action moving with plenty of wreck diving, running sea battles, and ships laden with explosives. Fans of the indefatigable Pitt will enjoy watching their hero as he joins the battle on land, in the air, and at sea, but others might wish the Cusslers had picked less familiar terrorist targets. (Nov.) (c)
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Cussler’s umpteenth installment in the 40-year run of Dirk Pitt chronicles, now written with his son, the eponymous Dirk Cussler, has become as formulaic a franchise as the James Bond movies. In fact, Pitt is a Bond of the seas with similar exotic locales, scenery-chewing villains, over-the-top technology, and bodacious babes served with a bucket of testosterone—“shaken not stirred.” But with formula fiction, as with theme restaurants, it’s fun, and you always know what you’re getting. Cussler, the Cheesecake Factory of adventure writers, doesn’t disappoint in his latest, in which the bizarre cargo carried by a Roman galley in 327 CE and the mysterious explosion of a British battleship in 1916 have tremendous ramifications on the current political climate of the Middle East. Brother-and-sister baddies Ozden and Maria Celik aim to resurrect the Ottoman Empire, to which they lay claim as the allegedly last surviving royal heirs, by fomenting a fundamentalist uprising in Turkey and the surrounding Middle Eastern countries. But they’ll succeed only if they can keep Dirk Pitt and his NUMA (National Underwater and Marine Agency) team from discovering what was being transported in that ancient galley. High-Demand Back Story: A tried-and-true formula by a tried-and-true New York Times bestselling author will create its own stir. --Michael Gannon