Compared to his newer series, such as the Isaac Bell and Fargo thrillers, the Dirk Pitt novels feel a little old-fashioned. The Mediterranean Caper, the first in the series, was published 40 years ago, and apart from the regular addition of new technologies and other contemporary trappings, the Pitt novels really haven’t veered too far from the formula established in the beginning. Pitt, a marine engineer and globe-trotting adventurer, risks life and limb to defeat a clever and resourceful villain. The story here involves a new American submarine. It will be faster, quieter, and more powerful than anything else under the seas, but its designer has been killed, and his plans and scale model have vanished. Nobody else knows how to finish building the sub, and now, with the plans stolen, an unknown party has the ability to build his or her own. Wildly implausible, yes, but a solid enough jumping-off point for more of the usual adventure and fisticuffs. Dirk Pitt is no longer the gold standard of Cussler’s many series—that’s now Isaac Bell—but Pitt still has enough gumption to keep us reading. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Formula fiction sells, if the formula has a track record, and Cussler (and his coauthors) certainly have that. Aggressive marketing, of course, will help. --David Pitt
The Adventure King Sunday Express Cussler is hard to beat Daily Mail Nobody does it better than Clive Cussler, nobody -- Stephen Coonts
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.