Automotive Holiday Deals Up to 50% Off Select Books Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Train egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grooming Deals Gifts Under $50 May The Best Garden Be Yours Amazon Gift Card Offer bf15 bf15 bf15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $15 Off All-New Fire Kindle Black Friday Deals Black Friday Video Game Deals Shop Now HTL
River of Ruin (Philip Mercer Book 5) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

River of Ruin (Philip Mercer) Mass Market Paperback – December 3, 2002

139 customer reviews
Book 5 of 7 in the Philip Mercer Series

See all 16 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$13.07 $0.01

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Jam-packed with action and larger-than-life heroics, DuBrul's latest (after Pandora's Curse) sets geologist Philip Mercer on a course to save the world once again. This time he's in Panama, where he uncovers a Chinese plot to bomb the canal with nuclear weapons in order to strong-arm the U.S. into allowing China's takeover of Taiwan. Though teeming with up-to-the-minute technology (such as an experimental but deadly long-range cannon), the novel possesses a surprising Cold War perspective toward China. DuBrul demonstrates his knowledge of everything from geology to mechanics through prose that is at times too technical for the lay reader, but he lends his protagonist a welcome touch of emotional complexity. Mercer's softer side surfaces in his dealings with sexy heroine Lauren Vanik, a U.S. army officer, and, to a different extent, when his recollections of an old mentor prevent him from succumbing to diabolical Chinese torture. Despite these introspective moments, this is an adventure story at heart, and the action scenes come fast and furious, in sewers, factories, giant ships and more. It's evident from the outset that Mercer and his team will come out on top, but the fun is watching DuBrul untangle his own skillfully woven knots.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.


“A combination of Dirk Pitt and James Bond.”—The Sunday Oklahoman


“The technology [Du Brul] comes up with is on par if not superior to Clancy.”—Clive Cussler


“Outrageous cliffhangers.”—

Kirkus Reviews


“A breakneck pace.”—Douglas Preston


“[An] adrenaline rush.”—

Publishers Weekly



Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Series: Philip Mercer
  • Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: NAL (December 3, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451410548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451410542
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.4 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jack du Brul is the author of the Philip Mercer series [Vulcan's Forge, Charon's Landing, The Medusa Stone, Pandora's Curse, River of Ruin, Deep Fire Rising,and Havoc] and the coauthor with Clive Cussler of six Oregon Files novels [Dark Watch, Skeleton Coast, Plague Ship, Corsair,The Silent Sea, and The Jungle]. He lives in Vermont.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 21, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read all of Jack Dubrul's novels so far, and there is one thing I can say about him. When he is good, he is good and when he is bad, he is really bad. I know that might sound generic, but it's true, and the best I could think to write it. His hits as I mentioned above seem to come with every other outing he takes us along with his character Mercer. It all started with Vulcan's Forge, which was good as action adventure goes, but was a little weak on characterization. Mercer's friends are all cardboard cutouts, that are at best one dimensional. Next came Charon's Landing, which was just bad. It felt like he had writers block when he wrote it and went with whatever first popped into his head to keep the story going, which was usually a crude joke. He improved with The Medusa Stone, which was a well rounded novel, and you actually began to care about the poorly drawn supporting characters such as the eighty year old friend, that he traveled across the world to save, and who has been in all the adventures so far, in one way or another. Pandora's Curse was like deja vous if you read a book called Riptide by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Also, nazi hunters and nazis altoghether are all worn out. Aside from some good action, and the tug of war between a sub and a zeppelin that was the seed that started the novel in the first place, it was a mediocre effort. Oh, the secret society or brotherhood aspect has been better used many different places, Serpent by Cussler and Kemprecos for example. Now we come to River of Ruin. By now we like Harry the octagenarian, and we begin to learn some of Mercer's dark past. As an action adventure novel, it was good with some really good bad guys, and the whole plot involving the Panama Canal was good.Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Anna M Shain on December 6, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What happens when you combine Dirk Pitt and James Bond? You get Phillip Mercer. Jack Du Brul has plunged geologist Phillip Mercer in the middle of a plot to gain control of the Panama Canal. Drawn to Panama to help an old friend, Mercer finds himself neck deep in murder, conspiracy, and a plot to shift power to an elite branch of the Chinese military. With the help of Harry White, a US Army Captain, and several members of the French Foreign Legion, Mercer makes the connection between an old journal and lost Inca treasure. This is Jack Du Brul's best book yet!! His characters are well developed, the action is fast, and the plot is believable with enough twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Traveling Pants on January 3, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
River of Ruin is Du Brul's best since The Medusa Stone (hard to top that one, really). It's extremely fast-paced, witty and highly entertaining. It's a bit more technological than his other work, and I found myself not really paying much attention to the workings of the Panama Canal. I only cared about it as it related to the story, which I guess is the point anyway. Mercer continues to develop as a character into someone you care more and more about. Harry White is the only other recurring character to make an appearance here, but he's as grizzled and smarmy as ever. Set entirely away from the United States, the exotic locals in this book really help the story to clip right along.
With Clive Cussler having just announced his retirement (his next novel will be his last), lots of people will be looking for a new fix. If you're into action-adventure-thrillers, then Du Brul can't be beat!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. Frye on December 9, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The newpaper headline aside I really liked this book. After reading the tedious Red Rabbit by Clancy, this book was refreshing. The Clancy book took forever to read and was more suited for insominacs, this book moved along at a rapid pace from the first page.
It starts with a bang when he goes to Paris to buy an old diary written by the first person who tried to build a Panama canal. After he buys the diary the book takes off on a wild journey through and under Paris to Panama.
Whereever Mercer goes the body count mounts as he always seems to find the wrong people in search of the truth.
I like the book because of some of the honest statements about people and guns, like at more than 50 yards shooting a pistol with accuracy is only seen in the movies, or words to that effect.
Best of all is the cast of characters and the parts they play in this book, one of the heros is his best friend Harry who at 80 comes to the rescue. All in all this was a great read, I work weekends and still found time to use every non working minute to read a few pages until I was finished.
One last thing, there of course is the evil villian and his henchman and the femme fatale, but it would not be a Mercer book without them. Some books like Cusslers who have similar plots in each of his book I found tedious, but these I seem to find refreshing as duBrul seems to find new ways to keep my interest.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Terry R. McMillan on August 24, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Read it!

As with Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino, there's a new dynamic duo in town, and one of them is older than the sun. (every pun intended) DuBrul does a fantastic job with developing the characters; their depth and frailities, charisma and understanding. The tale weaved, bested by the intense character exposure and interaction. Maybe DrBrul will write a christmas story one day as a follow up. Maybe even a short story. I have a feeling it would be one heckuva party! Medical doctors should beware, however, because there's an 80 year old, chain smoking, hard drinking hero that absolutely steals this book. I give DrBrul a "thumps up" for scoffing at the politically correct nonsense that has pervaded the current conscious. Harry - keep drinking, smoking and stabbing bad guys with your cane; it makes for an enjoyable read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?