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The Mediterranean Caper: The First Dirk Pitt Novel, A 40th Anniversary Edition (Dirk Pitt Adventure) Hardcover – July 16, 2013
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“Dirk Pitt is oceanography’s answer to Indiana Jones. Exotic locations, ruthless villains and many narrow escapes—Cussler’s fans come for swashbuckling [and] he delivers.” —Associated Press
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As a note, this Pitt story does not begin with an historical prologue that later ties into Pitt's adventure. However, there is a World War I German bi-plane that attacks an American Air Force Base on a Greek Island.
As fate would have it, Pitt and his partner, Al Giordino, are traveling on assignment in their World War II flying boat (amphibious aircraft) but are, however, only armed with a couple of rifles. Never one to back down from a challenge, Pitt and his WWII plane engage the WWI craft and a dogfight ensues. Through daring and some luck the good guys win.
That is the introduction to Pitt arriving in the Aegean Sea to connect with a NUMA research vessel searching for evidence of a fossil believed to be tied to the development of the first mammal. However, what ends up on Pitt's radar is a massive international smuggling operation, including, among other things, drugs and human trafficking, led by a man known by one name (Bruno Von Till) but is, in reality, the former commander of the Nazi transportation fleet during WWII, who then used that experience to establish and run a fleet of cargo vessels.
Adding some spice to the story, Pitt meets Von Till after having met and romanced the smuggler's niece (who has a dramatically different role than as a loving relation to her uncle).Read more ›
Only a couple of nitpicks keep me from giving this book a full 5 stars:
(1) I would expect a fellow U.S. Air Force veteran like Cussler to know that the proper name for the F-105 is the Thunderchief (or "Thud"), not the Starfire (the USAF *did* have a Starfire, but that was the F-94, which was retired in 1959, 14 years before "The Mediterreanean Caper's" original publication date).
(2 The so-called Bureau of Narcotics had been officially renamed the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD) in 1968 and again as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 1973.
Those minot criticisms aside, a highly enjoyable read and a wonderful introduction to Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt (and Al Giordino, Rudi Gunn, and Admiral James Sandecker) alike!
The drama starts when an old World War I-era German Albatross attacks an American Air Force Base on the island of Thasos. Coincidentally, Dirk and Al Giordino are flying in a PBY Catalina flying boat to check on the progress of the NUMA ship First Attempt which is in the area conducting marine experiments. Dirk and Al manage to chase the Albatross off, but not before the base is shot up and several planes destroyed.
Unintentionally, Dirk and Al have flown themselves smack into the middle of a mystery that will take them to expensive villas, underground lairs and adventure on the high seas. They will also meet unscrupulous characters along the way, including a drug smuggler intent on delivering tons of heroin to the drug markets of the United States. Will Dirk and Al be able to crack the case?
Over the years, I've become a big fan of Cussler's books, and it was fun for me to go back to the one that started it all. Cussler's style of writing remains the same now as then; his books are loaded with action, intrigue, and interesting characters. It was fun reading a story that was originally written forty years ago and seeing how cultural norms have changed since then.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading "The Mediterranean Caper". Dirk Pitt is probably Cussler's most recognizable character, and it was fun to see how he got his start. Highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Clive Cussler is an excellent writer. He really knows how to spin them.Published 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
I'm a long time fan of Clive Cussler.....especially Dirk Pitt.......ALL cussler's books are sensational!Published 20 days ago by Margaret A Nagle
This is my second time through the Dirk Pitt series. The books all contain fascinating historical background and most have parallel story lines that span the ages and the globePublished 1 month ago by Richard L. Patton
This 40th Anniversary Edition of the first Dirk Pitt novel is a hoot and pretty well establishes the route that Cussler will take over the next four or five decades. Read morePublished 2 months ago by D. Blankenship
For being his first book ever published he did good, and went on to better and better.Published 4 months ago by Linda Wilson
FREEKIN great book. If you enjoy the spy genre you will enjoy Cussler's writing in general. This one is one of my favorites. It would make a really great move. Read morePublished 8 months ago by JM-The Practical Trainer