Feb 16, 2017

Pacific Vortex - Review



My fourth outing with Dirk Pitt adventures.






With this man, almost anything is possible. The tagline for describing Dirk Pitt character.

Dirk Pitt finds a communication capsule, and reads the content and understands that it is from the US submarine Starbuck. Pitt is asked by NUMA (National Underwater Marine Agency) to work with 101st Salvage fleet to recover Starbuck. The place is notorious for disappearance of many ships and it is named as "Pacific Vortex". A friend of Pitt, George Papaaloa who works in Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum of Polynesian Ethnology and Natural History narrates about the mythical island and legend of Kanoli, "When the south wind blows The mountain of Kanoli is seen And the summit seems peopled" . He further tells that shortly after the end of World War II, a tall man with golden eyes came to the museum every day for a week and studied every book and manuscript in the library and he was also researching the legend of Kanoli. While Dirk was trying to solve the puzzle he was followed and the assailant tried to kill him. Pitt escapes and meets Admiral Hunter.

From the thorough search there was no wreckage found and Pitt becomes suspicious of foul play. Later the transcripts was found to be fake. Pitt changes the search to north of Oahu island.

A ship named Martha Ann they search and find the submarine. Pitt and March enter the submarine and they find nobody inside. While checking March gets killed by mysterious people and Pitt finds one crew member alive and escapes to Martha Ann. Pitt becomes aware that the communication is blocked. Later the ship is attacked by 200 people. Pitt fights and saves couple of ship crew and escapes in a helicopter.

After this escapade Admiral Hunter's daughter comes to Pitt's hotel room and tells him about her lover Captain Cinana been killed. He remembers that he too was tried to be killed by a girl named Summer. Before Pitt and Adrian leave the hotel the villain of this story Delphi enters and subdues Pitt and takes Adrian as hostage. Unexpected help from a girl (Summer) Pitt escapes and narrates this to the Admiral. From his description of Delphi, a name arises, Dr.Frederick Moran who was tall and had golden eyes. He was an anthropologist and pacifist, his friends were respected men of science Dr.Lavella proficient in hydrology and Dr.Roblemann a renowned surgeon. The three of them died 30 years ago. 

The theory that Delphi/Dr.Frederick Moran wanted to create a underwater race using the sunken seamount. Dirk Pitt and his side kick Al and navy seals goes to the sunken seamount.
Did Dirk Pitt saved Adrian Hunter? what happened to Dr.Frederick Moran? Who is Summer? many of these plots are unfolded in the remaining chapters of the novel.

When I started to read I had a feeling that the story is connecting James Bond to Bermuda Triangle. Later the author clears my doubt by saying a lot about other mysterious places in the sea. Fantastic storyline, page turner. I like to say about the two chapters which was exciting and tension filled. Pitt trying to escape from Martha Ann and car chase before meeting the Admiral.

As usual one liner that I liked.

Good Morning Mr.Pitt, Delphi said drily. The tone was courteous, but the hatred was manifest in the icy lines of the face. I regret your injuries, but you can hardly sue for damage, can you?

Pitt answers, you neglected to post NO TRESPASSING signs


Feb 10, 2017

Raise the Titanic! Book Review

My third outing with Dirk Pitt adventures.


The story begins with an insane person who locks himself in the vault of drowning  RMS Titanic.  Then the story opens to present day in Russian territory Novaya Zemlya as mineralogist Dr.Koplin discovers that the only Byzanium ore mine has been completely extracted years back. This Byzanium ore is needed for the US top secret Sicilian project. While returning back to his hide out he was shot by Russian, a figure emerges from the snow and saves him, yes, he is our hero, death-defying adventurer and deep sea expert Dirk Pitt.

Through Dr.Koplin's statement the Byzanium ore has been mined by Coloradan miners who were hired by Societe des Mines De Lorraine (French government) Back tracking the mining operation they come to know that though they were working for the French, one of the miners Joshua Hayes Brewster who was persuaded by United States, tries to hand over the ore. But the French government comes to know this fact and trails them, 7 out of 8 miners were killed before the ore was transported to Southampton harbour in April 1912. And the ore did not reached US soil and also they did not know the whereabouts of Brewster.

The ore rests in the bottom of Atlantic ocean inside the Titanic. The President approaches NUMA (National Underwater Marine Agency) to raise the Titanic. And the team successfully finds the sunken Titanic. At the same time Russian leaders comes to know about the secret project and the Byzanium ore. They send their best man Captain Prevlov with a mission either to sabotage the operation or get hold the Byzanium ore.

Dirk Pitt team raises the Titanic and finds out mole in his team. As the Titanic is tugged to New York port, an intense storm hinders their progress. Meanwhile the Titanic is captured by Captain Prevlov.

Did Dirk Pitt took Titanic to New York? Did he saved his team from Captain Prevlov? The answers are in the remaining chapters of the book.


A superb, fast paced thriller from Clive Cussler. I liked this story than Trojan Odyssey. Lot of characters from 1912 to the present day. The story has couple of sub plots, one is about the marital life of Gene Seagram and Dana. Second sub plot is the classic cold war espionage of Captain Prevlov and Lieutenant Pavel Marganin. And the third is the President of United States. The character Pitt is very intelligent and daring adventurer, his knowledge and approach saves the day.

I liked to quote one liner punch from the novel:

Abroad the Titanic Captain Prevlov questioning Dirk Pitt when he emerges suddenly:

Prevlov: Your name? May I assume that your name is Dirk Pitt?

Dirk Pitt: That’s what the fine print reads on my birth certificate

I felt an applause in my mind when I read the above line. Raising of Titanic and the ship completing his maiden voyage after several years, these emotional chapters gave me goose bumps.

Thank you Clive Cussler for a fantastic novel, I enjoyed reading the book.
 

Feb 9, 2017

The Policewoman Book Cover

I have already reviewed “The Policewoman” written by Justin W.M.Roberts. And the author has forwarded newly designed book cover of that thriller novel.

pw

And below is the 3d view of The Policewoman.

3d render book-transparent copy

What is your comment about the new cover design?

Click here for the book review.

Jan 30, 2017

Review: Masoom Thrillers #1

Masoom Thrillers #1 Masoom Thrillers #1 by Nisar Masoom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this free E book from goodreads kindle group. The book is collection of five short stories each having its own twist, mystery and dark horror. A small book with 116 pages can be read in one sitting.

The five stories are:
Henna
Witness protection
Ghosts of Iraq
Valentines Night
Red Carpet

Out of these I very much liked Witness protection. Unlike other stories from beginning to end the story has twist and the end is unpredictable. This story has good character development.

After Witness Protection I liked Red Carpet story and Ghosts of Iraq has potential to be written as a novel.


View all my reviews

Jan 29, 2017

Review: Trojan Odyssey

My second outing with Dirk Pitt adventures. From the blurb;

"When a hurricane unexpectedly blows up off the coast of Nicaragua, a giant floating hotel lies in its path. With no escape for the helpless passengers and crew, it's left to Dirk Pitt and NUMA to launch a rescue and save the day. But in the storm's wake, Pitt and his team discover clues that point to an ancient mystery with shocking implications for today.

As Pitt investigates further, he uncovers a plot by a mysterious billionaire called Specter to dramatically alter the Earth's climate, leaving him in control of the only solution. With foes attempting to stop him on every side, Pitt is in a race against time to prevent global catastrophe".

The story opens in 1190 B.C. with a wooden horse left by Achaeans outside the fortress of Ilium, the Dardanians takes possession of wooden horse, & you know the rest of the story of how Troy fell. The story continues with the legendary Odysseus sail across the great green sea with the treasures of Troy.

Present day a hurricane 'Lizzie' blows up off the coast of Nicaragua. Same time seventy miles northeast of the Dominican Republic in Navidad Bank, Dirk Pitt's twin children Summer and Pitt were checking the mysterious brownish contamination which had hampered the sea life in and around Nicaragua. Summer finds out a stone cave with an ancient artifact, comes to know it belongs to Celts.

The odd findings of Celtic treasure near America reopens the life of Celts and the Trojan war. A new theory that Trojan war is fought by the Celts and not Greek, the war is for tin which strengthens copper.

Through analysis the mysterious brownish contamination found in the ocean waters were of natural formation. Dirk Pitt and his sidekick Al Giordino after saving the floating hotel from the hurricane visits the spot and finds out that they were dumped into sea by an organization called Odyssey headed by a mysterious figure Specter.

As one of the reviewer has pointed out that Dirk Pitt is culmination of James Bond and Jacques Cousteau, Dirk and Al infiltrate into the underground tunnel and comes to know that they are into an act of altering the Earth's climate and reap the riches by selling fuel cells to the World.

Did Pitt save the Earth from the catastrophe? Who is the mysterious man named Specter? What happened to the treasure of Odysseus? all these are answered in the end. I enjoyed reading the book, the adventures of Dirk and Al inside the tunnel and escaping unhurt, the episode made me so nervous, Pitt's shrewdness in finding out the bomb placed in their experiment boat and capturing Rita who had killed one of his associates are worth mentioning. I smiled at the end when the author comes to the wedding of Dirk Pitt.

Revealing Specter's real face made me remember the climax of 1975 MGR movie Ithayakani (Heart Fruit). In the cover it is mentioned that Clive Cussler is a Grand Master of adventure, I agree 100%.


Jan 23, 2017

Bibliomania

I like to reproduce a post from Facebook page of one of my favorite author Steve Berry, it is about Bibliomania.

Do you like to collect books? That is something many dedicated readers do. There have been many book collectors throughout history that have amassed large collections. A few people take it to the extreme by furiously or compulsively collecting books for the mere lust of possession, collecting books which have no value to the collector. This is know as bibliomania, an excessive preoccupation for acquiring and possessing books. It’s different from bibliophilia, the love of books. A bibliophile or bookworm is an individual who loves to read books.


Image from Marimihai.com

This 1809 book, “BIBLIOMANIA; OR BOOK MADNESS; CONTAINING SOME ACCOUNT OF THE HISTORY, SYMPTOMS AND CURE OF THIS FATAL DISEASE” (London, 1809), by the Reverend Thomas Frognall Dibdin, was one of the first to describe bibliomania. Although the book is a fictional work, many of the characters in the book are modeled after the author’s friends and acquaintances. 

In the upper classes in Europe and England during the 1800s, the social elite and scholars did whatever they needed to do to collect books regardless of the cost. Some collectors spent everything they had to build their personal libraries. English book collector Richard Heber started collecting books in 1804 and ended up with eight houses bursting with over 146,000 rare books, a collection he spent an estimated 100,000 pounds to accumulate. Others built their libraries by stealing the books.

One such collector was Dr. Alois Pichler, a librarian at the Imperial Public Library in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1869. A few months after he started working there, the staff noticed an alarming number of books were disappearing. The staff and guards started looking for unusual behavior and noticed Pichler acting strangely. They noticed that he constantly wore his large overcoat and refused to remove it, and he left the library several times a day. In March 1871, Pichler was found in possession of over 4,500 stolen library books on everything from perfume making to theology. He was tried and convicted of theft and sent to Siberia.

More recently, Stephen Carrie Blumberg from Ottumwa, Iowa was arrested in 1990 for stealing over 20,000 books worth around $5.3 million over a twenty year period. The books had been stolen from universities and museums in 45 states, 2 Canadian provinces and Washington, D.C. He was tried and convicted and sentenced to 71 months in jail. Although the FBI tried to identify the owners of the books and return the books to them, in many cases it was impossible to identify the owners since Blumberg had removed marks of ownership from almost all of the books.