Feb 26, 2017

The Mediterranean Caper

My fifth outing with Dirk Pitt adventures.

NUMA undertakes an expedition in Mediterranean sea in search for a fish which could link to the evolution of mammals and also believed to be an extinct species 200 hundred millions year ago. The expedition was sabotaged, our hero Dirk Pitt is sent to investigate. A World War I biplane attacks the nearby Brady airfield, Pitt cleverly completes the puzzle thrown by his adversary through his wit and dare devilry.

A lot of unexpected twist in the story, three characters one is Bruno von Till who is believed to be Admiral Heibert, Commander of Nazi Germany's transportation fleet, a fanatical follower of Adolph Hitler, and brother of Kurt Heibert. Second character Bruno von Till's niece a widow Teri and finally Darius the monster.

Awesome engineering feats behind the smuggling of heroin through Minerva Lines freighter and the sunken cave of the villain are unexpected revelations for me.

Two escapades of Dirk Pitt are worth mentioning and has the edge of the seat thrilling experience, one is escaping from the clutches of Bruno von Till's labyrinth and another from the deserted Queen Artemisia ship.

Below two incidents which shows Pitt's cleverness and remained me of watching a MGR movie.

One is after getting out of the car, Dirk Pitt with Willie the chauffeur.

"Willie my friend, Pitt said seriously, I must tell you something. Will you step out of the car for a moment?
Willie's brows wrinkled but he shrugged and stepped from the car, facing Pitt. Now Herr Pitt, what do you wish to tell me?

I see you wear jackboots, Willie.

Ja, I wear jackboots.

Pitt flashed his best used car salesman's smile. And jackboots have hobnails, don't they?

Ja, jackboots have hobnails, said Willie irritably. Why do you waste my time with such nonsense? I have duties to perform. What is it you wish to say?

Pitt's eyes grew hard. My friend, I felt that if you want to earn your peeping Tom merit badge, it's my duty to warn you that silver rimmed spectacles reflect the sun's rays and can easily give your hiding place away..... and Pitt's fist slammed into his mouth, cutting off the words.

Another incident, Pitt with Bruno von Till who had dressed appropriately for the dinner in his house:

Pitt's eyes searched von Till. Is that why you carry a Luger in a shoulder holster?"

And one liner I like to quote when badly injured Pitt tries to enter First Attempt.

"I'm Pitt and I'm injured. Now stop screwing around and hurry.

Is it really you, Major? the lookout asked hesitantly. 

What the Goddamn hell do you want? snapped Pitt, a birth certificate?"

Yet another superb thriller from Clive Cussler, I enjoyed reading the book.

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.