Jun 3, 2017

Night Probe - Book Review

My seventh outing with Dirk Pitt adventures.

Night Probe : An old diver's term for exploring the dark of underwater caves.
Heidi Milligan discovers of an old crumpled letter in a university archive which leads into obscure and long lost document of North American Treaty. In early 1914 the British were aware that war with Germany was just around the corner. Britain was scraping the bottom of its treasury when it entered World War I. The Prime Minister Herbert Asquith and King George V out of desperation approaches President Woodrow Wilson with a proposal of selling Canada to the US for 1 billion dollars. Richard Essex, Under Secretary of State under William Jennings Bryan and Harvey Shields, Deputy Secretary of the British Foreign Office drafted the North American Treaty. United States loaned 150 million dollars for war effort which was a down payment.

Before the Treaty comes into force the two copies of the document were lost to time, after Harvey Shields traveling in Empress of Ireland collided with a coal collier sinks and subsequently another copy of the document with Richard Essex, traveling in Manhattan Limited train falls from the Deauville-Hudson bridge killing everyone.

Heidi has a crush with old man Brain Shaw who is actually a spy serving on her Majestic secret service. Without knowing the consequences Heidi tells him about North American Treaty and as well as with our hero Dirk Pitt.

The President of the United States facing a power crisis gets to know about the treaty through Dirk Pitt. He orders Pitt to salvage Empress of Ireland and Manhattan Limited. NUMA team starts their work.

Same time in Canada, Prime Minister Charles Sarveux is facing internal problem through Free Quebec Society, a radical movement dedicated to independence of French Quebec, headed by its veiled head and Minister of Internal Affairs, Henri Villon. The assassination attempt over Charles flight fails. A paid assassin look alike of Henri Villon, Inspector Foss Gly creates havoc by killing Quebec Premier Jules Guerrier. The British sends Brain Shaw to get hold the North American Treaty before NUMA.

Did Dirk Pitt succeeded in finding the document from Empress of Ireland and Manhattan Limited? What happened to Charles Sarveux, his cheating wife Danielle, Henri Villon and Brain Shaw? The mystery and suspense is revealed in the subsequent chapters by Ace story teller Clive Cussler.

A fabulous story entwined with greater suspense. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. In every story Dirk Pitt encounters his evil adversary. But this adversary is a patriotic spy, Brain Shaw. Both respect each other, to me Brain Shaw resembled aged James Bond having same characteristics charm and seduction. In the final pages Pitt mentions to Brain, that James Bond will be proud of Shaw and they were quite close.

Like other novel I noticed some one liners of Pitt which I want to quote:

Dirk Pitt conversing about North American Treaty with the President of United States, before they part the President asks Pitt.

And you, Mr.Pitt, would you agree?
Pitt closed his briefcase and stood up. I'm a marine engineer, Mr.President. I steer well clear of political involvement.

First encounter of Pitt with Brain Shaw, Pitt after saving Shaw from the death grip of Foss Gly.

Who are you?, he mumbled.
Pitt. Dirk Pitt.
Strange, you don't look like the devil. Shaw had never doubted where he would eventually wind up.

On previous encounter Harrison Moon was tossed by Pitt when he was not allowed to meet the President in the White House. After knowing about Pitt, Moon meets Pitt in old car auction.


Pitt turned and looked into the babyish face of Harrison Moon IV.

Funny, Pitt said without surprise, you didn't strike me as the type who would be interested in old cars.

Actually, I'm interested in you.

Pitt gave him an amused look. If you're gay, you're wasting your time.


  1. Nicely done.
    I have never read Cussler but
    I have some of his.

  2. Happy to know you have some of his books. Please read one and you won't be disappointed.

    What titles do you own?

  3. Well, would you believe I have Night Probe. Also The Eye of Heaven. Now, because of you I will have to read
    Night Probe first.Thanks again, Roop

    1. I have not read Eye of Heaven but sure you will like Night Probe. Night Probe is Dirk Pitt adventure but Eye of Heaven is not.

  4. That was the first Clive Cussler book I ever read, back in 1985 at the age of 10! Been a huge fan ever since!

  5. Night Probe was my very first Cussler book that I found in a day cruise library out of Fla in '98ish. I've since collected and read all books!

    1. You are very fortunate enough in collecting all CC's books.

  6. This would have been the third in the Clive Cussler book based movies. I would have really liked to see who they would have come up with in the movie for the character Brian Shaw. I would have loved to have seen Clive Owen playing Brian Shaw. But that won't ever happen now. Oh well.

  7. Keith Cunningham06 June, 2017 12:49

    Just finished it. Great read.

  8. Greg Nicholls06 June, 2017 12:49

    Night probe & Mayday are the only books where Dirk doesn't have to personally "dispatch" someone

  9. I re-read this one recently. This is where we first meet Foss Gly who I think may the only 'bad guy' to make a re-appearance in a later novel.

    1. Thanks for the comment.

      In which novel he re-appears?

  10. He almost had to dispatch Brian Shaw! This is one of my top 2-3 Pitt novels. Love the ghost train!

    1. Thanks for the comment. For me I liked the Phantom train part and how finely Pitt finds out the truth.