My mother-in-law left this book lying on my bookshelf the last time she visited. I’ve never read a Clive Cussler book before, and since I’m kind of laid up these days, I thought I’d give it a read. I think I picked one of his books up a couple of times at a book store, but I never bought one. Not sure why. Maybe it’s the name of the book’s hero: Dirk Pitt. Sounds like some kind of Harlequin romance character that I suspected would at some point have to do something with his ‘throbbing manhood’.
Clive Cussler has written 42 books, which is quite impressive, and his son Dirk has co-authored three or four of those, including this one. I’m not sure how co-authoring works, period, but I’m suspicious that in this case, Clive wrote some of the chapters, and Dirk wrote some. Some flowed pretty well and obeyed the basic laws of story telling. Some did not. If I were to read a pure Clive Cussler book, I would probably be able to pick out which sections he wrote in this one. The voices definitely change from section to section.
But reading another Cussler book (by either father or son) probably isn’t going to happen for me. The plot is definitely imaginative and high concept: if Dirk and his children Dirk, Jr. and Summer don’t stop the terrorists, the world will explode into World War III. But in order to make the plot work, there are a startling series of coincidences that involve Dirk, Dirk Jr. and Summer finding clues to the mysteries they didn’t even know they were working on. The villains are paper thin and do the stupidest things, constantly. They show no mercy in killing people, but always – and conveniently to the plot – leave Pitt’s family alive and ‘unconscious’, so they can come back to foil their dastardly plans once again. And it’s not just the villains who do stupid things. Pitt, at one point, leaves the villain – who has just killed two of his friends – locked in a closet instead of killing her and putting an end to the story right there.
But the low point of the story is Dirk and his wife – a US Congresswoman of course – are trying to escape henchmen who are chasing them around Turkey. They meet up with a man at a classic car show, and steal his antique car to get away from the men with guns. The man’s name? Clive Cussler.
Dude. Seriously? I know Cussler has gained a lot of fame and fortune from his writing. But holy cow.