The seventh Dirk Pitt book.

Publishing year: 1984

Format: Print

Finnish translator: Maria Sivonen

Page count: 418

Finnish publisher: WSOY

This adventure book starts with two plotlines that merge. In one, Dirk Pitt and his friend Al Giordano look for a sunken ship that is carrying a stolen shipment of nerve gas. The gas is escaping and killing people. The second plot involves the kidnapping of the four most important politicians in the US.

The story starts with Arta Casilighio, a bank teller who finds the passport of another woman. Arta gathers the courage to steal a lot of money and head to Europe aboard a ship. Unfortunately for her, a group of Korean men highjacks the ship and kills everyone on it.

Twenty years later, something is mysteriously killing people on ships. The US government sends Dr. Julia Mendoza from the Environmental Protection Agency to order Pitt and Giordano to look for a sunken ship that is spreading the poison. Pitt does so but Dr. Mendoza is exposed to the poison and dies. Pitt swears revenge.

Meanwhile, the four top men in the US government go missing, and the men closest to them try very hard to cover it up while both the FBI and the CIA are looking for the president and the other men.

This was my first Cussler book, but I know the series is very popular. Unfortunately, this book didn’t really work for me. It has lots and lots of point-of-view characters. I didn’t have trouble telling them apart from each other, but none of them were very compelling. Also, the plot centers on politics which I didn’t find compelling. The book has also some racism toward Asians.

The plot has some incongruous elements. Perhaps most fantastical of them is not just mind control, but the notion that you can inject memories from one man’s brain to another’s. For a thriller book, the plot felt slow to me, because of the politicking.