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Even if Kurt Austin, of the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA), isn't looking for trouble, it somehow has a way of finding him. Attending a conference in Sydney, Austin just happens to be nearby when a powerboat crashes into the Sydney Opera House. Kurt pulls an injured man out of the wreckage; the man dies but not before muttering a cryptic message ( The heart . . . of Tartarus ) that Austin immediately recognizes as a reference to the deepest prison of the underworld. Then, after Austin notices that the dead man has symptoms of the bends, he starts looking for a mystery deep under the water, but he doesn't expect to find a Bondian megalomaniac who has harnessed the massively destructive power of zero-point energy and is threatening to wreak havoc upon the planet. Unless, of course, Austin and his NUMA team can stop him. The NUMA books are sort of midrange Cussler, not as well crafted as his Isaac Bell series but more exciting than the Oregon Files. Fans of the previous NUMA adventures will find much to enjoy here.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist