From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Compared to his newer series, such as the Isaac Bell and Fargo thrillers, the Dirk Pitt novels feel a little old-fashioned. The Mediterranean Caper, the first in the series, was published 40 years ago, and apart from the regular addition of new technologies and other contemporary trappings, the Pitt novels really haven't veered too far from the formula established in the beginning. Pitt, a marine engineer and globe-trotting adventurer, risks life and limb to defeat a clever and resourceful villain. The story here involves a new American submarine. It will be faster, quieter, and more powerful than anything else under the seas, but its designer has been killed, and his plans and scale model have vanished. Nobody else knows how to finish building the sub, and now, with the plans stolen, an unknown party has the ability to build his or her own. Wildly implausible, yes, but a solid enough jumping-off point for more of the usual adventure and fisticuffs. Dirk Pitt is no longer the gold standard of Cussler's many series that's now Isaac Bell but Pitt still has enough gumption to keep us reading. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Formula fiction sells, if the formula has a track record, and Cussler (and his coauthors) certainly have that. Aggressive marketing, of course, will help.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist
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The fifth Dirk Pitt novel from bestseller Cussler and son Dirk (after 2010's Crescent Dawn) features expanded roles for Pitt's two grown kids. Both Summer and Dirk Jr. help their dad try to corral ruthless Austrian entrepreneur Edward Bolcke, who runs a slavery compound in Central America where kidnapped sailors are forced into servitude to assist in his many criminal enterprises. In particular, Bolcke has managed to steal a crucial component of the U.S. Navy's latest submarine technology-and he has found a way to hijack the world's supply of rare earth minerals. The three Pitts, along with longstanding sidekick Al Giordino, use their usual mix of brains and brawn to see that justice is served. While some readers may have a problem with sluggish action sequences and a surfeit of story lines, ardent followers of the Pitt clan and their nautical escapades will appreciate the family dynamics and camaraderie. Agent: Peter Lampack, Peter Lampack Agency. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.