Dirk Pitt rides a tidal wave of intrigue in this classic Cussler.
On an isolated Greek island, a World War I fighter plane attacks a modern U.S. Air Force base–a mysterious saboteur preys on an American scientific expedition–and Dirk Pitt plays a deadly game of hunter and hunted with the elusive head of an international smuggling ring.
Putting my frustrations aside when it comes to Dirk Pitt’s views of women, I enjoyed this first story (if you don’t count Pacific Vortex as the first) in the series of Pitt’s adventures. Dirk Pitt and his best friend, Al Giordino, both have a sense of humor that more often than not amuses me and I can see myself continuing to care for the fate of these two characters. Being sarcastic by nature myself, it adds to my love for the banter between them and the way they almost antagonize other characters throughout the story.
This book isn’t award-winning literature worthy, so don’t expect that if you plan to pick it up, but it’s one of those quick and fun reads if you’re looking for something fast paced and different. I never ventured much into action packed adventure novels in my younger years, but am finding that it can be a fun change from other genres.
Keep in mind that this novel was written in the 70s and that the alpha male attitude that Pitt has (which reminds me much of James Bond in a way) was what many men enjoyed reading during that time. Dirk Pitt novels are being written even now, though, and I look forward to seeing how Pitt may grow as a character and become someone less chauvinistic and more of the likable hero that he has the potential to be.
The ending had a fun twist that I didn’t see coming, which made the book a four star rather than a three star for me. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a charming (and yet slightly narcissistic) hero who never backs down until he gets the job done, a good mystery, and a touch of historical fiction thrown in there as well.
1. Dirk Pitt has an amusing and sometimes eye-roll worthy personality, but it works for him and makes him an enjoyable character.
2. The banter between most characters will keep you entertained. Cussler doesn’t waste time with useless dialogue and I appreciate it greatly.
3. The scenery and descriptions of what the characters can see around them are detailed enough that you can actually imagine the scenes playing out in front of you.
4. The mystery is actually a good one and keeps you guessing until the very end. Cussler pulls of twists in a way that should excite readers.
What Didn’t Work
1. The misogyny is just horrible in this book. If you slapped me across the face for grieving a dead husband I would surely put you in your place quick.
2. The constant need to bring up smoking and what the characters are smoking is way overdone. We get it, they have nasty habits, and we don’t need to hear about it all the time. Thanks.