2007: #85 – Raise the Titanic! (Clive Cussler)

Book #85 was Raise the Titanic!, the fourth book in Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt series. The back of the book reads:

The President’s secret task force develops the ultimate defensive weapon. At its core: byzanium, a radioactive element so rare sufficient quantities have never been found. But a frozen American corpse on a desolate Soviet mountainside, a bizarre mining accident in Colorado, and a madman’s dying message lead DIRK PITT~ to a secret cache of byzanium. Now he begins his most thrilling, daunting mission — to raise from its watery grave the shipwreck of the century!

In a daring gamble, DIRK PITT locates the Titanic — and suddenly his crew is in deadly jeopardy. Sabotaged by Russian spies and savage storms, Pitt must stop a diabolical plan for Soviet world supremacy — or see the mighty Titanic blasted out of existence!

This is the best Dirk Pitt novel I’ve read yet! It was written 9 years before the Titanic was actually discovered by Robert Ballard (whose JASON organization I actually interned for once upon a time), so it was interesting to see how Cussler envisioned it (especially since he didn’t yet know that the ship was in two pieces). I’m used to there being some big bad evil conglomerate in Cussler’s books, but the biggest, baddest evil in this book was the weather!

The only thing I would dock this book for is the way Cussler writes women. I hate the way he writes women and about women at this stage in his career. It’s very chauvinistic, and it seems like every flaw a woman character has is entirely due to her gender. Thankfully, he seems to move past that in later years.

I can see why they tried to make a movie of this. Too bad they screwed it up! There could have been a Dirk Pitt franchise that rivaled James Bond.

Page count: 448 | Word count: 106,501

2006 – Glory in Death (J.D. Robb)

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