On the Bookshelf...


Clive Cussler

Charts of lost gold...breathtaking art and rare volumes...maps of hidden oil and mineral deposits that could change the world's balance of power. Now DIRK PITT discovers the secret trail of the treasures of Alexandria -- a trail that plunges him into a brutal conspiracy for total domination of the globe. Zealots threaten to unseat the governments of Egypt and Mexico, exposing America to invasion and economic collapse. Suddenly, from East to West, anarchists reach their deadly tentacles into the heart of the United States. And DIRK PITT, the hard-hitting hero of Clive Cussler's smash bestsellers Sahara and Inca Gold, is up against the most feared assassin known to man. An international band of terrorists is making its play for world power on the high seas -- and Pitt is the only man alive who can stop them!

Clive Cussler is pretty well known for his brand of treasure hunting thrillers. I've read them for years, from picking up Raise the Titanic in the early eighties, through to his latest, written by his son. I used to look forward to his Dirk Pitt books, but the last few have been very mediocre, or is it that my tastes have changed? I decided to reread a few of them this year, starting with Treasure, a book I remember really liking.

Dirk and his sidekick Al Giordino are once again in the right place at the right time as they help rescue survivors from a downed aircraft in a fjord in Greenland. There they find an ancient roman shipwreck where a roman ship should never have been. This leads them to try to discover where the lost library of Alexandria has been hidden. Add in an uprising in both Mexico and Egypt and you've got the starting of a novel.

Treasure is an enjoyable romp if you can get above the sabre rattling of the politics and the casual misogyny of the main character. Dirk is very much an eighties man, much in the way James Bond was in the sixties. The actual story of finding a treasure lost for centuries and how they manage to track it down are actually good. The reason I loved these books were that it made the impossible seem possible. However today they seem banal and embarrassing. It's a shame because the basic storytelling is good.

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Review by
AJ Steel
March 23, 2023

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