The first Dirk Pitt book published and the second chronologically, The Mediterranean Caper is kind of ridiculous. It’s 70s action at it’s finest, with more of a focus on old airplanes (the novel opens with a dogfight between a World War II flying boat against a World War I fighter plane) and smuggling than ocean salvage, but it’s still a enough fun read. I miss the ocean focus and salvage we saw in Pacific Vortex! and later books though.
The sexism is … pretty ridiculous in this book, wherein early in the book, Pitt meets a woman, finds out she’s a widow of several years, slaps her and tells her to move on with her life, and has sex with her–all within minutes of meeting her. Add that to all manner of comments about ‘feminine’ so and such. It’s maddening. We’ll see how that changes as the series continues to advance through the years.
Overall, it’s mostly an interesting book in a completionist state / to see where the series came from. If you’re jumping around in the series or reading only the best of Dirk Pitt, you can probably go ahead and skip this one.