Iceberg opens with a solid enough set piece/action scene: a burnt out wreck of a luxary yacht, long since missing, found melted into an iceberg. One thing leads to another and Dirk Pitt stumbles into a cadre of billionaires with a plot to take over not only businesses but countries. For that–plot and set pieces–Iceberg is a solid enough read.
And then… you get to the pretty terrible sexism and homophobia. Pitt finds out the woman he’s supposed to be getting information out of is in a serious relationship (which for plot reasons he must not threaten), so decides in the spur of the moment to play a caricature of a gay man and… oof. You can tell this book was published in the 70s and not the particularly progressive sort of 70s either. On top of that, you have sexism wrapped up in a neat little bow with how Pitt and his boss Admiral Sandecker treat Tidi Royal (the latter’s secretary). They all treat it so normal that Tidi exists to make coffee and should be yelled at for spilling it on a tossing ship… oy.
It’s actually surprising when in the final closing ‘so that’s how it all happened’ section, the main villain is revealed to be transgender, finally transitioning from the male form they were born with to female, taking on the role of their own sister . It’s certainly questionable for that to be the villain, but it’s actually treated as just another thing by Pitt, which given how badly he deals with women and gay sterotypes is… something at least?
That action is still solid and they’re for the most part quick, fun reads. You just have to skip a few parts that have aged… badly. Onward.