Inca Gold (Dirk Pitt #12)

Man these are getting long. 20 hours on the audiobook. Even at 2.5x, that’s a while. It probably doesn’t help that every. single. time. a measurement is mentioned, it has to be converted. Is that the same in the print version? Because it’s maddening…

Pitt’s heart pumped a good five liters (a gallon) of adrenaline through his system, but he remained calm and clinically surveyed the towering figure that looked like a monstrosity out of a science fiction horror movie.

On the other hand, there are so very many quotes from these books that make them a joy to read:

The inside of her one-piece black Lycra swim suit was nicely filled by an hourglass figure with an extra twenty minutes thrown in for good measure, and when she moved it was with the fluid grace of a Balinese dancer.

What does it even mean?

Gunn shrugged. “He’s my boss as well as yours. I’m an old navy man. I follow orders.”

“I’m old air force,” Pitt replied. “I question them.”

Or ignore them for the greater good. Or a good action scene. Pitt in a nutshell.

For a moment she was too stunned to answer. Then finally, she stammered, “Dirk… is it really you?”

“If there’s another one, I hope they catch him before he signs our name to a lot of checks. I’m sorry I didn’t get here sooner.”

Wonderful.

“It,” he answered, “is a pre-Columbian antiquity that contains the directions to hidden riches worth so much money it would take you and your buddies in Congress all of two days to spend it.”

She looked at him suspiciously. “You must be joking. That would be over a billion dollars.”

“I never joke about lost treasure.”

He’s not even wrong.

Plotwise, it’s pretty much a Dirk Pitt adventure in a nutshell, everything somehow linked and larger than life. This time around we’re in South America, with an ancient sacrificial pool (Pitt to the rescue), kidnapped friends and new acquaintance (Pitt to the rescue), a crazy underground river chock full of gold (Pitt to the rescue?), and a crime family that deals in stole art (Pitt to the rescue!). It actually fits together than most of the Dirk Pitt plots, so I’ll take it.

Charaterwise, it’s pretty much the Pitt and friends we’ve come to know. We’re seeing more and more of others such as Permutter and Yaeger and Gunn– and I like it. It’s interesting to see how they are each fiercely, maddeningly loyal to Pitt yet each in their own way with their own strengths. I will say though (since computers are my thing), that Yaeger’s tenth floor super computer system is getting a bit ridiculous. Breaking Incan quipu in a matter of hours? Finding a centuries old sea wreck? If you need something done, put the computers on it. It will be done in hours. Impossible. But it keeps the story moving, so it goes.

It’s interesting to see a lamp hung on Pitt’s increasingly vengeful solution to the baddies:

These men had come to kill all witnesses to a criminal operation. Kill or be killed was a cliché, but it held true.

That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the right thing to do.

Womenwise, Cussler has progressed a lot through this books. Heck, one of the main characters is a Congresswoman who sometimes at least can hold her own with Pitt. That being said, exactly how many times has she been kidnapped? This book alone? Oy.

It’s also interesting that Pitt’s pining for Summer (from Pacific Vortex!) has come up again. I don’t recall that in any of the intervening books. It makes sense and it’s making Pitt a more solid character, but … now?

Oh. And of course Cussler is back:

Pitt smiled as he stared at the road ahead. “He could really spin the yarns, couldn’t he?”

“The old cook? He certainly had an active imagination.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t get his name.”

Loren settled back in the seat and gazed out her window as the dunes gave way to a tapestry of mesquite and cactus. “He told me what it was.”

“And?”

“It was an odd name.” She paused, trying to remember. Then she shrugged in defeat. “Funny thing … I’ve already forgotten it.”

Of course.

Edit 227 : It seems Clive Cussler has passed away. 80 books in 85 years. On top of starting a real life NUMA and finding numerous ship wrecks. Quite the life and quite the legacy.

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