Pitt also studied the shattered windshield, the splintered engine hatch, the holes stitched across the bow, the wisp of dark smoke rising from the engine compartment. “If you’d arrived two seconds later, Admiral Sandecker would be stuck with the chore of writing my eulogy.”
A collector of old automobiles and aircraft, [Dirk Pitt] kept them stored in an old hangar at the edge of Washington’s National Airport. He lived in an apartment above the collection. His accomplishments at NUMA while serving as special projects director under his boss, Admiral James Sandecker, read like an adventure novel. From heading the project to raise the Titanic to discovering the long-lost artifacts from the Alexandria Library to stopping a red tide in the oceans that would have ultimately decimated life on earth, during the past fifteen years the subject was directly responsible for operations that either saved a great many lives or were of inestimable benefit to archaeology or the environment. The list of projects he directed to successful conclusions covered nearly twenty pages.
That will never stop being amusing. Yes, his life does in fact read like an adventure novel. Go figure.
For the most part, Flood Tide follows the formula we’ve come to know and love. Big bad villain type has multiple plots to take over the world (mwahahahah); this time by way of illegal immigration. NUMA and Pitt get involved somehow; this time through a lake full of bones. There’s a damsel in distress; although Cussler has been tending towards much stronger women, this time said woman Julia is an Immigration Services officer gone undercover and has far more reason to be involved in this whole mess than plot does. Which of course means Pitt is going to get involved. And hey, this time around we actually get some crazy naval scenes (a giant ship going up the Mississippi) and a salvage plot! I’ve missed those.
One interesting aspect I am actually looking forward to, this is the first mention of the Oregon and her crew, which would later lead to a spin off series all it’s own: Oregon Files (the first book, Golden Buddha, was published 6 years after Flood Tide). I may have to add those all to my to-reads.
One thing that continues to bug me somewhat about these books is how caviler they are with the lives of the bad guys’ underlings–or those that are only tangentially related. In this case, a Chinese military ship and crew among others. How do they justify that?
Julia said to him, “I think you’re the craziest, most complex and reckless man I’ve ever met.”
“You left out charming and cuddly.”
“I can’t imagine any woman putting up with you for more than twenty-four hours.”
“To know me is to love me.” The mirth lines around his eyes crinkled, and he gave a tilt of his head toward the bar. “All this talk makes me thirsty.”
Ah well, it’s not that much different structurally than many of the other Dirk Pitt novels, which is exactly why I read them. They’re good, light, background books to listen to while driving, working out, or even playing (some) video games.