Clive Cussler is a prolific author, publishing about five adventure/thriller novels per year, either as solo or lead author. His son Dirk is Odessa Sea’s co-writer who treats the reader to another adventure featuring the original Cussler protagonists Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino of NUMA. As with all Cussler novels, the first chapter sets the main plot, set in an older time when a treasure or secret is misplaced. The second chapter is usually set in the present day, as adventurers or scientists stumble upon the existence of said treasure/secret, racing the bad guys to reach it first.
Odessa Sea’s main plot deals with Dirk and Al chasing renegade Russians who have got their hands on a sixty year old WWII atomic bomb, threatening the USA with it. The first of two sub-plots follows Dirk’s adult children Dirk and Summer (both NUMA scientists) who are on the trail of Romanov gold bullion, pursued by more Russians. The second of the sub-plots was at first puzzling to this reviewer. No NUMA characters in the story line, which follows the potential sale of an American military drone to yet more renegade Russians. Only in the final chapters does the raison d’etre for the drone sale emerge and it is heartbreaking (something not often experienced when reading a Cussler adventure).
Mr Cussler has written more than 70 action adventure thrillers since commencing writing in 1965. None of them are boring, all are fun to read and a lot of genuine history is woven into the starting plots, sufficient for this reader to research separately and get side tracked. Recently, Mr Cussler has been writing himself into the plot, making a small cameo appearance and helping the main characters in their quest with a friendly hint, or a lift in a vehicle. It’s a small in joke between the author and his readers, and is treasured when it occurs.
As always, recommended.