4 stars out of 5
Dirk Pitt, Clive Cussler's legendary hero who's now heading up the National Underwater and Marine Agency, doesn't play much of a role in this one, but there's plenty of action nonetheless. In fact, it's a little too much for me; NUMA agents Kurt Austin and fellow agent and friend Joe Zavala are about as close to super-heroes as you can get. No capes, perhaps, but plenty of other gadgets and gizmos courtesy of the U.S. government (chameleon suits? Who knew??) to satisfy all the techies out there.
In the beginning, Austin is injured while trying to rescue folks (one a former love) from a yacht that's about to sink. But his injuries come with memory malfunctions, and he isn't sure exactly what he saw. Determined to get to the truth - and prove that his long-ago love really isn't dead - he teams up with his pal Zavala to investigate (with Pitt's permission). All this leads to the discovery of a ship that was thought to be lost nearly a century ago and the possible downfall of the United States itself that brings computer hacking to a whole new level.
Some of Cussler's work of late has been less than satisfying, but this one - co-written by Graham Brown - is, with the exception of the aforementioned almost unbelievable super-hero antics, perhaps - very well done. The story is a bit complex, but the authors do a great job of sorting it all out so it makes sense in the end.
Ghost Ship (The NUMA Files) by Clive Cussler (Putnam Adult, May 2014); 440 pp.