In the middle of its maiden voyage, a luxury cruise ship using revolutionary new engines suddenly catches fire and sinks. Its alarms stay silent; its sprinkler system remains inactive. While Ms. The machines could only be the stuff of legend, described in the tales of Viking explorers or the accounts of Jules Verne.
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Navy Memorial Foundation for his efforts in the area of marine exploration. After making dinner for the children and putting them to bed, he had no one to talk to and nothing to do, so he decided to start writing.
The Dirk Pitt novels frequently take on an alternative history perspective, such as "what if Atlantis were real? The third, Raise the Titanic! Often in the first chapter, a ship or plane carrying a top-secret, important, or dangerous cargo is lost and never found, until it is recovered by a modern character later in the book.
Where Crichton strove for scrupulous realism, however, Cussler prefers fantastic spectacles and outlandish plot devices. Pitt himself is a larger-than-life hero reminiscent of Doc Savage and other characters from pulp magazines. NUMA[ edit ] As an underwater explorer , Cussler discovered more than 60 shipwreck sites  and wrote non-fiction books about his findings. Hunley , the first submarine to successfully sink an enemy vessel - during the American Civil War.
Often, the character is given an alias and not revealed as Cussler until his exit with the characters remarking on his odd name. The Tombs also includes his wife, Barbara. There are at least two other types of recurring in-jokes that are less obvious to a casual reader. One is the frequent reuse of the name Leigh Hunt for different characters in different novels. Seventeen books have had a character with this name, frequently in the opening prologues, frequently a sailor, usually dying; a notable exception is the first in chronological order Dirk Pitt adventure, Pacific Vortex!
In the introduction to Arctic Drift, Cussler says there was a real Leigh Hunt who died in and the novel is dedicated to him. He also used the name "Periwinkle" in his works. In Valhalla Rising, the Periwinkle is the name of a catamaran in which Pitt, Giordino, and Misty Graham are rescued by none other than Cussler himself.
Sabotage, conspiracy and piracy in the air, and below the waves, finds Dirk Pitt plunged into his most dangerous adventure yet. When the luxury cruise lined Emerald Dolphin - powered by a revolutionary new propulsion system - becomes a raging inferno and sinks mysteriously, it is lucky that NUMA special projects director Dirk Pitt is on hand to rescue the passengers and investigate the tragedy. Sifting through the undersea wreckage for signs of foul play, Pitt is unaware of powerful, dark forces player their hand against him. Forced to fight for his life - and those of friends and colleagues - against evermore ruthless enemies from a shadowy organisation, Pitt finds himself caught between the secrets of the past and the intrigues of the future.