In Cussler’s latest, this time with Brown co-authoring, an African dictator decides he gets no respect, and so woe betide the world.
Djemma Garand, head of state in Sierra Leone, has big plans for his small country, which he feels has been dissed quite as much as he himself has been. Minerals, precious metals and docile geopolitical behavior, historically that’s been the Sierra Leone pigeonhole. Garand has vowed to change all that: “He desired a legacy that would leave his people better off for all eternity.” Garand may be a borderline megalomaniac, but since he’s no fool he understands the difference between a dream and a scheme. To accomplish his grandiose goal, he knows he needs leverage, the kind inherent in a particularly fearsome weapon, for instance, an item his own scientific community has been unable to develop. As a consequence, an international super scientist finds himself snatched off a street in Geneva and forced to experiment at the point of a gun. Meanwhile, Kurt Austin and his NUMA (National Underwater Maritime Agency) colleagues have been bearing witness to some unsettling events. In the Atlantic, not far from the Azores, a Japanese cargo ship bursts into flames. Badly wounded and obviously helpless, it’s a rich, sitting duck of a prize, custom-tailored for the opportunistic predator. So, it’s hardly a surprise when a pirate speedboat hones in, but then it, too, suddenly self-destructs. Coincidence? No seasoned NUMA professional believes that for a moment, but at this point not even the astute Kurt Austin is in a position to perceive the manipulative hand of Garand at work. But when he is it will be almost too late to save the world. Almost.
Vintage Cussler (Crescent Dawn, 2010, etc.), and just right for the armchair techie who likes his action nonstop and his characters uncomplicated. Nuance-seekers look elsewhere.