Dirk Pitt returns for his 11th undersea adventure (Shock Wave, 1996, etc.), still as far out and full of derring-do as ever. Along with arms and drugs, Qui Shang, the fourth richest man in the world, smuggles Chinese by the millions into the US, Canada, and Europe. In the near future, the US population is edging toward 360 million, and it begins to seem likely that Chinese will control the West Coast from San Francisco to Alaska. A divided America looms--but, then, no civilization lasts forever. Unless, of course, it has a steady succession of Dirk Pitts to call on for help. Here, Pitt, vacationing on Orion Lake near Seattle, discovers that the frigid lake is a warehouse for thousands of dead Chinese, those who were too infirm to be sold as slaves by Qui Shang or used as prostitutes. Qui Shang has bought much of the US government, including the president, as well as top men in the People's Republic of China. And now, just as Pitt begins to pick up his trail, it turns out he's working on his biggest operation yet. He has built a multibillion-dollar port above New Orleans for no visible economic reason, though in fact he uses it to unload illegals--and also has far more ambitious plans for it. He and his henchmen have devised a plan to divert the Mississippi back into its former bed, thus creating a catastrophe that will give his company a gigantic shipping advantage by sending New Orleans the way of Atlantis. Pitt and his friends at the National Underwater and Marine Agency all but single-handedly uncover Qui Shang's plots by spying on him with submersibles, and little by little they begin to unravel his conspiracy, even recovering some sunken Chinese art treasures (sent abroad by Chiang Kai-shek), essential to the master criminal's plans, before Qui Shang can get them. Speedy storytelling and great fun.