Kurt Austin and his National Underwater Marine Agency team save the world yet again, this time from a criminal family that's been hijacking the innocent and taking hostages for four generations.
Commandeered off the coast of South Africa by Gavin Brèvard and a gang of criminals who’d booked passage with counterfeit currency, the SS Waratah vanished without a trace in 1909. A century later, the Brèvard family is still at it. Brothers Sebastian, Egan and Laurent, along with their kid sister, Calista, have kidnapped Sienna Westgate and her two children and intend to sell her services to the highest bidder—assuming they can recover her from Rene Acosta, their double-crossing former client. The Brèvards’ racket is much more high-end than sexual slavery, for Sienna, architect of the legendary Phalanx security software, is one of the most sought-after computer experts in the world. Nothing could stop their nefarious scheme save for the fact that Sienna is the one-time fiancee of Kurt Austin, who lost her to Internet billionaire Brian Westgate. Sienna and her kids were supposedly lost at sea when Westgate’s yacht, Ethernet, sank, but mounting evidence shows that she’s no more dead than the SS Waratah, which never sank at all. Kurt’s initial encounter with fire-breathing Calista Brèvard as they battle over Sienna, who’s being held on Acosta’s yacht, ends inconclusively. So Acosta packs Sienna off to Korean street criminal–turned-industrialist Than Rang, head of the DaeShan Group, and the action—there’s plenty of action—shifts from the African coast to the Korean peninsula, where Kurt, his buddy Joe Zavala and their NUMA stalwarts dodge everything the Brèvards can throw at them as they struggle to free Sienna before the world’s computer systems all go kablooey.
Once more, Cussler and Brown (Zero Hour, 2013, etc.) paint with such broad strokes that Kurt’s adventures aren’t so much written as whitewashed.