NIGHT PROBE! by Clive Cussler


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Exclamation-point-happy Cussler (Raise the Titanic!) is in zesty form here, inflating a balloon of nonsense that maintains a steady, technological-comic-strip interest. It's 1989, the US is energy-broke (dependent on Quebec's resources), and Navy Commander Heidi Milligan--30, divorced, survivor of a hysterectomy and an affair with an admiral twice her age--discovers a 1914 note to British P.M. Herbert Asquith from Woodrow Wilson, who laments a lost North American Treaty between England and America. And who is Heidi's new lover? None other than Dirk Pitt, hero of Cussler's underwater-salvage series, who's been secretly scuttling about the North Atlantic in his fantastic submersible, the Doodlebug, finding a ten-billion barrel oil deposit in the waters off Quebec. So Heidi tells Pitt about the missing treaty, copies of which were being carried, in 1914, by two diplomats--both of whom were mysteriously killed, the treaty copies sinking (one in the Hudson, one in the St. Lawrence). And what was in the treaty? Well, folks, Britain had sold Canada to the US for one billion dollars, to help finance defenses against Germany! So now the US president orders Pitt to salvage the lost treaties (remember that Quebec energy problem), and Pitt mounts both underwater operations at once. After excruciating--and quite exciting--recovery work in the sunken ship in the St. Lawrence, the treaty copy there proves to be mush. So it's off to the sunken train in the Hudson. But the train isn't there: it was diverted into an empty quarry and sealed there with its gold shipment, making quite a museum piece when Pitt finds it with its mummified passengers. The treaty is found at last, however, and so the president can address the House of Commons and Senate in Quebec, announcing that our two countries have been one since 1914 (and now we can share in the oil boom). Utter folderol, but lots of zippy fun.
Pub Date: Aug. 3rd, 1981
ISBN: 0553277405
Page count: 349pp
Publisher: Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1981


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