Deep Six (1984)

While I generally try to read a series in order, for whatever reason, I find myself skipping around Cussler's longest running series of novels- the Dirk Pitt books. Deep Six is the sixth novel of the series.

I read in an interview that Cussler started to run out of plot ideas. On the one hand, it is certainly plausible that over three plus decades you craft so many fine novels, however, he feels the fault lies with that he uses several plot lines in each novel. Deep Six exemplifies this use of multiple plots.

The crux of Deep Six centers around abducting the President from his yacht, and brainwashing him, and then allowing them to return to power. Many novels would "make a meal" out of this plot alone, with the mayhem that ensues when the President declares Marshall law and locks out the Congress. Cussler adds in a background story of a lost ship at sea twenty years earlier with a valuable cargo. Then there is the plot about the toxic waste in the Bering Sea killing marine life. Also there's the computer hacking, and the multinational corporation involvement. And let's not forget about the final battle on the Mississippi Delta, and the Civil War reenactors that get pressed into duty! Do you see how Cussler can start to run short on material? Few authors out there can weld so many plot lines into a meaningful and seamless whole as Cussler can.

In my mind, Deep Six is a great example of Cussler's novels. The descriptions are spot on, and the dialogue is crisp. All of the major characters that appear in the later works figure into this one. If you want the American version of James Bond, then Deep Six is a good place to look. For a novel that's past the twenty year mark, I found Deep Six surprisingly contemporary.

Overall Grade: A

PS: We also find out how our hero, Pitt, met his boss, Sandecker, in this book.

You can read an excerpt here.

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