As is usual Cussler, history, treasure and world-threatening events intertwine to give us another exciting read from a master of adventure.
Napoleon Bonaparte, imprisoned on the island of St Helena, dies of arsenic poisoning, as we all know. Well, of course, we don’t really know, do we? Feasibly, his double, so often used to take his place in public occasions that Napoleon wanted to avoid, is brought to the island in secret to once again take his place. Now in debtor’s prison on the verge of disgrace, the double chooses death and money for his family instead.
Retreating from Moscow, Napoleon had secreted his looted treasures and nobody has been able to find it, but the clues lie in the margins of a book once in his possession, and the book is up for auction. Someone, with a ship as superior as the Oregon under the command of Juan Cabrillo, is after not only the treasure but also the ciphers that will cripple the electrical grid of Europe while he empties the bank accounts of the largest banks, and the trail will be erased.
That ship was fitted in the same Russian dockyard as the Oregon itself, but it has some superior firepower which brings the crew of the Oregon to fighting for their very lives as Juan in turn tries to block the attack on Europe.
When you get to #11 in a series, you know the characters pretty well and they are old friends by now. So, wounds are okay, but generally you figure they’ll get through pretty unscathed, which deprives these tales of some of the tension they might otherwise have had. As with some other author factories, which the Cussler novels have become, these latter offerings, as this one is, sometimes don’t match the genuine article of earlier pure Cussler.
Thanks to the Penguin Random House marketing team for this ARC copy.