Raise The Titanic! by Clive Cussler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Raise The Titanic! is perhaps the most well known Dirk Pitt adventure thanks in part to the failed movie which in hindsight never really stood a chance in depicting the events in the book to any accurate degree. Of course many years later another Clive Cussler Pitt novel was adapted and while technology has evolved to meet the demands of narrative action it too failed at the box office.
However Raise The Titanic! is a solid if not quite spectacular action/adventure story with intrigue and spy craft twists and turns. I was mildly surprised that it wasn't as complex as I recall but Clive's writing style evolved over the series of the novels and this was fairly early on in the adventures of Dirk Pitt.
So a highly secret "think tank" have come with a viable anti-missile defence system but the radioactive element required to power the system is a rare earth mineral called Byzantium. The only known source was believed to have illegally mined on Russian soil in 1912 and ultimately shipped to the states on board the RMS Titanic. The cold war and threat of soviet ICBM's explains the President providing huge resources to NUMA to raise the sunken cruise liner but the Russian intelligence services gain wind of the defence system and put into motion a plan to steal the ship (if and when she is raised) and worse case to destroy the ship and the mineral.
So that's the basic story which thankfully is written and paced well, the characters are all interesting without too much depth being required and the interaction between the main plot elements worked pretty well. I enjoyed reading the book once again but it did lack the complexity of later novels which isn't a negative but underlines the growth of the author's writing and maturing of the characters over time.
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