Deep Six (Dirk Pitt Series #7)

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Overview

A deadly tide poisons ocean waters... a ghost ship drifts empty in the calm open sea... a Soviet luxury liner explodes into flames. The ocean's secrets hide a sinister conspiracy -- and the tide of terror comes crashing home when the U.S. President disappears from his yacht. As the fate of the U.S. government hangs in the balance, Dirk Pitt must face down a vicious Asian shipping cartel -- and seize one desperate moment of revenge!
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Overview

A deadly tide poisons ocean waters... a ghost ship drifts empty in the calm open sea... a Soviet luxury liner explodes into flames. The ocean's secrets hide a sinister conspiracy -- and the tide of terror comes crashing home when the U.S. President disappears from his yacht. As the fate of the U.S. government hangs in the balance, Dirk Pitt must face down a vicious Asian shipping cartel -- and seize one desperate moment of revenge!
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"IMPOSSIBLE TO PUT DOWN."

Houston Chronicle

"ANOTHER BLOCKBUSTER."

People

"GRIPPING."

United Press International

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671709457
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 2/28/1990
  • Series: Dirk Pitt Series , #7
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 480
  • Lexile: 890L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.94 (w) x 4.04 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Clive  Cussler

Clive Cussler is the author or coauthor of twenty-nine books, which have been published in more than forty languages in more than 100 countries. In his life away from the written word, Cussler has searched for lost aircraft, led expeditions to find famous shipwrecks, and garnered an amazing record of success. With his own NUMA crew of volunteers, Cussler has discovered more than sixty lost ships of historic significance, including the long-lost Confederate submarine Hunley. A world-class collector of classic automobiles, Cussler lives in the mountains of Colorado.

Biography

Cussler began writing novels in 1965 and published his first work featuring his continuous series hero, Dirk Pitt, in 1973. His first non-fiction, The Sea Hunters, was released in 1996. The Board of Governors of the Maritime College, State University of New York, considered The Sea Hunters in lieu of a Ph.D. thesis and awarded Cussler a Doctor of Letters degree in May, 1997. It was the first time since the College was founded in 1874 that such a degree was bestowed.

Cussler is an internationally recognized authority on shipwrecks and the founder of the National Underwater and Marine Agency, (NUMA) a 501C3 non-profit organization (named after the fictional Federal agency in his novels) that dedicates itself to preserving American maritime and naval history. He and his crew of marine experts and NUMA volunteers have discovered more than 60 historically significant underwater wreck sites including the first submarine to sink a ship in battle, the Confederacy's Hunley, and its victim, the Union's Housatonic; the U-20, the U-boat that sank the Lusitania; the Cumberland, which was sunk by the famous ironclad, Merrimack; the renowned Confederate raider Florida; the Navy airship, Akron, the Republic of Texas Navy warship, Zavala, found under a parking lot in Galveston, and the Carpathia, which sank almost six years to-the-day after plucking Titanic's survivors from the sea.

In September, 1998, NUMA - which turns over all artifacts to state and Federal authorities, or donates them to museums and universities - launched its own web site for those wishing more information about maritime history or wishing to make donations to the organization. (www.numa.net).

In addition to being the Chairman of NUMA, Cussler is also a fellow in both the Explorers Club of New York and the Royal Geographic Society in London. He has been honored with the Lowell Thomas Award for outstanding underwater exploration.

Cussler's books have been published in more than 40 languages in more than 100 countries. The author lives in Arizona.

Biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA)

Good To Know

Cussler worked for many years in advertising and was responsible for coming up with Ajax's "White Knight" commercial catchphrase, "It's stronger than dirt."

The Board of Governors of the Maritime College, State University of New York, considered Cussler's 1996 nonfiction book, The Sea Hunters, equivalent to a Ph.D. thesis and awarded Cussler a Doctor of Letters degree in 1997.

Cussler is a fellow in the Explorers Club of New York and the Royal Geographic Society in London, and has been granted the Lowell Thomas Award for outstanding underwater exploration.

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    1. Hometown:
      Phoenix, Arizona
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 15, 1931
    2. Place of Birth:
      Aurora, Illinois
    1. Education:
      Pasadena City College; Ph.D., Maritime College, State University of New York, 1997

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter One The hum of the engines below his feet seemed to take on a feverish pitch. Like an unleashed hound, the Catawba seemed to pick up the scent of her quarry. Anticipation gripped all hands. Ignoring the rain, they lined the decks and bridge wings.

"Four hundred meters," the radar operator sang out.

Then a seaman clutching the bow staff began pointing vigorously into the rain.

Dover leaned out the wheelhouse door and shouted through a bullhorn. "Is she afloat?"

"Buoyant as a rubber duck in a bathtub," the seaman bellowed back through cupped hands.

Dover nodded to the lieutenant on watch. "Slow engines."

"Engines one third," the watch lieutenant acknowledged as he moved a series of levers on the ship's automated console.

The Amie Marie slowly emerged through the precipitation. They expected to find her half awash, in a sinking condition. But she sat proud in the water, drifting in the light swells without a hint of dis- tress. There was a silence about her that seemed unnatural, almost ghostly. Her decks were deserted, and Dover's hail over the bullhorn went unanswered.

"A crabber by the look of her," Dover mutter to no one in particular. "Steel hull, about a hundred and ten feet. Probably out of a shipyard in New Orleans."

The radio operator leaned out of the communications room and motioned to Dover. "From the Board of Register, sir. The Amie Marie's owner and skipper is Carl Keating. Home port is Kodiak."

Again Dover hailed the strangely quiet crab boat, this time addressing Keating by name. There was still no response.

The Catawba slowly circled and hove to a hundred meters away, then stopped her engines and drifted alongside.

The steel-cage crab pots were neatly stacked on the deserted deck, and a wisp of exhaust smoke puffed from the funnel, suggesting that her diesel engines were idling in neutral. No human movement could be detected tough the ports or the windows of the wheelhouse.

The boarding party consisted of two officers, Ensign Pat Murphy and Lieutenant Marty Lawrence. Without the usual small talk they donned their exposure suits, which would protect them from the frigid waters if they accidentally fell into the sea. They had lost count of the times they had conducted routine examinations of foreign fishing vessels that strayed inside the Alaskan 200-mile fishing limit, yet there was nothing routine about this investigation. No flesh-and-blood crew lined the rails to greet them. They climbed into a small rubber Zodiac propelled by an outboard motor and cast off.

Darkness was only a few hours away. The rain had eased to a drizzle but the wind had increased, and the sea was rising. An eerie quiet gripped the Catawba. No one spoke; it was as though they were afraid to, at least until the spell produced by the unknown was broken.

They watched as Murphy and Lawrence tied their tiny craft to the crab boat, hoisted themselves to the deck and disappeared through a doorway into the main cabin.

Several minutes dragged by. Occasionally one of the searchers would appear on the deck only to vanish again down a hatchway. The only sound in the Catawba's wheelhouse came from the static over the ship's open radiophone loudspeaker, turned up to high volume and tuned to an emergency frequency.

Suddenly, with such unexpected abruptness that even Dover twitched in surprise, Murphy's voice loudly reverberated inside the wheelhouse. "Go ahead, Amie Marie," Dover answered into a microphone.

"They're all dead."

The words were so cold, so terse, nobody absorbed them at first.

"Repeat."

"No sign of a pulse in any of them. Even the cat bought it."

What the boarding party found was a ship of the dead. Skipper Keating's body rested on the deck, his head leaning against a bulkhead beneath the radio. Scattered throughout the boat in the galley, the messroom and the sleeping quarters were the corpses of the Amie Marie's crew. Their facial expressions were frozen in twisted agony and their limbs contorted in grotesque positions, as though they had violently thrashed away their final moments of life. Their skin had turned an odd black color, and they had gushed blood from every orifice. The ship's Siamese cat lay beside a thick wool blanket it had shredded in its death throes.

Dover's face reflected puzzlement rather than shock at Murphy's description. "Can you determine a cause?" he asked.

"Not even a good guess," Murphy came back. "No indication of struggle. No marks on the bodies, yet they bled like slaughtered pigs. Looks like whatever killed them struck everyone at the same time."

"Stand by."

Dover turned and surveyed the faces around him until he spotted the ship's surgeon, Lieutenant Commander Isaac Thayer.

Doc Thayer was the most popular man aboard the ship. An oldtimer in the Coast Guard service, he had long ago given up the plush offices and high income of shore medicine for the rigors of sea rescue.

"What do you make of it, Doc?" Dover asked.

Thayer shrugged and smiled. "Looks as though I better make a house call."

Dover paced the bridge impatiently while Doc Thayer entered a second Zodiac and motored across the gap dividing the two vessels. Dover ordered the helmsman to position the Catawba to take the crab boat in tow. He was concentrating on the maneuver and didn't notice the radio operator standing at his elbow.

"A signal just in, sir, from a bush pilot airlifting supplies to a team of scientists on Augustine Island."

"Not now," Dover said brusquely.

"It's urgent, Captain," the radio operator persisted.

"Okay, read the guts of it."

" 'Scientific party all dead.' Then something unintelligible and what sounds like 'Save me.'"

Dover stared at him blankly. "That's all?"

"Yes, sir. I tried to raise him again, but there was no reply."

Dover didn't have to study a chart to know Augustine was an uninhabited volcanic island only thirty miles northeast of his present position. A sudden, sickening realization coursed through his mind. He snatched the microphone and shouted into the mouthpiece.

"Murphy! You there?"

Nothing.

"Murphy... Lawrence... do you read me?"

Again no answer.

He looked through the bridge window and saw Doc Thayer climb over the rail of the Amie Marie. Dover could move fast for a man of his mountainous proportions. He snatched a bullhorn and ran outside.

"Doc! Come back, get off that boat!" his amplified voice boomed over the water.

He was too late. Thayer had already ducked into a hatchway and was gone.

The men on the bridge stared at their captain, incomprehension written in their eyes. His facial muscles tensed and there was a look of desperation about him as he rushed back into the wheelhouse and clutched the microphone.

"Doc, this is Dover, can you hear me?"

Two minutes passed, two endless minutes while Dover tried to raise his men on the Amie Marie. Even the earsplitting scream of the Catawba's siren failed to draw a response.

At last Thayer's voice came over the bridge with a strange icy calm.

"I regret to report that Ensign Murphy and Lieutenant Lawrence are dead. I can find no life signs. Whatever the cause it will strike me before I can escape. You must quarantine this boat. Do you un- derstand, Amos?"

Dover found it impossible to grasp that he was suddenly about to lose his old friend. "Do not understand, but will comply."

"Good. I'll describe the symptoms as they come. Beginning to feel light-headed already. Pulse increasing to one fifty. May have contracted the cause by skin absorption. Pulse one seventy."

Thayer paused. His next words came haltingly.

"Growing nausea. Legs... can no longer... support. Intense burning sensation...in sinus region. Internal organs feel like they're exploding."

As one, everybody on the bridge of the Catawba leaned closer to the speaker, unable to comprehend that a man they all knew and respected was dying a short distance away.

"Pulse... over two hundred. Pain... excruciating. Blackness closing vision." There was an audible moan. "Tell... tell my wife..."

The speaker went silent.

You could smell the shock, see it in the widened eyes of the crew standing in stricken horror.

Dover stared numbly at the tomb named the Amie Marie, his hands clenched in helplessness and despair.

"What's happening?" he murmured tonelessly. "What in God's name is killing everyone?"

Copyright © 1984 by Clive Cussler Enterprises, Inc.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 28 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Dirk Pitt rocks!

    'A ghost ship drifts across the northern Pacific....
    A Soviet luxury liner burns like a funeral pyre....
    And the U.S. President's yacht is heading for disaster....'

    Yet another fun Dirk Pitt adventure. This one is full of suspense and danger with plots to brainwash the President of the United States and take over the government. The only complaint I have is that there were so many characters that it felt a little confusing at times trying to keep all the names straight and who was who. This is quite an adventure though with a great ending featuring some awesome confederate soldiers from a Civil War reenactment. The end really made me smile. If you like action and adventure I highly recommend some Clive Cussler.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2007

    WOW!

    I had started other Dirk Pitt novels and put them down because I was one of those readers that might not finish a book no matter how good it is just because there's another book. Well, I've changed and I decided to pick up Deep Six and read. All I have to say is WOW! The whole book is great with twists and the action is awesome. Dirk Pitt is one awesome character.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2006

    Very credible

    During the Soviet Union and the United States armaments buildup, the plot that Clive Cussler has conceived seems very credible. The book is a must read. Fraught with action, adventure, conspiracy and betrayal, you won¿t be able to put it down. When you need to get away from your life for a few hours pick up a Cussler novel and immerse yourself into Dirk Pitt¿s.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2002

    " Must Read "

    After reading the boring " Red Rabit " I picked up this gem, from start to finish this book had it all. Never a boring moment! Treat yourself to some really good reading...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2002

    THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!!!!!!

    This book grabbed my attention from page one. I read it for school and I thought it was going to be boring but, it was great!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2001

    Great book!

    This book grabs you by the throat on page 1, and doesn't let go until the last page. Non-stop excitement. One of Cussler's best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2000

    Excellent

    It was my first book by Clive Cussler but I'm, definitely hooked. Definitely one of my favorite authors.

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