Inca Gold (Dirk Pitt Series #12)

Inca Gold (Dirk Pitt Series #12)

4.4 56
by Clive Cussler

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Dirk Pitt is back, in an adventure that is perhaps the most inventive and most exciting of his career - a classic treasure hunt involving an ancient hoard of gold, the secrets of a lost civilization, and an international ring of smugglers, all brought together in a plot that only Clive Cussler could devise. Inca Gold begins in 1532, when a fleet of ships sails in…  See more details below


Dirk Pitt is back, in an adventure that is perhaps the most inventive and most exciting of his career - a classic treasure hunt involving an ancient hoard of gold, the secrets of a lost civilization, and an international ring of smugglers, all brought together in a plot that only Clive Cussler could devise. Inca Gold begins in 1532, when a fleet of ships sails in secret to an island in the middle of an inland sea. There they hide a magnificent treasure more vast than that of any pharaoh. Then they disappear, leaving only a great stone demon to guard their hoard. In 1578 the legendary Sir Francis Drake captures a Spanish galleon filled with Inca gold and silver and the key to the lost treasure, which included a gigantic chain of gold that belonged to the last Inca king, a masterpiece of ancient technology so huge that it requires two hundred men to lift it. As the galleon is sailed by Drake's crew back to England, an underwater earthquake causes a massive tidal wave that sweeps it into the jungle. Only one man survives to tell the tale.... In 1998 a group of archaeologists is nearly drowned while diving into the depths of a sacrificial pool high in the Andes of Peru. They are saved by the timely arrival of Dirk Pitt, who is in the area on a marine expedition. Pitt soon finds out that his life has been placed in jeopardy as well by smugglers intent on uncovering the lost ancient Incan treasure. Soon, he, his faithful companions, and Dr. Shannon Kelsey, a beautiful young archaeologist, are plunged into a vicious, no-holds-barred struggle to survive. From then on it becomes a battle of wits in a race against time and danger to find the golden chain, as Pitt finds himself caught up in a struggle with a sinister international family syndicate that deals in stolen works of art, the smuggling of ancient artifacts, and art forgery worth many hundreds of millions of dollars. The clash between the art thieves, the FBI and the Customs Service, a tribe of local Indians, and

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Stephen Coonts Nobody does it better than Clive Cussler. Nobody!

New York Daily News GET-TO-THE-NEXT-PAGE EXCITEMENT...Dirk Pitt is a combination James Bond and Jacques Cousteau...

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A chance rescue of two divers trapped in a Peruvian sinkhole leads series hero Dirk Pitt ( Raise the Titanic! ; Deep Six ) into a search for lost treasure that involves grave robbers, art thieves and ancient curses. Cussler's latest adventure novel features terrorists who aren ' t really terrorists and a respected archeologist who is not what he seems; it all boils down to a race between Pitt and some unscrupulous crooks for a cache of Inca gold hidden away from the Spanish and lost since the 16th century. The villains, a society of art and antiquity smugglers called the Solpemachaco , want to get their hands on the Golden Body Suit of Tiapollo, which contains in its hieroglyphics a description of the Inca treasure's hidden burial place. Pitt ends up searching for a jade box containing a quipu , an Inca silver-and-gold metalwork map to the treasure. The box was stolen from the Indians by the Spanish, stolen from the Spanish by Francis Drake and then lost in the South American jungle, but readers who know Pitt know that that a 400-year-old missing clue is only a minor obstacle. Master storyteller Cussler keeps the action spinning as he weaves a number of incredible plotlines and coincidences into a believable and gripping story. It's pure escapist adventure, with a wry touch of humor and a certain self-referential glee (Cussler himself makes a cameo appearance), but the entertainment value meets the gold standard. 550,000 first printing; Literary Guild super release and Doubleday Book Club super release. (June)
VOYA - Susan Allen
Dirk Pitt, employed by NUMA (National Underwater and Marine Agency), finds himself and his sidekick Al Giordino embroiled yet again in a mysterious and dangerous adventure in Inca Gold. Al and Dirk are sent to find two scientists who took a dive into a sacrificial well dating from the times of the Incas, but did not return. Dirk finds the scientists in an unexpected place and on the way discovers old and new dead bodies. The rest of the story revolves around the strange nature of the underground well, the identity and cause of death of the new dead body, and the location of a long-lost treasure. Dirk and Al are in the thick of all of this, saving ladies in distress and foiling the bad guys. Take a diamond mine, a mysterious island, a beautiful woman, and legends of a sea serpent and one has the makings of another fast-paced Dirk Pitt adventure in Shock Wave. Dirk and Al are investigating a mysterious force off the coast of Australia that is killing thousands of marine creatures and nearly two hundred people aboard a cruise ship. They seek the help of a zoologist, but later learn she is the daughter of the prime suspect of all the trouble, and that this suspect has kidnapped her twin boys. Is Maeve helping, or not? Readers will hold their breath as shipwrecked Dirk, Al, and Maeve try to reach land on a raft that is splitting from stem to stem. They will follow step-by-step the investigation into the mysterious force, reaching the surprising answer with Dirk and Al. But will readers believe the legends about the sea serpent-and do the heroes? The action is fast and the reader's interest will be keen in both of these masterfully-done adaptations for young adults of previously published Dirk Pitt adventures. The writing flows well, as does the action. The removal of some long descriptive sections and the tightening of the pace matches most younger readers' desire for high-speed action. Both stories remain the same, and are not hurt by the adaptation. The vocabulary is reachable-but by no means have the vocabulary, sentence structure, or complexity of the story line been simplified. These adaptations will serve young adults well, especially those who would find the adult versions too long. Note: This review was written and published to address two titles-Inca Gold and Shock Wave. VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Broad general YA appeal, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
Library Journal
Dirk Pitt is back in fine form as he rescues two archaeologists from certain death in a Peruvian sinkhole. Before Pitt climbs out of the hole he runs afoul of the Solpemachace, a group of three brothers who steal and sell Indian artifacts. Pitt finds a rope sculpture, a quipu, that points the way to a huge Inca treasure. Meanwhile, the Solpemachace steal the Golden Body Suit of Tiapollo, which leads them to the same treasure inside a mountain in Baja, Mexico. As both sides race to the treasure, the Solpemachace capture Pitt's girlfriend, Congresswoman Loren Smith. With his lifelong, wisecracking friend, Al Giordino, Pitt braves an uncharted underground river to rescue Loren and stop the Solpemachace. Cussler weaves Inca legends and lore in a spellbinding tale featuring enduring hero Pitt, a skin-diving Indiana Jones with a James Bond attitude. Cussler fans will demand this one. For all fiction collections.-Grant A. Fredericksen, Illinois Prairie Dist. P.L., Metamora
Bill Bell
Dick Pitt has battled a lot of mean guys over the years, but this Arthur Dorsett is some piece of work....Cussler tells one helluva story. -- New York Daily News

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Product Details

Pocket Books
Publication date:
Dirk Pitt Series, #12
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.25(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

October 10, 2005

Andes Mountains of Peru

The skeleton reclined in the sediment of the deep pool as if resting on a soft mattress, the cold unwinking eye sockets of the skull staring upward through the liquid gloom toward the surface 36 meters (120 feet) away. One arm was held in an upright position, the bony fingers of the hand as if beckoning the unwary.

From the bottom of the pool to the sun above, the water gradually lightened from a dismal gray-brown to a pea-soup green from the pond scum that flourished under the tropical heat. The circular rim stretched 30 meters (98 feet) across and the sheer walls dropped 15 meters (49 feet) to the water. Once in, there was no way a human or animal could escape without help from above.

The place was more than a sacred well where men, women, and children had been thrown alive into the dark waters as sacrifices during times of drought and harsh storms. Ancient legends and myths called it a house of evil gods where strange and unspeakable events occurred. There were also tales of rare artifacts, handcrafted and sculpted, along with jade, gold, and precious that were said to have been cast into the pool to appease the evil gods who were ad weather. In 1964 two divers entered the depths of the sinkhole and never returned. No attempt had been made to recover their bodies.

A great deal of unresolved controversy had surrounded the sacred pool since then, and now archaeologists had finally gathered to dive and retrieve artifacts from its enigmatic depths. The ancient site was located on a western slope beneath a high ridge of the Peruvian Andes near a great ruined city. The nearby stone structures had been part of a vast confederation of city-states, known as the Chachapoyas, that was conquered by the renowned Inca empire around A.D. 1480.

As she stared down at the stagnant water through big, wide, hazel eyes under raised dark brows, Dr. Shannon Kelsey was too excited to feel the cold touch of fear. Her hair was straight and soft blond and tied in a ponytail by a red bandanna, and the skin that showed on her face, arms, and legs was richly tanned.

Dr. Kelsey had enjoyed a ten-year fascination with the Chachapoyan cultures. To work where an enigmatic and obscure people had flourished and died was a dream made possible by a grant from the Archaeology Department of Arizona State University.

"Useless to carry a video camera unless the visibility opens up below the first two meters," said Miles Rodgers, the photographer who was filming the project.

"Then shoot stills," Shannon said firmly. "I want every dive recorded whether we can see past our noses or not."

Rodgers was an old pro at underwater photography. He was in demand by all the major science and travel publications to shoot below-the-sea photos of fish and coral reefs. His extraordinary pictures of World War II shipwrecks in the South Pacific and ancient submerged seaports throughout the Mediterranean had won him numerous awards and the respect of his peers.

A tall, slender man in his sixties, with a silver gray beard that covered half his face, held up Shannon's air tank so she could slip her arms through the straps of the backpack. "I wish you'd put a hold on this until we've finished constructing the dive raft."...Shannon smiled at her colleague, Dr. Steve Miller from the University of Pennsylvania. "That's two days away. By doing a preliminary survey now we can get a head start."

d"Then at least wait for the rest of the dive team to arrive from the university. If you and Miles get into trouble, we have no backup."

"Not to worry," Shannon said. "Miles and I will only do a bounce dive to test depth and water conditions. We won't run our dive time past thirty minutes."

Shannon spit into her face mask, smearing the saliva around the inside of the lens to keep it from misting. Next she rinsed the mask from a canteen of water. After adjusting her buoyancy compensator and cinching her weight belt, she and Rodgers made a final check of each other's equipment. Satisfied everything was in place and their digital dive computers properly programmed, Shannon smiled at Miller.

"See you soon, Doc!"

The anthropologist looped under their arms a wide strap that was attached to long nylon lines, gripped tightly by a team of ten Peruvian graduate students of the university's archaeology program, who had volunteered to join the project. "Lower away, kids," Miller ordered.

Hand over hand the lines were paid out as the divers began their descent into the ominous pool below. Shannon and Rodgers extended their legs and used the tips of their dive fins as bumpers to keep from scraping against the rough limestone walls. They could clearly see the coating of slime covering the surface of the water. The aroma of decay and stagnation was overwhelming. To Shannon the thrill of the unknown abruptly changed to a feeling of deep apprehension.

When they were within 1 meter (about 3 feet) of the surface, they both inserted their air regulator mouthpieces between their teeth and signaled to the anxious faces staring from above. Then Shannon and Miles slipped out of their harnesses and dropped out of sight into the odious slime.

Miller nervously paced the rim of the sinkhole, glancing at his watch every other minute while the students peered in fascination at the green slime below. Fifteen minutes passed with no sign of the divers. Suddenly, the exhaust bubbles from their air regulators disappeared.

Frantically Miller ran along the edge of the well. Had they found a cave and entered it? He waited ten minutes, then ran over to a nearby tent and rushed inside. Almost feverishly he picked up a portable radio and began hailing the project's headquarters and supply unit in the small town of Chachapoyas, 90 kilometers (56 miles) to the south. The voice of Juan Chaco, inspector general of Peruvian archaeology and director of the Museo de la Nación in Lima, answered almost immediately.

"Juan here. That you, Doc? What can I do for you?"

"Dr. Kelsey and Miles Rodgers insisted on making a preliminary dive into the sacrificial well," replied Miller. "I think we may have an emergency."

"They went into that cesspool without waiting for the dive team from the university?" Chaco asked in a strangely indifferent tone.

"I tried to talk them out of it."

"When did they enter the water?"

Miller checked his watch again. "Twenty-seven minutes ago."

"How long did they plan to stay down?"

"They planned to resurface after thirty minutes."

"It's still early." Chaco sighed. "So what"s the problem?"

"We've seen no sign of their air bubbles for the last ten minutes."

Chaco caught his breath, closed his eyes for a second. "Doesn't sound good, my friend. This is not what we planned."

"Can you send the dive team ahead by helicopter?" asked Miller.

"Not possible," Chaco replied helplessly. "They're still in transit from Miami. Their plane isn't scheduled to land in Lima for another four hours."

"We can't afford government meddling. Certainly not now. Can you arrange to have a dive rescue team rushed to the sinkhole?"

"The nearest naval facility is at Trujillo. I'll alert the base commander and go from there."

"Good luck to you, Juan. I'll stand by the radio at this end."

"Keep me informed of any new developments."

"I will, I promise you," Miller said grimly.

In Chachapoyas, Chaco pulled out a handkerchief and mopped his face. He was a man of order. Unforeseen obstacles or problems irritated him. If the two stupid Americans drowned themselves, there would be a govemment inquiry. Despite Chaco's influence, the Peruvian news media were bound to make an overblown incident out of it. The consequences might very well prove to be nothing less than disastrous.

"All we need now," he muttered to himself, "are two dead archaeologists in the pool."

Then with shaking hands he gripped the radio transmitter and began sending out an urgent call for help.

Copyright © 1994 by Clive Cussler

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Inca Gold (Dirk Pitt Series #12) 4.4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 56 reviews.
Fudgesicle More than 1 year ago
This book, Inca Gold, was an amazing read. The main character, Dirk Pitt, is a scientist and researcher for the National Underwater and Marine Association. When two divers get stuck in an ancient sacrificial pool, he is the only one who hears the cry for help over the radio. They find out that an organization that finds and sells artifacts is behind it, and they are looking for a treasure hidden by the Incas. I think that this book was really amazing because the action never stops. the characters are funny and witty as well. I think the message coming from this story is that good always wins.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This happened to be the first Cussler novel that I read and I have since read all of his books. Action packed from start to finished I couldn't put it down and neither will you. The combination of historical fiction, adventure, and ruthless organized crime makes the story irresistible, despite some hard to believe feats by a super computer. All in all, one of Clive's best and well worth the read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't remember the last time I have read a book that I could not literally put down...If the constant action and adventure does not suck you in, how about something with so much going on having a very original and on going plot. With most books you read you get either/or, but not with Inca Gold. I have read this book three times already and each time I still get excited during the climax scenes. You can't do better than Clive Cussler books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I grew up in a house that loved to read. All except for me. When I was a teenager, I got a job at a bookstore. There I read my first Dirk Pitt novel. I have since then read a few more and can't wait to collect them all. Clive Cussler is the only writer who I've found I love to read. So if you're looking to introduce someone to reading who likes bond-esque thrills give them a Cussler novel. I promise they will enjoy it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is only the second book i have read by Mr.Cussler. It took me two days to read over a weekend because I couldn't put it down.My first book was 'Alantis Found wich was a great book.Even the end of the book wich i thought was gonna get dull kept you reading till the last word. I also like how Mr.Cussler sticks himslef in the stories in a sly way.I deffintely recommend this book, but not to those with a weak heart.I also recommend 'Atlantis Found' wich was a great book. And as a last word i hope Mr.Cussler 'keeps'm Coming'
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was my first Clive Cussler book. A friend introduced me to him after our many anthropology courses about Meso and South America. I could not put this book down from the beginning. I loved the history intertwined throughout the entire book. The non stop action kept me turning the pages. I am now hooked on Dirk, and I am on my 6th Cussler book in the 3 months since I finished Inca Gold. So far, Inca Gold, by far, remains my favorite.
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RebeccaGraf More than 1 year ago
Treasure hunting, spies, murder, and history combined can make the best of adventure stories. It never fails that Clive Cussler books bring you just that. Inca Gold is a wonderful tale of adventure and Incan history all wrapped up into one. Dirk Pitt is called upon to rescue two tapped divers in a South American sinkhole. What he finds is more than what he bargained for, and it leads him into a study of Sir Francis Drake and Incan gold. One of the great things about Cussler's books is how they can take different historical events and connect them with threads that are actually believable. Drake was known for his harassment of the Spanish fleet. In this story, he captures the richest of all Spanish galleons that not only held riches but also held the key to an even bigger treasure. He just did not realize what he possessed. In an attempt to get the treasure to his queen, Elizabeth, one of his ships with the treasure key is lost. Only the ranting of a crazed man found in the Amazon gives a hint as to what happened to the ship, the crew, and the treasure. A race begins between Pitt and his comrades and those of an international artifact smuggling ring. Each is determined to find the lost gold of an ancient civilization called the Chachapoyans. Ancient cities that were lost to the world are discovered as well as mummies that tell of historical voyages. The tale is a fascinating read and is based on many historical facts. The Chachapoyans did exist as well as Sir Francis Drake and the ship that he captured, the Nuestra Señora de la Concepción. The rest of the story is a well developed tale that gives history a little more adventure. Though the vast majority of the book is fiction, it is based on historical events. This is what makes reading a Cussler book so entertaining. As you read the adventure, you are also given a history lesson. Though you need to do some research as you go along to help discern the lines of where fact and fiction part ways. A wonderful read that educates as well. What I liked the most about the book and other Pitt adventures is that it gets me digging into the history and learn more about the people and events that are written about. The fiction prompts an inquiry into the fact.
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JBG6000 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It had action, handsome man, romance, guns, cars, treasure. What more could a girl ask for.
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