Inca Gold (Dirk Pitt Series #12)

Inca Gold (Dirk Pitt Series #12)

4.3 56
by Clive Cussler
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

A death-defying rescue of two drowning scientists plunges Dirk Pitt into a whirlpool of corruption and betrayal. Sinister criminals have traced a long-lost treasure -- worth almost a billion dollars -- from the Andes to a chamber on the banks of a hidden river that flows beneath a desert. Driven by burning greed, the criminals are racing to seize a golden prize..

See more details below

Overview

A death-defying rescue of two drowning scientists plunges Dirk Pitt into a whirlpool of corruption and betrayal. Sinister criminals have traced a long-lost treasure -- worth almost a billion dollars -- from the Andes to a chamber on the banks of a hidden river that flows beneath a desert. Driven by burning greed, the criminals are racing to seize a golden prize...and to terminate the one man who can stop them: Dirk Pitt!

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

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780743426800
Publisher:
Pocket Books
Publication date:
06/05/2001
Series:
Dirk Pitt Series, #12
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
592
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.25(d)

Meet the Author

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.

Brief Biography

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

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

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >