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The Mediterranean Caper (Dirk Pitt Series #1)

The Mediterranean Caper (Dirk Pitt Series #1)

4.1 197
by Clive Cussler

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On an isolated Greek island, a World War I fighter plane attacks a modern U.S. Air Force base...a mysterious saboteur preys on an American scientific expedition...and Dirk Pitt® plays a deadly game of



On an isolated Greek island, a World War I fighter plane attacks a modern U.S. Air Force base...a mysterious saboteur preys on an American scientific expedition...and Dirk Pitt® plays a deadly game of hunter and hunted with the elusive head of an international smuggling ring.

Dirk Pitt, intrepid hero of Clive Cussler's smash bestsellers Dragon, Sahara, and Inca Gold, is hot on the trail of a mammoth drug conspiracy controlled by a missing Nazi War criminal. On land and in the depths of the Aegean, Pitt trouble shoots his way through one of his most daring, desperate adventures!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Get-to-the-next-page excitement...Dirk Pitt is a combination James Bond and Jacques Cousteau." -New York Daily News

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Dirk Pitt Series , #1

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One Major Dirk Pitt adjusted the headset on his thick black hair and slowly turned the channel crank on the radio, trying to fine-tune the reception. He listened intently for a few moments, his dark, sea-green eyes rejecting a trace of bewilderment. A frown cut his forehead in a series of grooves and hung there in the tanned leathery skin.

It wasn't that the words crackling over the receiver weren't understandable. They were. He just didn't believe them. He listened again, and listened hard over the droning roar of the PBY Catalina's twin engines. The voice he heard was fading, when it should have been getting stronger. The volume control was turned to fu11-on, and Brady Field was only thirty miles away. Under those conditions, the air trainee operator's voice should have blasted Pitt's eardrums out. The operator is either losing power or he's seriously injured, thought Pitt. He pondered a minute and then reached over to his right and shook the sleeping figure in the co-pilot's seat. "Come out of it, sleeping beauty." He spoke in a tone that was soft and effortless, yet had a way of making itself heard in a throbbing airplane or a crowded

Captain Al Giordino wearily raised his head and yawned loudly. The fatigue of sitting in an old vibrating PBY flying boat for thirteen hours straight was evident in his dark, bloodshot eyes. He flung his arms upward, puffed out his barrel chest and stretched Then he came erect and leaned forward, peering out in the distance beyond the cockpit windows.

"Are we over the First Attempt yet?" Giordino mumbled through another yawn.

"Almost," replied Pitt. "There's Thasos dead ahead."

"Oh hell," Giordino grunted; then grinned. "I could have slept another ten minutes. Why'd you wake me?"

"I intercepted a message from Brady Control that said the field was under attack by an unidentified aircraft."

"You can't be serious," Giordino said incredulously. "It must be some kind of a joke."

"No, I don't think so. The control operator's voice didn't sound like it was faking." Pitt hesitated and kept an eye on the water only fifty feet away as it flashed under the PBY's hull Just for practice he had wave- hopped the last two hundred miles; a means of keeping his reflexes honed and sharp.

"It might he that Brady Control was telling the truth," said Giordino, peering through the cockpit windshield "Look over there toward the eastern part of the island."

Both men stared at the approaching mound rising out of the sea. The beaches bordering the surf were yellow and barren, but the round sloping hills were green with trees The colors danced in the heat waves and vividly contrasted against the encircling blue of the Aegean. On the eastern side of Thasos a large pillar of smoke rose into the windless sky and formed a giant, spiral-shaped, black cloud. The PBY a bow soared closer to the island, and soon they could distinguish the orange movement of flames at the base of the smoke.

Pitt grabbed the mike and pressed the button on the side of the handgrip. "Brady Control, Brady Control, this is PRY-086, over." There was no response. Pitt repeated the call twice more.

"No answer?" queried Giordino.

"Nothing," returned Pitt.

"You said an unidentified aircraft. I take it, that means one?"

"That's precisely what Brady Control said before they went off the air."

"It doesn't nake sense. Why would one plane attack a United States Air Force Base?"

"Who knows," Pitt said, easing the control column back slightly. "Maybe it's an irate Greek farmer who's tired of our jets scaring his goats. Anyway. it can't be a full-scale attack, or Washington would have notified us by now. We'll have to wait and see." He rubbed his eyes and blinked away the drowsiness. "Get ready, I'm going to take her up, circle in ever those hills and come down out of the sun for a closer look."

"Take it nice and easy." Giordino's eyebrows came together and he grinned a serious grin. "This old bus is way overmatched if that's a rocket firing jet down there."

"Don't worry," Pitt laughed, "My main goal in life is to stay healthy as long as possible." He pushed the throttles forward, and the two Pratt & Whitney Wasp engines increased their beat. His large, brown hands moved effciently, pulling back on the control column, and the plane aimed its flat snout at the sun. The big Catalina rose steadily, gaining altitude by the second, and circled above the Thasos mountains in the direction of the smoke cloud.

Suddenly, a voice broke in over Pitt's headset. The unexpected sound nearly deafened his ears before he could lower the volume -- the same voice he heard before, but stronger this time.

"This is Brady Control calling. We are under attack! I repeat, we are under attack! Come in... anybody, please reply!" The voice was near hysteria.

Pitt replied, "Brady Control, this is PRY-086. Over."

"Thank God, someone answered," the voice gasped.

"I tried to raise you before, Brady Control, but you faded and went off the air."

"I was hit in the first attack, I...I must have passed out. I'm all right now." The words sounded broken, but coherent.

"We're approximately ten miles west of you at six thousand feet." Pitt spoke slowly and did not repeat his position. "What is your situation?"

"We have no defense. All our aircraft were destroyed on the ground. The nearest interceptor squadron is seven hundred miles away. They'll never get here in time. Can you assist?"

Pitt shook his head from side to side from habit. "Negative Brady Control. My top speed is under one hundred ninety knots and l only have a couple of rifles on board. We'd be wasting our time engaging a jet."

"Please assist," the voice pleaded. "Our attacker is no a jet bomber but a World War I biplane. I repeat, our attacker is a World War I biplane. Please assist."

Pitt and Giordino merely looked at each other, dumbfounded. It was a full ten seconds before Pitt could pull his senses back into reign.

Copyright © 1973 by Clive Cussler

What People are Saying About This

Tom Clancy
A new Clive Cussler novel is like a visit from your best friend.
From the Publisher
Praise for Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt

“Dirk Pitt is oceanography’s answer to Indiana Jones. Exotic locations, ruthless villains and many narrow escapes—Cussler’s fans come for swashbuckling [and] he delivers.” —Associated Press

Meet the Author

Clive Cussler is the author of more than fifty books in five bestselling series, including Dirk Pitt, NUMA Files, Oregon Files, Isaac Bell, and Fargo. His life nearly parallels that of his hero Dirk Pitt. Whether searching for lost aircraft or leading expeditions to find famous shipwrecks, he and his NUMA crew of volunteers have discovered more than seventy-five lost ships of historic significance, including the long-lost Confederate submarine Hunley, which was raised in 2000 with much press publicity. Like Pitt, Cussler collects classic automobiles. His collection features more than eighty examples of custom coachwork. Cussler lives in Arizona and Colorado.

Brief Biography

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

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Mediterranean Caper (Dirk Pitt Series #1) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 197 reviews.
Breykaleg More than 1 year ago
I read this book around 1980, given to me by my brother after he finished. What a great start it was to the world of Clive Cussler (CC). We had just returned from two years in Turkey, so the geographical references were bright and spot on. I really enjoyed how CC so aptly described the details of not only the locations, but down to the way a dress would lay on the curvaceous body of Dirk's woman du jour. I could not read this book fast enough, taking no more than a day and a half, interrupted only due to the hour in which I started being so close to bedtime. I read as much as I could before falling to sleep. As his first Dirk Pitt novel, CC did show his Freshman writing, but he grabs the reader by the neck and shoves the adventure down your throat. The seemingly non-stop action, coupled with a string theory collaboration of characters is a tremendous formula for success. It all leads to the first of so many "Only Dirk, Al, and the Good Guys/Girls can avert Global destruction by following insignificant clues" scenarios. It also lead to a 30+ year family CC book swap meet between my brother and I, where one of us buys the newest release, devours it, then sends it to the other on a rotating basis. Thanks for all the memories, sir.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although definitely not the best Cussler novel, it's definitely worth the read if you're a fan, and unlike later Pitt novels, this one is a quick read at just a few hundred pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Dirk Pitt¿ novels are just s great as the Kurt Austin¿ series. Gooo... Clive Cussler. He's the best writer in my book collection. Gooo... NUMA¿!
waltread More than 1 year ago
Hard to beat Clive Cussler for an action read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the story's twists & unexpected turns. I find Myself reading CC's stories from my Nook while I've got Google Earth running on my laptop to follow the geographical references.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pitt's cocky attitude makes these books! Definately worth the read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Forget what my wife wrote up there before(only one star) shes just pissed because i like his books more than having sex with her, its great and i plan to read it over and over
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
By far the best Clive Cussler I've read yet. From the first page you are into the action and suspense. It's not a particularly lengthy book, only a little over 200 pages so the fast action and exciting story makes this a great read for the long plane ride or a vacation read. Dirk Pitt is my kind of guy!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fairly good but the best durk pitt is cyclops by far.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fun and quick read. Great for reading on an airplane or while traveling. Basically, its like reading an Indiana Jones movie. Lots of action, very fast-paced, and the plot doesn't really matter (and doesn't have to be believable). Have fun with this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love all clive cusslers books, tgis one was great
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my firt Clive Cussler book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Kept you reading to see what happened next. Highly recommend!
Shatman More than 1 year ago
Highly recommend. Have read many but went back to series #1 with Dirk Pitt to start from beginning. A page turner that you cannot put down. The tie in to possible historic events is a plus. This is perfect for a relaxing weekend. Enjoy
Reader53TX More than 1 year ago
The VERY early Cussler was fun entertainment but a little rough around the edges. The plot was far fetched (aren't they all) and the hero was a little raw. Later efforts improved greatly, but I still enjoyed this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dirk Pitt is one of my favorite characters in the world of books and he's making his debut in this whirlwind thriller. Cussler's early writing is defintitely not his best but it's still pretty good. The farther you get into the book the more detail comes into the writing. All the events weaved nicely and I was reading furiously for one action scene. One of my complaints is that Pitt seems a little stern in this novel but Clive explains that he's trying to regruop after losing someone(see Pacific Vortex!). And the biggest complaint I have is that the final scene does not live up to the endings of Clive's other works. The ending just seemed to happen with no action. Overall, it's nice and short with alot of punch and you can't help but read the next page. 4 out of 5 and a nice Christmas gift for any book lover.
AMA001 More than 1 year ago
Unlike what I am used to reading but enjoyed the story and recommend.
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Kegmeister More than 1 year ago
Overall, the story line and character development is typical Clive Cussler. However, the character treatment of women is very sexist which reminds me of the fact the original manuscript was several decafes ago. I doubt that describing a relationship with a woman in a cavalier manner as one in which the honorable protagonist says he "laid her" would be acceptable today. In fact, the early Dirk Pitt comes off as being chauvanistic. So, if you don't mind that...enjoy!
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Clive Cussler gripped me right away, hard to set this one down.
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