The Mediterranean Caper (Dirk Pitt Series #1)

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Overview


A LUFTWAFFE ACE WHO WOULDN'T DIE...
A BRUNETTE BEAUTY WITH DANGEROUS SECRETS...
A LETHAL, BILLION-DOLLAR CARGO!


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 ...

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Overview


A LUFTWAFFE ACE WHO WOULDN'T DIE...
A BRUNETTE BEAUTY WITH DANGEROUS SECRETS...
A LETHAL, BILLION-DOLLAR CARGO!


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!

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What People Are Saying

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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671618513
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 2/1/1986
  • Series: Dirk Pitt Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback

Meet the Author

CLIVE CUSSLER is the author of many New York Times bestsellers, most recently Poseidon’s Arrow, The Striker, and Zero Hour. He lives in Arizona.

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

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

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Table of Contents

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Interviews & Essays

A 40th Anniversary Q&A with Clive Cussler

"The Grand Master of Adventure"

Q: So many of your great adventure novels revisit a key legend or occasion in history as the impetus for the story...What is the historical event you most wish you had been present to witness?

A. The Battle of Gettysburg

Q: Your vintage car collection is legendary?What classic car do you regret not getting when you had the chance?

A: 1932 Maybach Zeppelin.

Q: Is there one villain of the scores you have created in your books over the past forty years of whom you remain particularly fond? And if so, why?

A: His name is Foss Gly. I killed him off in two books—NIGHT PROBE! and CYCLOPS. He was as nasty as they come. I took his name off a tombstone in Green River, Utah.

Q: If you could share a beer with any person from history, who would it be? And if you could have a shot of tequila with any historical figure, who might *that* person be?

A: Abraham Lincoln. And George Washington.

Q: If you were not a writer, what career would you have wanted to undertake? During the Sixties you had a successful stint in advertising...But what about a profession that you never had the chance to try?

A: Acting.

Q: Do you recall where and when you had your first taste of tequila? Your dedicated fans know it has long been one of your favorite libations.

A: When I was in the longest bar in the world in Tijuana, when I was eighteen.

Q: As the author of five different bestselling adventure series—Dirk Pitt, the NUMA Files, the Oregon Files, the Isaac Bell novels and the Fargo adventures—with four of them appearing each year, how are you able to manage all of those complicated plots and the ever-growing stable of characters? It must require a flow-chart the size of an entire wall.

A: I lean to my coauthors, who are very creative. Overall it's like a juggling act.

Q: Does it seem to you that there are fewer Adventure writers these days, compared to other popular fiction categories such as Mystery and Espionage? When you were growing up, it was the dominant form of fiction, wouldn't you say?

A: Thriller and adventure tales are actually booming. Mystery and spy novels are still out there, but they are not as strong as they once were.

Q: If you ever met Dirk Pitt in person, is there anything for which you'd like to apologize, putting him in constant peril as you do time after time?

A: As long as he is still alive, I have no guilt.

Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given to you?

A: Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.

Q: And what was the worst?

A: Become a new car salesman.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 195 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(84)

4 Star

(64)

3 Star

(29)

2 Star

(9)

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(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 197 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 19, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    My 1st Clive Cussler read

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2012

    Love that Dirk Pitt!

    Pitt's cocky attitude makes these books! Definately worth the read!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2012

    Anonymous

    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








    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2007

    Good start to the Dirk Pitt series

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    Kurt Austin vs. Dirk Pitt

    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¿!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2012

    waltread

    Hard to beat Clive Cussler for an action read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2012

    I loved the story's twists & unexpected turns. I find Mysel

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2012

    You won't put this down till you finish it.

    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!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2012

    Cool book

    Fairly good but the best durk pitt is cyclops by far.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2012

    Fun and Quick Read

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    Love it

    Love all clive cusslers books, tgis one was great

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2011

    Great book!

    This was my firt Clive Cussler book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Kept you reading to see what happened next. Highly recommend!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2011

    Page turner

    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

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Early Cussler - Rough but Entertaining

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2007

    Nice early Cussler novel

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    Great Read, Classic Dirk Pitt

    Clive Cussler gripped me right away, hard to set this one down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2013

    Soldiers den

    Sleeps 18

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2012

    Med Caper

    Chronologically, Pacific Vortex is the first book even though it
    was published in 83. Enjoy!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    Not his best

    This was clearly a book written by an inexperienced novelist. If I hadn't already read his later books I wouldn't bother reading them based on this one. Plus, the chauvenism was a major problem. Thankfully, I've read his more mature works and know he improves.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    Good enough for a second read

    I have been reading Clive Cussler for several years now. Since I recently purchased a Nook, I decided to start collecting his books in digital form. Re-reading the first in the Dirk Pitt series was very enjoyable. It was fun to see how Dirk has changed over the years. It was very enjoyable to be able to read it on my Nook. I look forward to collecting all of the Dirk Pitt series.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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