The Barbary Pirates (Ethan Gage Series #4)

The Barbary Pirates (Ethan Gage Series #4)

by William Dietrich


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“William Dietrich is a born stylist, moving characters around on an historical chessboard with the assured hand of a master novelist firing on all cylinders. Ethan Gage is a wiry, battle-scarred hero, with great decency, who rings absolutely true.”
—Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Jefferson Key

“William Dietrich...should be read by anyone who loves adventure at its grandest, or humor both smart and sharp, or romance with a wild heart.”
—James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Colony

New York Times bestselling author William Dietrich is back with another rollicking adventure in the popular Ethan Gage series, following Napoleon’s Pyramids, The Rosetta Key, and The Dakota Cypher. From the man Library Journal calls “a leader among historical novelists” comes a grand adventure, featuring a hero as memorable as Indiana Jones or George MacDonald Fraser’s Sir Harry Flashman.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062191410
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/24/2012
Series: Ethan Gage Series , #4
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 408
Sales rank: 558,040
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.97(d)

About the Author

William Dietrich is the author of fourteen novels, including six previous Ethan Gage titles—Napoleon's Pyramids, The Rosetta Key, The Dakota Cipher, The Barbary Pirates, The Emerald Storm, and The Barbed Crown. Dietrich is also a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, historian, and naturalist. A winner of the PNBA Award for Nonfiction, he lives in Washington State.

Read an Excerpt

The Turnaround Kid

Chapter One

Family, Values, Maggie, And Me

The sky was overcast and fog hung over the harbor, so even though it was ten o'clock on an August morning, the air was cool and the light was soft. Add the salty smell of the sea and the groan of the foghorn at the end of the nearby jetty, and this place—the small city of Bandon on the southern coast of Oregon—felt like home. I hadn't lived here in decades, but the connection was strong and I sensed it right down to my bones as I stood in front of the little house where I had spent many of my happiest days.

Painted gray with red trim, the two-bedroom cottage has been abandoned for years. Dust coated the siding. Dirt streaked the windows. I opened the door and saw the faded floral wallpaper that had been there since the 1940s. Inside I found a familiar green sofa. All the fixtures, from the kitchen sink to the ceiling lights and bathtub, were just as they were when I was six years old. The frame from my bed sat in the corner of the tiny room where I slept as a child.

In the stillness I recalled the sounds that greeted me from outside when I awakened on summer mornings. The sharpest of them all was the grinding whine of a huge band saw making the first cuts on a Douglas fir. It blended with steam whistles, the shouts of men, and the rumble of passing trucks to create a kind of industrial music. I also recalled certain scents—grease, sawdust, smoke, even exhaust fumes—that filled the air every day but Sunday.

All these sensations and images washed over me because this house, where I had gone to touch my roots and renew my confidence inthe midst of crisis, once sat in the middle of a relentlessly busy industrial complex. Built atop a long wooden pier that jutted into the harbor, it included a huge sawmill circa 1910, shops and outbuildings, and a dock where coastal steamships were loaded with shipments for delivery to distant ports. It was called the Moore Mill & Lumber Company, and my grandfather, the manager and eventual owner, lived right in the center of it all.

Scenes from an old Oregon sawmill are not what most ¬people find when they search their childhood memories, but I spent most of my preschool youth, my summers, and many school vacation days at the house on the pier in Bandon. As the first grandson of David and Emma Miller, I came in for extra attention (this was probably not fair to my siblings, David, Randy, and Barbara) and quickly came to love being with them. I took my first steps in their home and immediately began following my grandfather's lead.

"Let's go out to the mill and see if they're workin' or shootin' the breeze," he'd say to me in the morning. I'd scramble to get dressed—usually I wore a plaid lumberjack shirt, dungarees, and work shoes—and then tramp after Grampa as he made his rounds. I was fascinated by it all, but the sawyer who could turn a massive log into a stack of neat boards made an especially big impression. I could watch him for hours.

When I was old enough to avoid most of the dangers, I was allowed to roam free. I played in the corners of the mill complex and watched the endless parade of men, trucks, ships, and lumber. On one occasion, Grampa caught me riding the conveyor that hauled scrap wood and sawdust to the incinerator andgave me a stern lecture on safety. Sometimes I'd even clamber aboard the ships at the mill dock, and the crew would give me lunch. Without knowing it, in every moment I was absorbing vital lessons about the dignity of work and the rewards of honest enterprise.

In late summer 2006, as I walked to the little office building next to my grandfather's house, I felt the presence of the ¬people of Moore Mill. Inside the abandoned office a half dozen swallows flitted around the ceiling lights in the rooms where bookkeepers, clerks, and sales¬people once worked. Antiquated business forms filled the shelves in a back room. A mechanical adding machine gathered dust on the floor. Where Grampa's desk had stood, scraps of wood were piled three feet high. On a wall near the entrance, grime marked the place where the time clock and time cards were kept as workers checked in at the start of each shift.

Here, for generations, hundreds of men had started each workday. Management and labor formed a team to make not just two-by-fours but good lives for themselves and their families. The mill was the source of the money they needed to buy homes, feed and clothe their children, and save for the future. As an industry it was not an abstraction but rather the heart of the local economy. It turned the region's most valuable natural resource into a source of prosperity and pride. The mill's payroll fueled commerce. It paid taxes that kept the city going. It even sponsored the semipro baseball team, the Bandon Millers, who were the pride of the city every season.

My earliest memories of baseball involve Bandon Millers games, where I sometimes served as batboy. Even at the ballpark,Grampa wore his vested suit, tie, and fedora. A gold chain stretched across his belly, connecting the watch he kept in one vest pocket with the little knife hidden in the other. He was over six feet tall, a little bit stout, and his white hair gave him a sort of formal, distinguished look. He had an air about him that suggested a sense of purpose. His competitive spirit, whether it involved getting the best players for his semipro ball team or building his company by acquiring additional mills and timberland, was strong but tempered with the kind of realism expressed by so many ¬people who had lived through the Great Depression.

The Turnaround Kid. Copyright ? by Steve Miller. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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The Barbary Pirates (Ethan Gage Series #4) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
JackAGK More than 1 year ago
Once again William Dietrich brings us another yarn in the adventures of Ethan Gage. Seamlessly picking up where the Dakota Cipher leaves off, we spin off into a search for the ultimate weapon. Gage once again gets his marching orders from Napoleon as a choice between imprisonment or cooperation in the search. Gage and his companions almost immediately fall prey into a plot run by his old nemesis, the Egyptian Rite. There's plenty of action as usual and I highly recommend this book. It will keep your attention and keep you enjoyably entertained. Dietrich does a great job with this series and I look forward to more from his keyboard.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1802 American diplomat Ethan Gage, accompanied by his brilliant insane scientist companions, British rock hound (geologist) William Smith, French zoologist George Cuvier, and American crackpot inventor Robert Fulton, is back in Paris. Napoleon orders the foursome to investigate whether Archimedes' renowned mirror exists or is a fantasy as rumors of the death ray gizmo abound. The quartet begin the quest from Toulon crossing the Mediterranean towards Tripoli, but quickly run into adversarial conditions caused by the brutal Egyptian Rite cabal still planning to dominate the globe with plans to use the fabled death ray on the opposition. Gage is across the Mediterranean where he is joined by Lady Aurora Somerset and Astiza the Egyptian while the Barbary Pirates see his expedition as plunder while Gage and company sail in Fulton's impractical sub to Tripoli with plans to continue to Malta and beyond. The latest Gage swashbuckling pulp fiction is a great over the top of the Tibesti Massif as the hero and three lunatic savants join him on his latest escapades. The story line is fast-paced throughout as Gage never has a chance for a breather. Fans who relish Indiana Jones in Napoleon Era Mediterranean will relish the Barbary pirates adventures as Gage has left America again (see The Dakota Cipher) to cause havoc in Europe and Africa. Harriet Klausner
vernefan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Swashbuckling Adventure of Espionage and Ancient ScienceWilliam Dietrich¿s fourth installment of the adventures of American envoy and spy Ethan Gage, who tends to be a bit like Captain Jack Sparrow in the sense that is loyalities tend to lie with whoever offers the best deal, comes back strong after a weak third book that had me a little disappointed in Ethan¿s future. Barbary Pirates finally wraps up some loose ends with the explanation of why Ethan has been led on a merry chase around the globe since the onset of book one, finding ancient artifacts that are being hunted down by the mysterious cult group The Egyptian Rite. Ethan¿s trails have led him to find Egyptian amulets, Rosetta Keys, and Thor¿s Hammer, all at the behest of none other than Napoleon Bonaparte. We also get to witness Ethan¿s reunion with his beloved Astiza whom he fell in love with in Napoleon¿s Pyramid, that offers up one heck of a surprise for our fumbling spy and allows us to see a different warmer and more responsible aspect of Ethan¿s personality that up to now tended to be quite fickle and carefree.Napoleon has a new quest for Ethan and promises him he will help find Astiza if he accomplishes his newest mission. For Ethan, Napoleon has been both friend and foe, but has no choice but to once again bow and obey when Bonaparte retells the legend of Archimedes Death Ray war weapon, telling Gage he believes it exists on the Greek Island we now call Santorini, and also thought to be the lost island of Atlantis. This book is packed full of great action, lots of humor, and an abundance of the usual mishaps and madcap adventures we can expect from Dietrich¿s Ethan Gage novels. Swashbuckling sword fights, duels and explosions, torturous dungeons and sensuous Pirate Queens, all make Barbary Pirates a fine installment, if not maybe the grand finale of this series. I love the first two books, didn¿t care for book three, but am very happy to say this fourth book is a hit and nothing but pure entertaining fun!
wkelly42 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I started this one first of the lot that I received in the mail, and within just a few lines I knew I¿d enjoy it. The book opens with this line: After I trapped three scientissts in a fire I set in a brothel, enlisted them in the theft of a stampeding wagon, got them arrested by the French secret police, and then mired them in a mystic mission for Bonaparte, they began to question my judgment.And it only gets better from there.Ethan Gage is the main character, a treasure hunter with a shady reputation and a questionable past who has decided, as of the previous book in this series, to rehabilitate himself. Considering the book begins with him taking three historical luminaries to a notorious Parisian brothel, you begin to question his dedication to the cause. But a simple trip tot he brothel isn¿t so simple for Gage, and he ends up having to escape some old enemies (taking the luminaries with him, of course) by setting the entire building on fire. In the midst of the getaway, he is arrested by the French secret police and brought to Napoleon, who has a mission for the entire group.Find Archimedes¿ Mirror, and find it before the mysterious enemy that has been plaguing Ethan for years finds it. Oh, and to find it, they probably have to find the lost continent of Atlantis as well, or at least decode some Templar documents that seem to point to the location of the fabled lost continent.This is a classic treasure hunting novel, complete with Templar clues, a modern heretical Masonic group (the Egyptian Rite), hidden tunnels with intricate booby traps, ancient documents that contain hidden secrets, and even a little bit of love thrown in for good measure. There were a few plot twists in the book, but the main reason I kept reading it (and make no mistake, the book is a compelling read) was simply to find out how Ethan Gage got out of his latest scrape. You know he always will, just as sure as Indiana Jones will still be alive at the end of the movie; you just want to know how he does it, and who survives with him. There are deaths in this book, though you know that Robert Fulton, William Smith, and Georges Cuvier would all survive, since they are the historical luminaries I mentioned earlier. Some major characters are killed in this book, and fans of the series will be shocked by one of them, I think.Ethan Gage himself is an interesting character. I¿m used to main characters who have at least one true ally, but Gage seems to be surrounded with people who are there because they¿re stuck with him, and would leave him in an instant if circumstances were different. In fact, at one point Fulton himself has the US Navy ready to hang Gage as a traitor. But throughout, Gage is a character you can feel sorry for; the book is written from his POV, so we get a better idea of his motivations and attitudes. At times, you can even feel sorry for him.This is yet another middle-of-a-series book that has made me want to read the whole series. If I only had the time ¿
Billyt1 More than 1 year ago
Entertaining and Outrageous. Keeps you wanting to see how Gage gets out of the impossible predicaments. How does Astiza continue to get out of harems with her virtue in tact?
rmd270 More than 1 year ago
This was a very fast paced, action packed with excellent character development story in the Ethan Gage series. The Gage storyline is during the early 18th century and weaves the development of the US with European and Middle East history of the era. Lot's of action with lots of period time writing. This story also introduces Ethan's new family and brings back lots of old friends and enemies.
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financeprof More than 1 year ago
We find all the Ethan Gage books witty, well-written, and fun. They are page turners without feeling formulaic, and are set against interesting historical backgrounds. I would (and have) read other books by this author, and we are looking forward to #5. I'm not sure that it would have enough meat for book club discussions, though.
djhoffy More than 1 year ago
If you like Historical and Adventure,then you will want to read William Dietrich!
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SaintAugustine More than 1 year ago
As usual, William Dietrich takes the reader on a wild ride. This was loads of fun, well-crafted and the writing style grabs you and carries you through an implausible-yet-believable, delightful romp. It ended too soon!
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