Deep Six (Dirk Pitt Series #7)

Deep Six (Dirk Pitt Series #7)

by Clive Cussler

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Another “impossible to put down” (Houston Chronicle) classic Dirk Pitt adventure from the New York Times bestselling author of the NUMA Files and the Sam and Remi Fargo Adventures.

A deadly tide of poison flows into ocean waters. A ghost ship drifts across the empty northern Pacific. A luxury Soviet liner blazes into a funeral pyre. The Presidential yacht cruises the Potomac night—and the President disappears without a trace.

Dirk Pitt takes on a sinister Asian shipping empire in an intercontinental duel of nerves. In his most dangerous, fast-paced adventure, he fights to save the US government—and to seize one desperate moment of revenge!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416516859
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: 12/27/2005
Series: Dirk Pitt Series , #7
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 100,528
Product dimensions: 4.12(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Clive Cussler is the author or coauthor of over eighty previous books in five bestselling series, including Dirk Pitt®, NUMA® Files, Oregon® Files, Isaac Bell, and Sam and Remi Fargo. His nonfiction works include Built for Adventure: The Classic Automobiles of Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt, and Built to Thrill: More Classic Automobiles from Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt, plus The Sea Hunters and The Sea Hunters II; these describe the true adventures of the real NUMA, which, led by Cussler, searches for lost ships of historic significance. With his crew of volunteers, Cussler has discovered more than sixty ships, including the long-lost Confederate ship Hunley. He lives in Arizona.


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

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter One The hum of the engines below his feet seemed to take on a feverish pitch. Like an unleashed hound, the Catawba seemed to pick up the scent of her quarry. Anticipation gripped all hands. Ignoring the rain, they lined the decks and bridge wings.

"Four hundred meters," the radar operator sang out.

Then a seaman clutching the bow staff began pointing vigorously into the rain.

Dover leaned out the wheelhouse door and shouted through a bullhorn. "Is she afloat?"

"Buoyant as a rubber duck in a bathtub," the seaman bellowed back through cupped hands.

Dover nodded to the lieutenant on watch. "Slow engines."

"Engines one third," the watch lieutenant acknowledged as he moved a series of levers on the ship's automated console.

The Amie Marie slowly emerged through the precipitation. They expected to find her half awash, in a sinking condition. But she sat proud in the water, drifting in the light swells without a hint of dis- tress. There was a silence about her that seemed unnatural, almost ghostly. Her decks were deserted, and Dover's hail over the bullhorn went unanswered.

"A crabber by the look of her," Dover mutter to no one in particular. "Steel hull, about a hundred and ten feet. Probably out of a shipyard in New Orleans."

The radio operator leaned out of the communications room and motioned to Dover. "From the Board of Register, sir. The Amie Marie's owner and skipper is Carl Keating. Home port is Kodiak."

Again Dover hailed the strangely quiet crab boat, this time addressing Keating by name. There was still no response.

The Catawba slowly circled and hove to a hundred meters away, then stopped her engines and drifted alongside.

The steel-cage crab pots were neatly stacked on the deserted deck, and a wisp of exhaust smoke puffed from the funnel, suggesting that her diesel engines were idling in neutral. No human movement could be detected tough the ports or the windows of the wheelhouse.

The boarding party consisted of two officers, Ensign Pat Murphy and Lieutenant Marty Lawrence. Without the usual small talk they donned their exposure suits, which would protect them from the frigid waters if they accidentally fell into the sea. They had lost count of the times they had conducted routine examinations of foreign fishing vessels that strayed inside the Alaskan 200-mile fishing limit, yet there was nothing routine about this investigation. No flesh-and-blood crew lined the rails to greet them. They climbed into a small rubber Zodiac propelled by an outboard motor and cast off.

Darkness was only a few hours away. The rain had eased to a drizzle but the wind had increased, and the sea was rising. An eerie quiet gripped the Catawba. No one spoke; it was as though they were afraid to, at least until the spell produced by the unknown was broken.

They watched as Murphy and Lawrence tied their tiny craft to the crab boat, hoisted themselves to the deck and disappeared through a doorway into the main cabin.

Several minutes dragged by. Occasionally one of the searchers would appear on the deck only to vanish again down a hatchway. The only sound in the Catawba's wheelhouse came from the static over the ship's open radiophone loudspeaker, turned up to high volume and tuned to an emergency frequency.

Suddenly, with such unexpected abruptness that even Dover twitched in surprise, Murphy's voice loudly reverberated inside the wheelhouse. "Go ahead, Amie Marie," Dover answered into a microphone.

"They're all dead."

The words were so cold, so terse, nobody absorbed them at first.


"No sign of a pulse in any of them. Even the cat bought it."

What the boarding party found was a ship of the dead. Skipper Keating's body rested on the deck, his head leaning against a bulkhead beneath the radio. Scattered throughout the boat in the galley, the messroom and the sleeping quarters were the corpses of the Amie Marie's crew. Their facial expressions were frozen in twisted agony and their limbs contorted in grotesque positions, as though they had violently thrashed away their final moments of life. Their skin had turned an odd black color, and they had gushed blood from every orifice. The ship's Siamese cat lay beside a thick wool blanket it had shredded in its death throes.

Dover's face reflected puzzlement rather than shock at Murphy's description. "Can you determine a cause?" he asked.

"Not even a good guess," Murphy came back. "No indication of struggle. No marks on the bodies, yet they bled like slaughtered pigs. Looks like whatever killed them struck everyone at the same time."

"Stand by."

Dover turned and surveyed the faces around him until he spotted the ship's surgeon, Lieutenant Commander Isaac Thayer.

Doc Thayer was the most popular man aboard the ship. An oldtimer in the Coast Guard service, he had long ago given up the plush offices and high income of shore medicine for the rigors of sea rescue.

"What do you make of it, Doc?" Dover asked.

Thayer shrugged and smiled. "Looks as though I better make a house call."

Dover paced the bridge impatiently while Doc Thayer entered a second Zodiac and motored across the gap dividing the two vessels. Dover ordered the helmsman to position the Catawba to take the crab boat in tow. He was concentrating on the maneuver and didn't notice the radio operator standing at his elbow.

"A signal just in, sir, from a bush pilot airlifting supplies to a team of scientists on Augustine Island."

"Not now," Dover said brusquely.

"It's urgent, Captain," the radio operator persisted.

"Okay, read the guts of it."

" 'Scientific party all dead.' Then something unintelligible and what sounds like 'Save me.'"

Dover stared at him blankly. "That's all?"

"Yes, sir. I tried to raise him again, but there was no reply."

Dover didn't have to study a chart to know Augustine was an uninhabited volcanic island only thirty miles northeast of his present position. A sudden, sickening realization coursed through his mind. He snatched the microphone and shouted into the mouthpiece.

"Murphy! You there?"


"Murphy... Lawrence... do you read me?"

Again no answer.

He looked through the bridge window and saw Doc Thayer climb over the rail of the Amie Marie. Dover could move fast for a man of his mountainous proportions. He snatched a bullhorn and ran outside.

"Doc! Come back, get off that boat!" his amplified voice boomed over the water.

He was too late. Thayer had already ducked into a hatchway and was gone.

The men on the bridge stared at their captain, incomprehension written in their eyes. His facial muscles tensed and there was a look of desperation about him as he rushed back into the wheelhouse and clutched the microphone.

"Doc, this is Dover, can you hear me?"

Two minutes passed, two endless minutes while Dover tried to raise his men on the Amie Marie. Even the earsplitting scream of the Catawba's siren failed to draw a response.

At last Thayer's voice came over the bridge with a strange icy calm.

"I regret to report that Ensign Murphy and Lieutenant Lawrence are dead. I can find no life signs. Whatever the cause it will strike me before I can escape. You must quarantine this boat. Do you un- derstand, Amos?"

Dover found it impossible to grasp that he was suddenly about to lose his old friend. "Do not understand, but will comply."

"Good. I'll describe the symptoms as they come. Beginning to feel light-headed already. Pulse increasing to one fifty. May have contracted the cause by skin absorption. Pulse one seventy."

Thayer paused. His next words came haltingly.

"Growing nausea. Legs... can no longer... support. Intense burning sinus region. Internal organs feel like they're exploding."

As one, everybody on the bridge of the Catawba leaned closer to the speaker, unable to comprehend that a man they all knew and respected was dying a short distance away.

"Pulse... over two hundred. Pain... excruciating. Blackness closing vision." There was an audible moan. "Tell... tell my wife..."

The speaker went silent.

You could smell the shock, see it in the widened eyes of the crew standing in stricken horror.

Dover stared numbly at the tomb named the Amie Marie, his hands clenched in helplessness and despair.

"What's happening?" he murmured tonelessly. "What in God's name is killing everyone?"

Copyright © 1984 by Clive Cussler Enterprises, Inc.

Table of Contents

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Deep Six (Dirk Pitt Series #7) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Homechicken on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm fairly new to the Dirk Pitt series (this is the second book I've read), but I'm really enjoying it. Always full of action, there's never a dull moment you have to slog through to get to the next "good part." I especially enjoyed how the villain died in this book.
MsBeautiful on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Adventure/Thriller, Fun to listen to on tape or cd
Sentinel83 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I got this book as a gift to read during time I had off after a surgery. At first, I wasn't even going to read it but I got bored after a week or two and started the book. I as pleasantly surprised! I like spy/thriller novels so the parts where the plot really stretches doesn't turn me off right away because every book of that type has a 'invincible' style character. That is exactly what Dirk Pitt (main character) is. This book weaves together roughly 4 plots and was well done. I would recommend it.
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songcatchers More than 1 year ago
'A ghost ship drifts across the northern Pacific.... A Soviet luxury liner burns like a funeral pyre.... And the U.S. President's yacht is heading for disaster....' Yet another fun Dirk Pitt adventure. This one is full of suspense and danger with plots to brainwash the President of the United States and take over the government. The only complaint I have is that there were so many characters that it felt a little confusing at times trying to keep all the names straight and who was who. This is quite an adventure though with a great ending featuring some awesome confederate soldiers from a Civil War reenactment. The end really made me smile. If you like action and adventure I highly recommend some Clive Cussler.
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