Inca Gold (Dirk Pitt Series #12)

Inca Gold (Dirk Pitt Series #12)

by Clive Cussler

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A classic, thrilling Dirk Pitt adventure from a master of the genre!

Nearly five centuries ago a fleet of boats landed mysteriously on an island in an inland sea. There, an ancient Andean people hid a golden hoard greater than that of any pharaoh, then they and their treasure vanished into history—until now.

In 1998, in the Andes Mountains of Peru, Dirk Pitt dives into an ancient sacrificial pool, saving two American archaeologists from certain drowning. But his death-defying rescue is only the beginning, as it draws the intrepid Pitt into a vortex of darkness and danger, corruption and betrayal. A sinister crime syndicate has traced the long-lost treasure—worth almost a billion dollars—from the Andes to the banks of a hidden underground river flowing beneath a Mexican desert. Driven by burning greed and a ruthless bloodlust, the syndicate is racing to seize the golden prize...and to terminate the one man who can stop them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416525721
Publisher: Pocket Star
Publication date: 10/30/2007
Series: Dirk Pitt Series , #12
Pages: 688
Sales rank: 94,710
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.50(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

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

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Inca Gold (Dirk Pitt Series #12) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
Fudgesicle More than 1 year ago
This book, Inca Gold, was an amazing read. The main character, Dirk Pitt, is a scientist and researcher for the National Underwater and Marine Association. When two divers get stuck in an ancient sacrificial pool, he is the only one who hears the cry for help over the radio. They find out that an organization that finds and sells artifacts is behind it, and they are looking for a treasure hidden by the Incas. I think that this book was really amazing because the action never stops. the characters are funny and witty as well. I think the message coming from this story is that good always wins.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This happened to be the first Cussler novel that I read and I have since read all of his books. Action packed from start to finished I couldn't put it down and neither will you. The combination of historical fiction, adventure, and ruthless organized crime makes the story irresistible, despite some hard to believe feats by a super computer. All in all, one of Clive's best and well worth the read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't remember the last time I have read a book that I could not literally put down...If the constant action and adventure does not suck you in, how about something with so much going on having a very original and on going plot. With most books you read you get either/or, but not with Inca Gold. I have read this book three times already and each time I still get excited during the climax scenes. You can't do better than Clive Cussler books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I grew up in a house that loved to read. All except for me. When I was a teenager, I got a job at a bookstore. There I read my first Dirk Pitt novel. I have since then read a few more and can't wait to collect them all. Clive Cussler is the only writer who I've found I love to read. So if you're looking to introduce someone to reading who likes bond-esque thrills give them a Cussler novel. I promise they will enjoy it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is only the second book i have read by Mr.Cussler. It took me two days to read over a weekend because I couldn't put it down.My first book was 'Alantis Found wich was a great book.Even the end of the book wich i thought was gonna get dull kept you reading till the last word. I also like how Mr.Cussler sticks himslef in the stories in a sly way.I deffintely recommend this book, but not to those with a weak heart.I also recommend 'Atlantis Found' wich was a great book. And as a last word i hope Mr.Cussler 'keeps'm Coming'
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was my first Clive Cussler book. A friend introduced me to him after our many anthropology courses about Meso and South America. I could not put this book down from the beginning. I loved the history intertwined throughout the entire book. The non stop action kept me turning the pages. I am now hooked on Dirk, and I am on my 6th Cussler book in the 3 months since I finished Inca Gold. So far, Inca Gold, by far, remains my favorite.
hannahbond on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is another typical addition to the Dirk Pitt series. An enjoyable romp, but after a while the MANY close calls of the invincible Dirk Pitt become a little tiring. There are no real surprises here, except that Clive Cussler writes himself into a very small vignette as the owner operator of a derelict lunch stop near Cabo.
df6b_mattW on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I love the Dirk Pitt adventures. A really good all aruond book.
okmliteracy7 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Inca Gold is filled with fast-paced excitement, as Dirk Pitt races from the Andes to Mexico in order to stop a family of art stealers from getting their greedy hands on the largest treasure ever known. Also, the oceanography facts, and the comedy bits make it interesting the whole way through.Unpredictable, you never tire of of Pitt racing from one scene to the next, always laughing in the face of danger.Adam S.
lollypop917 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an entertaining read and a nice diversion. I was given this book to read by my mother in-law along with several others by Clive Cussler. I am easily drawn in by anything with an archaeological or historical theme and this seemed to fit. This book remained well researched with a decent amount of over the top action to keep you interested. I'm sure I will be borrwing more from her as she purchases all of the Dirk Pitt books. Great for anyone who likes adventure books.
reading_fox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pretty much classic Dirk Pitt adventure. There is little substance and a high degree of unbelivability. Thin characters, typically evil bad guys with no remorse -and an inability to shoot prisoners when it would be sensible to do so, little cunning etc etc. I also really hate the little CC cameos that he slips into just about every book. It's annoying.However it's also a fun read. There are few descriptive passsages, the action flows smoothly from one page to the next. Dirk Pitt is one of those quintasenual heros, lives life to the pull faces every danger with curiosity enjoys fine wine / food / vehicles /women whenever the plot permits and rashly risks his own life to save innocents the rest of the time. On this occasion he happens to be in the area when a mayday call goes out fro two archeologists trapped in a sinkhole in Peru. Pitt braves the murky depths, rescues the lost, but has to make his own way out because just as it was his turn the bad guys turn up. One of Cussler's occasional narrative errors occurs here - although Pitt has previously been able to climb sheer walls this time he can't instead he manages to dig a belt buckle into solid rock as a piton? wihout a hammer? Maby Clive has confused Sandstone (soft) with Limestone (hard). Oh well it doesn't spoil the book. Pitt then drives off the guards who've conveniently fallen asleep, fails to kill or capture then main bad guy and escapes with his rescued friends in the hellicopters that a whole company of mercenaries couldn't shoot down. Who needs belivability? Subsiquent action takes place in Mexico as PItt and co hunt for the missing and hidden Peruvian treasure at the same time as the rest of gang he's just disrupted in Peru, unitl the big showdown in the underground cave. As someone who has done a fair amount of caving, I found his cave descriptions somewhat poor - mostly there is too much light, you just don't get to see area underground - vision is restricted to the tunnel your light can throw. Too many pretty formations, and an unbelivably big river. Again it is all minor stuff, Clive could have got it right, but it wouldn't have made the book much better. The focus is on Pitt and how he overcomes all these challenges that life keeps throwing at him. Enjoyable - particularly good for trains, airports etc anywhere you don't need ot think and do want to be distracted.
corgidog2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good, not-too-involved read about archaeology and art thefts (of ancient civilations in Mexico).
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RebeccaGraf More than 1 year ago
Treasure hunting, spies, murder, and history combined can make the best of adventure stories. It never fails that Clive Cussler books bring you just that. Inca Gold is a wonderful tale of adventure and Incan history all wrapped up into one. Dirk Pitt is called upon to rescue two tapped divers in a South American sinkhole. What he finds is more than what he bargained for, and it leads him into a study of Sir Francis Drake and Incan gold. One of the great things about Cussler's books is how they can take different historical events and connect them with threads that are actually believable. Drake was known for his harassment of the Spanish fleet. In this story, he captures the richest of all Spanish galleons that not only held riches but also held the key to an even bigger treasure. He just did not realize what he possessed. In an attempt to get the treasure to his queen, Elizabeth, one of his ships with the treasure key is lost. Only the ranting of a crazed man found in the Amazon gives a hint as to what happened to the ship, the crew, and the treasure. A race begins between Pitt and his comrades and those of an international artifact smuggling ring. Each is determined to find the lost gold of an ancient civilization called the Chachapoyans. Ancient cities that were lost to the world are discovered as well as mummies that tell of historical voyages. The tale is a fascinating read and is based on many historical facts. The Chachapoyans did exist as well as Sir Francis Drake and the ship that he captured, the Nuestra Señora de la Concepción. The rest of the story is a well developed tale that gives history a little more adventure. Though the vast majority of the book is fiction, it is based on historical events. This is what makes reading a Cussler book so entertaining. As you read the adventure, you are also given a history lesson. Though you need to do some research as you go along to help discern the lines of where fact and fiction part ways. A wonderful read that educates as well. What I liked the most about the book and other Pitt adventures is that it gets me digging into the history and learn more about the people and events that are written about. The fiction prompts an inquiry into the fact.
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JBG6000 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It had action, handsome man, romance, guns, cars, treasure. What more could a girl ask for.
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