Eric the Red's A.D. 1000 discovery of a radioactive meteorite has present-day life-or-death ramifications in Cussler and Dirgo's second novel (after Golden Buddha) featuring the Oregon, a state-of-the-art warship disguised as a rusty tramp steamer and manned by some of the world's finest ex-military and intelligence operatives. Known collectively as the Corporation, the men and women of the Oregon-"mercenaries with a conscience"-offer their services to various countries and individuals with specialized security and military needs. The Corporation's chairman, series hero Juan Cabrillo, has several pressing concerns: supply security for the emir of Qatar, who is attending a conference in Iceland; track down a nuclear bomb that has gone astray; and pick up the aforementioned meteorite, which has just been found ensconced in a mysterious shrine. These jobs become dangerously complicated when industrialist Halifax Hickman, a man fueled by revenge and hatred, enters the picture. The meteorite, the atomic bomb and a vial of plague are to be used in attacks on holy sites-Israel's Dome of the Rock and Saudi Arabia's al-Haram mosque-and at an Elton John concert. It's a deadly game, but the brilliant Cabrillo is a master player, moving his pieces at lightning speed on several boards until he outmaneuvers his opposition in this action-packed page-turner. (Oct.) Forecast: This series will become a permanent and productive cog in the Cussler machine. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
The "Corporation" is a private security and covert operations group, made up of ex-military and CIA operatives. They are hired to find a nuclear bomb stolen from the Ukraine. This bomb will get into the hands of Al-Khalifa, an Islamic fanatic bent on smuggling the bomb into London to detonate it at the heart of the British financial and governmental district. At the same time the Corporation is asked to obtain a meteor that is highly radioactive and potentially can be used to create a "dirty bomb." By the time Juan Cabrillo, head of the Corporation, gets to the site of the meteor it has been stolen by someone. As the story unfolds it is discovered that an extremely wealthy American wants it as part of his plan to eliminate the core of the Islamic religion by destroying the sacred places of Islam. The motivation for this destruction is the death of his son, an American soldier killed by Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan. This novel is plot-driven, and the reader may find it difficult to keep track of all the players. The reader is placed in the position of facing current Middle East issues and stopping both extremist groups for the good of the world. Though the conflict is deadly, the graphic nature of the violence is held to a minimum, and in solving the dilemmas the authors display the morality and humanity of the Corporation in the way it protects the lives of innocents. KLIATT Codes: SARecommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2004, Penguin, Berkley, 406p., Ages 15 to adult.
The multitudes of fans awaiting each new work the Mighty Cussler Factory pumps out must wonder which Cussler they'll get next. Will it be Cussler with poetic coauthor Paul Kemprecos (Serpent, 1999), filing a Dirk Pitt and NUMA thriller; Cussler with Craig Dirgo (Golden Buddha, 2003), filing an Oregon report for Corporation chairman Juan Cabrillo; or Cussler the Pure Thing (Trojan Odyssey, 2003), with his historical fantasias? Here, a radioactive meteorite that struck Earth 50,000 years ago was discovered in Greenland a mere thousand years ago by Eric the Red and his Vikings, who hid it in a cave. Now two rival factions want the meteorite to help build a superbomb that can wipe out a Western city. The first is a faction of Muslim terrorists from Ukraine, while the second faction, led by a crazed industrialist, wants to wipe out Islam. Only genius Juan Cabrillo's Corporation, with its marvel of seagoing technology, bristling with armaments and assisted by the CIA, can save the West as well as save the East from the West. But the meteorite is not the only rock in the tale, since the stolen Abraham's Stone (and what stone could be more sacred?) must also be secretly returned to the Kaaba at Mecca-while the good guys are threatened with beheading. The usual Cussler the Incredible, crammed with endless technological detail and ablaze with action.