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Publisher's Summary

A Sunday Times best seller

The thrilling first Dirk Pitt classic from multi-million-copy king of the adventure novel, Clive Cussler.

Fully armed and with all hands onboard, the nuclear submarine Starbuck sailed into the calm Pacific Ocean for sea trials - and vanished. No wreckage, no signals, no survivors: nothing...until ace maritime troubleshooter Dirk Pitt finds a single chilling clue in the shark-torn surf off Hawaii - the log of the Starbuck.

'Do not search for us, it can only end in vain....'

A crazed journal of madness and death is all that remains. And the captain's final scrawled, fear-crazed note locates the Starbuck's grave hundreds of miles from her last known position! The search for the Starbuck plunges Dirk Pitt into his most shattering assignment to date - a whirlpool of deep-sea mystery and terror - the Pacific Vortex!

©2017 Clive Cussler (P)2017 Little Brown Book Group

Critic Reviews

"Cussler is hard to beat." ( Daily Mail)
"Clive Cussler is the guy I read." (Tom Clancy)
"The Adventure King." ( Daily Express)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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No Reviews are Available
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jessica
  • 05-10-2018

It's not for me

This author was recommended to me by an aunt who simply loves his work but it really doesn't do anything for me. A typical mystery novel, the first 90% is spent increasing the mystery vibe and the last 10% telling all, even explaining things I hadn't thought to question. The narration is fine though I've heard male narrators do a better job when undertaking women's voices. And I'd have liked to have heard more accents among the characters.

Something I found particularly frustrating was the lack of guidance regarding the time frame. It took me forever to work out the decade this was based in and even now I'm still not sure if it was the late 70's or early 80's.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike T.
  • 05-08-2018

Exciting but flawed.

Starts out with a sense of GREAT mystery. Who, why, how. Wow I thought, this is great. And it was.

Then it changed into a Jules Verneian / James Bond type story, complete with a "dated" view of the female characters and suspension of disbelief stretching action. The female - lets say melodrama was just baad! The action however was competent and the who, why, how mystery questions begged to be answered, so I kept listening.

Clive Cussler's almost apologetic foreword makes me believe that the series will improve. ;-)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ahsineknagrom
  • 16-09-2018

Entertaining, but predictable

As always this was another top notch story from Clive Cussler. A very entertaining listen, with a bit of a predictable ending.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Fletchk17
  • 12-12-2018

liked the narrator, story felt rushed at the end

narrator was gripping, felt like there should have been more to the story but a good quick listen

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 03-12-2018

Rubbish

Rubbish!! Not worth the time. The reader was OK but the book is terrible. The author was a favourite when I was young but I must have grown up.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • CGM
  • 23-11-2018

a little disappointed

a little disappointed in this book. the storyline, for me, was disconnected and in many places predictable with unrealistic elements.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Mr Fish
  • 06-11-2018

What utter rubbish

Seriously you will never get this time back...... I listened to this on a recommendation of somebody who enjoyed Sahara... what utter rubbish

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • PC Enthusiast
  • 23-10-2018

First and last Dirk Pitt story

Predictable and clichéd. Like a 60s bond film. Complete with invincible hero, villain, and mysterious lair. The tone is terrible. The author builds suspense only to ruin moments with tasteless jokes or lewd comments.

If you have no imagination then Dirk Pitt is the hero for you.

Narrator was adequate, did the job well enough without being spectacular.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • 23-10-2018

Okay and easy listening.

First Clive Cussler book I’ve listened to. I think I’ll have to listen to another to make my mind up about the main character. Seemed a bit cheesy in parts.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • David A
  • 17-10-2018

Not awful - if you can suspend reality

The story really suffers from basic errors in underwater and submarine operations, all of which could have been overcome by the author engaging with appropriate experts. These really depart so far from reality that they detract from any hope of credibility in the plot.

The narrator drawls his way through the book without too much interest. He makes his usual mistakes without correction from the producer, however it doesn't make much difference in this case.

If you want a taught submarine thriller then try Patrick Robinson or Tom Clancy; give this a miss.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • M
  • 15-10-2018

Not bad

Clive Clussler had never been at the pinnacle of literature but has often offered a great bit of escapism. This first in the Dirk Pitt series was just that... a fun bit of escapism if you allow yourself to be taken along for the ride!

The down side is that it is read by someone who appears to find parts of the book a bit boring...which is a shame.