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Clive Cussler was an American New York Times bestselling author of adventure novels.

Raised in Alhambra, California, he attended Pasadena City College for two years before joining the Air Force during the Korean War where he served as an aircraft mechanic and flight engineer.

Cussler later on became a copywriter and creative director for two leading ad agencies, writing and producing award-winning radio and television commercials.

Awarded a Doctor of Letters degree in May of 1997 by State University of New York Maritime College, Cussler is the founder of the National Underwater & Marine Agency, (NUMA) a non-profit organization that dedicates itself to American maritime and naval history.

He died at his home in Paradise Valley, Arizona aged 88.

More about Clive Cussler

Genres: Adventure, Literary Fiction, Non-fiction, Thriller

Born: 1931 / Died: 2020

United States

Website: https://clive-cussler-books.com/

The Dirk Pitt Adventure Series

  1. Pacific Vortex (1983)
  2. The Mediterranean Caper (1973)
  3. The Mediterranean Caper: 40th Anniversary Edition (1973)
  4. Iceberg (1974)
  5. Raise the Titanic! (1976)
  6. Vixen 03 (1978)
  7. Night Probe! (1981)
  8. Deep Six (1984)
  9. Cyclops (1986)
  10. Treasure (1988)
  11. Dragon (1990)
  12. Sahara (1992)
  13. Inca Gold (1994)
  14. Shock Wave (1996)
  15. Flood Tide (1997)
  16. Atlantis Found (1999)
  17. Valhalla Rising (2001)
  18. Trojan Odyssey (2003)
  19. Black Wind (2004)
  20. Treasure of Khan (2006)
  21. Arctic Drift (2008)
  22. Crescent Dawn (2010)
  23. Poseidon's Arrow (2012)
  24. Havana Storm (2014)
  25. Odessa Sea (2016)
  26. Celtic Empire (2018)

The NUMA Files

  1. Zero Hour (2013)
  2. Ghost Ship (2014)
  3. The Pharaoh's Secret (2015)
  4. Nighthawk (2017)
  5. The Rising Sea (2018)
  6. Sea of Greed (2019)

Detailed book overview

The Dirk Pitt Adventure Series

Pacific Vortex

Dirk Pitt, fearless adventurer and deep-sea expert, faces perhaps his most death-defying test yet when he plunges into the dangerous waters of the Pacific Vortex—an eerie sea zone where multiple ships have mysteriously vanished.

The latest to disappear in the region is super-sub Starbuck, America’s deep-diving nuclear arsenal whose loss could heavily compromise on the nation’s defense.

On a desperate mission to relocate it before the sea explodes, Pitt finds himself in a deadly confrontation with underwater assassins, crossing paths with a Summer Moran—the most beautifully exotic and dangerous woman he has ever met.

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 1983
Ebook: B00DJYF9XW
Publisher: Random House
The Mediterranean Caper

A U.S. air force base on a quiet Greek island is ambushed by a World War I fighter plane—a famous yellow Albatros allegedly lost at sea in 1918.

In his quest to identify the forces behind the crippling of a scientific expedition, Dirk Pitt finds himself in the company of a deranged former Nazi; a determined narcotics agent; a ruthless, murderous Greek strongman; a stunning double-agent; and an amateur egg-head commando group.

A former US Air force that never shies away from any challenge, Pitt works for the US National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA).

And in his search for answers, he makes a shocking discovery beyond what he could have imagined.

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 1973
ISBN: 978-0553112665
Publisher: Bantam
The Mediterranean Caper: 40th Anniversary Edition

A U.S. air force base on a quiet Greek island is ambushed by a World War I fighter plane—a famous yellow Albatros allegedly lost at sea in 1918.

In his quest to identify the forces behind the crippling of a scientific expedition, Dirk Pitt finds himself in the company of a deranged former Nazi; a determined narcotics agent; a ruthless, murderous Greek strongman; a stunning double-agent; and an amateur egg-head commando group.

A former US Air force that never shies away from any challenge, Pitt works for the US National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA).

And in his search for answers, he makes a shocking discovery beyond what he could have imagined.

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 1973
ISBN: 978-0399166815
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Iceberg

A standard survey mission over the North Atlantic leads to the discovery of a missing luxury yacht frozen inside a gigantic mass of ice.

On vacation in sweltering California, Dirk Pitt of the National Underwater and Marine Agency quickly gets back to work to uncover the truth behind the ship that mysteriously disappeared while on a secret meeting to the White House.

Arriving at the scene, Pitt shockingly finds the charred remains of a whole crew burned alive.

Could the unfortunate loss of the ship be linked to a far more ominous plan?

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 1974
ISBN: 978-0751507324
Publisher: Time Warner Books
Raise the Titanic!

Known as the Sicilian Project, it is the covert plan of the decade. If anything, it’s the most protected secret since the atomic bomb.

Should it be successful, the defense network, created by the president's secret task force, will protect America’s security from foreign attack for a considerably long time.

The entire project is however centered on acquiring a certain quantity of Byzantium--a very scarce radioactive element.

Even more challenging is that the only Byzantium in the world lies in the hold of R.M.S. Titanic which is more than twelve thousand feet below the North Atlantic.

What better man to Raise the Titanic than Dirk Pitt?

Raise the Titanic
Director: Jerry Jameson
Cast: Jason Robards, Richard Jordan, David Selby Anne Archer, Sir Alec Guinness, Bo Brundin, M. Emmet Walsh, J.D. Cannon, Norman Bartold, Elya Baskin, Dirk Blocker, Robert Broyles
Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 1976
ISBN: 978-0425194522
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Vixen 03

1954: Vixen 03, the plane carrying several Doomsday Bombs bound for the South Pacific, mysteriously disappears.

Though believed to have been lost at sea, Vixen actually crashes into an ice-covered lake in Colorado.

1988: Dirk Pitt, hero of Raise the Titanic, finds the remains of Vixen 03.

However, two lethal canisters are frighteningly missing.

As it turns out, they are in the hands of an African terrorist group on a devastating mission to sail a battleship seventy-five miles up the Potomac and bring Washington, D.C. to the ground.

The terrorists however have no idea that they will be unleashing unconventional missiles.

And Dirk Pitt of NUMA has to stop them before it’s too late.

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 1978
ISBN: 978-0440423140
Publisher: Bantam
Night Probe!

1914: Two couriers on a secret mission are sunk in twin disasters, leading to the loss of two copies of the North American Treaty—a covert deal between the United States and Great Britain.

Immediately, both heads of the two nations order for the details of the treaty to be destroyed forever.

1989: A smart and stunning American naval commander named Heidi Milligan finds a cryptic reference to the long buried North American Treaty, something that makes the President of the United States to realize just how much redemption the treaty offers to an energy-deficient, economically-shattered America.

To America, the document must be found. Enter Dirk Pitt…

To Britain, the document must never be found. Enter Brian Shaw…

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 1981
ISBN: 978-0553394924
Publisher: Bantam
Deep Six

A strange ship without a name plunges into the ocean, unleashing a dangerous tide of poison into the ocean waters.

The President of the United States disappears without a trace while on board his own yacht in the Potomac River.

A luxury Soviet cruise ship on the high seas blazes into a funeral pyre.

Dirk Pitt, a former US Air force that never shies away from any challenge, works for the US National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA).

Confronting an evil Asian shipping empire in what could very well be his most challenging adventure yet, Pitt endeavors to save the US government—and inflict vengeance.

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 1984
ISBN: 978-0722127544
Publisher: Time Warner Books
Cyclops

Raymond LeBaron, a wealthy financial publish, embarks on an antique adventure in search of the Cyclops, a U.S. Navy collier which mysteriously vanished near Cuban waters in 1918.

Aboard it was alleged to have been a treasure of mythical proportions.

When LeBaron and his crew however disappear without a trace, it triggers a hesitant Dirk Pitt to set off on a deadly yet unforgettable adventure leading to the discovery of a hidden base on the moon, a Soviet scheme against Castro that threatens to draw the whole world into turmoil, and the unveiling of the treasure itself.

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 1986
ISBN: 978-0722127568
Publisher: Time Warner Books
Treasure

The Great Library and Museum of Alexandria was the main marvel of the ancient world.

It housed huge records of literature, art and knowledge, from the complete works of Homer and the golden casket of Alexander the Great, to invaluable charts of lost gold, mineral and oil deposits that have the ability to alter the balance of power in the world today.

Ravaged by fire in 391 A.D., the loss of the library was seen by many scholars as one of the greatest tragedies in the world.

When Dirk Pitt discovers its most invaluable part was saved and hidden, it marks the beginning of a deadly race to recover its secrets; one that could have terrible consequences.

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 1988
ISBN: 978-0008216665
Publisher: Harper
Dragon

1945: An atomic bomber takes off from Alaska on its way to Japan.

Aboard it is the third atomic bomb as back-up to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs.

Shot down before completing its mission, the B-29 plummets into the sea, along with its secret.

After the war, the very existence of the plane is denied and eventually forgotten.

1993: The new Japan now counts on its financial prowess rather than military might.

America, increasingly under siege thanks to the economic power of its “ally,” is completely oblivious of how far some Japanese may go to ensure Japan’s dominance.

All that however changes when a massive Japanese auto carrier ferrying thousands of “Murmoto” cars manufactured by the enigmatic Hideki Suma is destroyed by a nuclear explosion.

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 1990
ISBN: 978-0008216634
Publisher: Harper
Sahara

1865: A Confederate warship disappears into the Atlantic. On board is a secret cargo that could forever change history.

1931: Kitty Mannock, a renowned Australian aviatrix, disappears in the Sahara, never to be seen again, while attempting a record-breaking flight from London to Capetown.

1995: Dirk Pitt rescues a young stunning woman while on a mission to find the remains of a Pharaoh’s funeral barge buried somewhere in the Nile.

Discovering that a top secret scientific installation is releasing a deadly chemical into the rivers, threatening the lives of thousands of people, Pitt must warn the world of the impending disaster.

But first, he must evade a brutal West African dictator and a French billionaire.

Sahara
Director: Breck Eisner
Cast: Penélope Cruz, Jude Akuwudike, Robert Cavanah, Mark Aspinall, Rakie Ayola, Lennie James, Emmanuel Ighodaro, Matthew Flynn
Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 1992
ISBN: 978-0008216658
Publisher: Harper Collins
Inca Gold

1532: A fleet of boats mysteriously land on an island in an inland sea where the ancient Andean people hide a heap of gold far more than any pharaoh. The people and the treasure however vanish soon afterwards.

1998: Deep in Peru’s Andes Mountains, Dirk Pitt rescues two American archaeologists from drowning in an ancient sacrificial pool.

The act however marks the beginning of his woes, as Pitt is soon plunged into a shadowy vortex of danger, extortion and treachery.

A terrifying criminal organization has gotten wind of the long-lost treasure worth nearly a billion dollars, and they’ll stop at nothing to seize the treasure.

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 1994
ISBN: 978-1416525721
Publisher: Pocket Star Books
Shock Wave

1856: A terrible storm wrecks a British ship transporting convicts to an Australian penal colony.

Among the survivors are two individuals who discover a huge source of diamonds on a lone tropical island. And with that, a powerful dynasty is born.

Nearly a-century-and-a-half later, Maeve Fletcher, one of their descendants, is rescued by Dirk Pitt on an island in Antarctica, along with other cruise ship passengers.

On an assignment to find out the source of a lethal plague that has been wiping out dolphins and seals in the Weddell Sea, Pitt discovers that the disease has been caused by a diamond-mining technology used by Maeve's family.

Will he be able to end the murderous exploitation and avert the death of millions?

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 1996
ISBN: 978-0743449670
Publisher: Downtown Press
Flood Tide

An insatiably greedy and inhuman Chinese businessman makes a fortune from smuggling Chinese immigrants into countries around the world, and the United States is no exception.

Following leads from Washington State to Louisiana, Dirk Pitt shockingly learns that the mogul is constructing a massive shipping port right in the middle of nowhere.

Why has the businessman chosen to go with the most unlikely of locations?

The trail triggers a relentless race to uncover the site where a strange treasure-filled ship sank after Chiang Kai-shek fled China in 1949.

And as the epic showdown nears, Pitt prepares for a confrontation from which he may never return…

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 1997
ISBN: 978-0743449779
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Atlantis Found

An Antarctic whaler comes across an old wreck whose frozen crew guard crates of mysterious antiquities.

A team of experts marvel at a wall covered in ancient inscriptions. Moments later, a huge dynamite blast buries them underneath the rocky ground of Colorado.

A US research vessel is ambushed by a ship from a war that seemingly ended more than half a century ago.

As the Director of Special Projects for NUMA, Dirk Pitt has to get to the bottom of the incidences.

Could they be somehow connected?

As more revelations are revealed, a foe threatening the future of mankind is unveiled.

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 1999
Ebook: B0182Q3492
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Valhalla Rising

NUMA Special Projects Director Dirk Pitt comes to the rescue of passengers aboard a luxury cruise liner, Emerald Dolphin, which mysteriously sinks after being ravaged by a catastrophic inferno.

In search of any clues that could point to foul play, given how the liner was powered by a revolutionary new propulsion system, Pitt is completely oblivious of the fact that sinister forces are scheming against him.

When the stakes increase and Pitt gets caught between the secrets of the past and the intrigues of the future, survival takes on a whole new meaning.

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 2001
ISBN: 978-0425204047
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Trojan Odyssey

The inhabitants of a floating resort are in the path of a devastating and unexpected storm brewing not far from the coast of Nicaragua.

With no way of saving themselves, all their hopes lie on Dirk Pitt and his NUMA team to launch a daring escape plan.

In the wake of the storm, Pitt and his team uncover evidence of a dark ancient mystery which could have deadly implications to the present world.

Unmasking a plot by an enigmatic billionaire to strikingly alter Earth's climate, Pitt sets off on a desperate race against time to prevent an impending global disaster.

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 2003
ISBN: 978-1405916219
Publisher: Penguin Books
Black Wind

The Japanese made one last attempt to unleash destruction during the final days of the Second World War.

Somewhat of a kamikaze mission, what made it different was that the Japanese sent two submarines to America’s west coast, both of which contained a devastating new strain of biological virus.

Although neither of the subs got to complete the mission, they weren’t really lost.

A sinister figure knows about where they might be and what their mission was. And his ruthless plan could forever change the world as we know it.

Will Dirk Pitt and his NUMA team prevent evil from being unleashed?

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 2004
ISBN: 978-0425204238
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Treasure of Khan

Revered as the greatest conqueror of all time, Genghis Khan at his blistering best reigned over an empire four times the size of Alexander the Great’s empire—an extensive are that stretched from the Pacific Ocean to the Caspian Sea.

And now somebody wants it back.

An enigmatic Mongolian magnate dreams of reinstating the conquests of ancient Mongolia.

He not only holds a shadowy secret about Genghis Khan, his grandson Kublai Khan and the treasures of Xanadu, but is also on a ruthless mission to cause death by the millions.

Will Dirk Pitt and his NUMA tea succeed when they face their deadliest foe yet?

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 2006
ISBN: 978-0425218235
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Arctic Drift

It’s 2011. The price of gas hits $10 per gallon.

President Garner Ward is forced to confront an unscrupulous Canadian faction that is disrupting his attempts to bring an end to America’s energy deficiency.

When a terrible explosion rocks Washington D.C., NUMA head Dirk Pitt survives by a whisker after the bomb destroys his lab, along with revolutionary records of research into an artificial photosynthesis process that could bring an end to global warming.

Will Dirk Pitt and his children, Dirk. Jr. and Summer, solve the mystery before the U.S goes to war with one of its closest allies?

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-0425231456
Publisher: Berkley
Crescent Dawn

327 A.D.: A Roman galley ferrying extraordinary cargo escapes narrowly after being ambushed by pirates.

1916: A British war vessel explodes under mysterious circumstances at the heart of the North Sea.

Present day: A group of some of the most renowned mosques in Turkey and Egypt are shattered by explosions.

Could there possibly be any connection between these incidences?

There to unravel the mystery is NUMA Director Dirk Pitt who learns that Roman artifacts found in Turkey and Israel are connected to the rise of a fundamentalist movement determined to reclaim the glory days of the Ottoman Empire.

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-0425242391
Publisher: Berkley
Poseidon's Arrow

America’s defense has been greatly enhanced by the development of a revolutionary attack submarine capable of incredible underwater speeds.

Ahead of the rest of the world with the cutting edge technology, a problem suddenly arises when a key element of the prototype mysteriously disappears, with the brains behind it ending up dead.

Furthermore, ships have started disappearing in the ocean never to be found again. And in the rare incidences where they are found, bodies burned to a crisp are usually discovered.

What could be going on?

Does it have anything to do with an Italian sub that vanished at sea in 1943?

NUMA Director Dirk Pitt and his team certainly have their work cut out…

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-0425265055
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Havana Storm

NUMA Director Dirk Pitt gets caught up in a dangerous web of deceit while investigating a poisonous tide in the Caribbean Sea that could be perilous to the United States, as he uncovers a post-Castro supremacy battle over Cuba.

Meanwhile, Pitt’s children, marine engineer Dirk and oceanographer Summer, are on the hunt for an Aztec stone that could very well reveal the whereabouts of a huge historical Aztec treasure; a chase that sees them end up in Cuba where the stone was believed to have been destroyed in 1898.

Pitt and his children may have faced desperate situations before, but never one quite as lethal as this...

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-0425279168
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Odessa Sea

While on a mission to look for the remains of a lost Ottoman ship on the Black Sea, NUMA Director Dirk Pitt and his counterpart Al Giordino respond to an urgent distress call, only to find lifeless bodies and sulfuric smell renting the air.

As the two begin digging for clues, they plunge deeper and deeper into a remarkable chain of discoveries.

From present-day nuclear smugglers to resolute Ukrainian renegades and a stunning anti-terrorism agent from Europol, only time will tell whether Pitt will survive his latest adventure.

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-0399575532
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Celtic Empire

A team of United Nations experts are brutally killed in El Salvador.

A fatal collision takes place in the waterways of Detroit.

Tomb raiders launch an attack on an archaeological site along the banks of the Nile.

Could there possibly be any connection between these incidences?

While on a routine investigation in South America, NUMA Director Dirk Pitt gets caught up in an international conspiracy that not only endangers his life, but that of his family.

Meanwhile, his children, Dirk and Summer, draw the attention of a group of tomb raiders after unearthing shocking discoveries in Egypt.

Though seemingly unrelated, these mysteries could unveil the secrets of an ancient enigma that could very well alter mankind’s future.

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-0735219014
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons

The NUMA Files

Zero Hour

A scientist has discovered how to exploit zero point energy, an unlimited source of energy contained in all matter everywhere.

The only problem with the discovery is that it triggers tectonic plate movements which result in terrible earthquakes.

One of the machines is buried deep underground while the other one is somewhere underneath an extensive ocean trench.

Will Kurt Austin, Joe Zavala and the rest of the US National Underwater and Marine Agency’s (NUMA) Special Assignments Team overcome the dark and greedy forces willing to do anything to tap into the world’s resources, preventing a huge catastrophe?

NB: This book was co-authored with Graham Brown.

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-0425267776
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Ghost Ship

Surviving by a whisker while trying to rescue passengers and crew from a sinking yacht, marine adventurer Kurt Austin wakes with distorted memories from the event.

Did he see an old friend and her children drown? Or perhaps the yacht was deserted by the time he came aboard?

Doubtful of his own recollection but determined to uncover the truth, Kurt launches a desperate mission that leads him to dark world of state-sponsored cybercrime, unearthing a pattern of missing scientists, questionable accidents, and a human trafficking conspiracy.

Will Kurt, with the help of Joe Zavala, bring down the criminal organization? Or will his quest mark the beginning of the end for him?

NB: This book was co-authored with Graham Brown.

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-0399167317
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
The Pharaoh's Secret

Kurt Austin, Head of NUMA special assignments, and his close friend Joe Zavala take on a brutal foe determined to build a new Egyptian empire as glorious as those of the pharaohs.

The execution of his plans however counts on the exploitation of a newly discovered aquifer beneath the Sahara.

But that’s not all. The power broker also possesses the black mist, a plant extract believed to take life from the living and restore it to the dead.

Finding themselves in their most perilous mission yet, the NUMA team must confront Osiris, the ruler of the Egyptian underworld, if they are to prevent the destruction of the entire world.

NB: This book was co-authored with Graham Brown.

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-0735215252
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Nighthawk

Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala are called into action after an aircraft with cutting edge technology mysteriously disappears over the South Pacific.

Although Russia and China greatly desire the revolutionary technology, America has bigger things to worry about.

A carefully held secret unbeknownst to everyone else, the lost X-37 carries a payload obtained from the upper limits of the atmosphere and stored at a temperature near absolute zero.

When frozen, it becomes inactive. But when thawed, it could cause total annihilation.

Will the dedicated NUMA team be able to avert the impending disaster?

NB: This book was co-authored with Graham Brown.

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-0399184024
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
The Rising Sea

Kurt Austin, Joe Zavala and the entire NUMA scientific team set off on a desperate search for answers around the globe after the world’s sea levels rise significantly beyond any possibly connection to a melted glacier.

In their quest, they uncover an ominous plan at the bottom of the East China Sea; one that could interfere with the Pacific balance of power and change the lives of billion of people.

From old Japanese talismans that have been around for five centuries, to a ruthless assassin who even the Yakuza distance themselves from, the NUMA team will stop at nothing to prevent an unthinkable tragedy.

NB: This book was co-authored with Graham Brown.

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-0525542971
Publisher: Penguin
Sea of Greed

Kurt Austin and his NUMA team are sent to the Gulf of Mexico to uncover the reason behind an explosion that shatters three oil rigs trying to revitalize a dying field.

Following various clues, they learn that a smart billionaire is attempting to provide alternative energy by developing the most advanced fuel-cell systems on the planet.

Bacteria initially lost decades ago, when two submarines disappeared without a trace in the Mediterranean, is depleting the oil before it can be extracted.

With ruthless assassins after him, will Kurt locate a missing submarine and stop the biological terror from being unleashed?

NB: This book was co-authored with Graham Brown.

Author: Clive Cussler
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-0735219045
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
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