Hoystory reads

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on December 27, 2009

I just finished two Clive Cussler books to wrap up this extended holiday weekend (the first one I’ve had in a decade and a half). The first was “The Wrecker” the sequel to the exciting “The Chase” introducing us to the character of Isaac Bell, the top agent with the Van Dorn Detective Agency. Like “The Chase,” the action in “The Wrecker” largely takes place along the rail lines of the turn-of-the-century Western states where railroads are beginning to unite a far-flung nation.

An early 20th Century terrorist, known simply as The Wrecker, has been attacking rail lines and killing numerous innocent people in explosive-spawned landslides and ingeniously designed derailments. Bell’s job is to identify, and capture the the man while uncovering the motive for his seemingly mindless, bloodthirsty attacks.

While the astute reader will surmise The Wrecker’s identity long before Cussler reveals it, there are numerous twists that you won’t see coming and the book is an enjoyable ride.

The second book is the latest Dirk Pitt adventure. For decades Pitt has made James Bond look like an amateur, but despite his increasing years, he’s still capable of some impressive feats of bravery and ingenuity. In fact, “Arctic Drift” is a great adventure – if you can get past all of the preaching on anthropogenic global warming.

In the world of “Arctic Drift,” the Northwest Passage is open year-round due to runaway global warming. Gasoline is $10 a gallon and the noble president and his allies are looking for a bit of magic that will enable the government to cut greenhouse gases. Curiously, there’s no mention made of nuclear power. Oddly, Cussler also can’t seem to keep his story straight, because the Arctic he describes, and the characters are forced to battle in, is still too damn cold.

Where the late Michael Crichton’s “State of Fear” was a breath of fresh air, Cussler’s “Arctic Drift” is the book equivalent of “The Day After Tomorrow” – an adventure with all the trappings of the absurd AGW dogma.

I heartily encourage you to check out “The Wrecker.” Brave the “Arctic Drift” only if you’re a Dirk Pitt fan who can tolerate the absurdities of the Al Gore-like portrayal of a world afflicted by carbon dioxide.

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