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Ghost Ship [Format Kindle]

Clive Cussler , Graham Brown

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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

PROLOGUE—THE VANISHING
Durban, South Africa, July 25, 1909



They were driving into a void, or so it seemed to Chief Inspector
Robert Swan of the Durban Police Department.

On a moonless night, beneath a sky as dark as India ink,
Swan rode shotgun in the cab of a motortruck as it rumbled
down a dusty track in the countryside north of Durban. The
headlights of the big Packard cast yellow beams of light that
flickered and bounced and did little to brighten the path ahead.
As he stared into the gloom, Swan could see no more than forty
yards of the rutted path at any one time.

“How far to this farmhouse?” he asked, turning toward a
thin, wiry man named Morris, who was wedged in next to the
driver.

Morris checked his watch, leaned toward the driver, and
checked the odometer of the truck. After some mental calculations,
he glanced down at the map he held. “We should be there
soon, Inspector. No more than ten minutes to go, I’d say.”

The chief inspector nodded and grabbed the doorsill as the
bumpy ride continued. The Packard was known as a Three
Ton, the latest from America and one of the first motor vehicles
to be owned by the Durban Police Department. It had
come off the boat with the customized cab and windshield.
Enterprising workmen from the newly formed motor pool had
built a frame to cover the flat bed and stretched canvas over it,
though no one had done anything to make it more comfortable.

As the truck bounced and lurched over the rutted buggy
trail, Swan decided he would rather be on horseback. But what
the big rig lost in comfort it made up for in hauling power. In
addition to Swan, Morris, and the driver, eight constables rode
in back.

Swan leaned on the doorsill and turned to look behind him.
Four sets of headlights followed. Three cars and another Packard.
All told, Swan had nearly a quarter of the Durban police
force riding with him.

“Are you sure we need all these men?” Morris asked.

Perhaps it was a bit much, Swan thought. Then again, the
criminals they were after—a group known in the papers as the
Klaar River Gang—had numbers of their own. Rumors put
them between thirty and forty, depending on whom one believed.

Though they’d begun as common highwaymen, robbing
others and extorting those who tried to make an honest living
doing business out in the Veld, they’d grown more cunning and
violent in the last six months. Farmhouses of those who refused
to pay protection money were being burned to the ground.
Miners and travelers were disappearing without a trace. The
truth came to light when several of the gang were captured trying
to rob a bank. They were brought back to Durban for interrogation
only to be rescued in a brazen attack that left three
policemen dead and four others wounded.

It was a line that Swan would not allow them to cross. “I’m
not interested in a fair fight,” he explained. “Need I remind you
what happened two days ago?”

Morris shook his head, and Swan rapped his hand on the
partition that separated the cab from the back of the truck. A
panel slid open and the face of a burly man appeared, all but
filling the window.

“Are the men ready?” Swan asked.

“We’re ready, Inspector.”

“Good,” Swan said. “Remember, no prisoners tonight.”

The man nodded his understanding, but the words caused
Morris to offer a sideways glance.

“You have a problem?” Swan barked.

“No, sir,” Morris said, looking back at his map. “It’s just
that . . . we’re almost there. Just over this hill.”

Swan turned his attention forward once again and took a
deep breath, readying himself. Almost immediately he caught
the scent of smoke. It was distinct in flavor, like a bonfire.

The Packard crested the hill moments later, and the coal-
black night was cleaved in two by a frenzied orange blaze on
the field down below them. The farmhouse was burning from
one side to the other, whirls of fire curling around it and reaching
toward the heavens.

“Bloody hell,” Swan cursed.

The vehicles raced down the hill and spread out. The men
poured forth and took up positions surrounding the house.
No one hit them. No one fired.
Morris led a squad closer. They approached from upwind

and darted into the last section of the barn that wasn’t ablaze.
Several horses were rescued, but the only gang members they
found were already dead. Some of them half burned, others
merely shot and left to die.

There was no hope of fighting the fire. The ancient wood
and the oil-based paint crackled and burned like petrol. It put
out such heat that Swan’s men were soon forced to back off or
be broiled alive.

“What happened?” Swan demanded of his lieutenant.

“Looks like they had it out among themselves,” Morris said.

Swan considered that. Before the arrests in Durban, rumors
had been swirling that suggested the gang was fraying at the
seams. “How many dead?”
“We’ve found five. Some of the boys think they saw two
more inside, but they couldn’t reach ’em.”

At that moment gunfire rang out.

Swan and Morris dove behind the Packard for cover. From
sheltered positions, some of the officers began to shoot back,
loosing stray rounds into the inferno.
The shooting continued, oddly timed and staccato, though
Swan saw no sign of bullets hitting nearby.

“Hold your fire!” he shouted. “But keep your heads down.”

“But they’re shooting at us,” one of the men shouted.

Swan shook his head even as the pop-pop of the gunfire
continued. “It’s just ammunition going off in the blaze.”

The order was passed around, shouted from one man to the
next. Despite his own directive, Swan stood up, peering over
the hood of the truck.

By now the inferno had enveloped the entire farmhouse.
The remaining beams looked like the bones of a giant resting
on some Nordic funeral pyre. The flames curled around and
through them, burning with a strange intensity, bright white
and orange with occasional flashes of green and blue. It looked
like hell itself had risen up and consumed the gang and their
hideout from within.

As Swan watched, a massive explosion went off deep inside
the structure, blowing the place into a fiery scrap. Swan was
thrown back by the force of the blast, landing hard on his back,
as chunks of debris rattled against the sides of the Packard.

Moments after the explosion, burning confetti began falling,
as little scraps of paper fluttered down by the thousands,
leaving trails of smoke and ash against the black sky. As the fragments
kissed the ground, they began to set fires in the dry grass.

Seeing this, Swan’s men went into action without delay,
tamping out the embers to prevent a brushfire from surrounding
them.

Swan noticed several fragments landing nearby. He rolled
over and stretched for one of them, patting it out with his hand.
To his surprise, he saw numbers, letters, and the stern face of
King George staring back at him.

“Tenners,” Morris said excitedly. “Ten-pound notes. Thousands
of them.”

As the realization spread through the men, they redoubled
their efforts, running around and gathering up the charred
scraps with a giddy enthusiasm they rarely showed for collecting
evidence. Some of the notes were bundled and not too
badly burned. Others were like leaves in the fireplace, curled
and blackened beyond recognition.

“Gives a whole new meaning to the term blowing the loot,”
Morris said.

Swan chuckled, but he wasn’t really listening, his thoughts
were elsewhere; studying the fire, counting the bodies, working
the case as an inspector’s mind should.

Something was not right, not right at all.

At first, he put it down to the anticlimactic nature of the evening.
The gang he’d come to make war on had done the job for
him. That he could buy. He’d seen it before. Criminals often
fought over the spoils of their crimes, especially when they were
loosely affiliated and all but leaderless, as this gang was rumored
to be.

No, Swan thought, this was suspicious on a deeper level.

Morris seemed to notice. “What’s wrong?”

“It makes no sense,” Swan replied.

“What part of it?”

“The whole thing,” Swan said. “The risky daylight bank job.
The raid to get their men out. The gunfight in the street.”

Morris stared at him blankly. “I don’t follow you.”

“Look around,” Swan suggested. “Judging by the storm of
burnt cash raining down on us, these thugs were sitting on a
small fortune.”

“Yes,” Morris agreed. “So what?”

“So why rob a heavily defended bank in broad daylight if
you’re already loaded to the gills with cash? Why risk shooting
up Durban to get your mates out only to gun them down back
here?”

Morris stared at Swan for a long moment before nodding his
agreement. “I have no idea,” he said. “But you’re right. It makes
no sense at all.”

The fire continued to burn well into the morning hours,
only dying when the farmhouse was consumed. The operation
ended without casualties among the police, and the Klaar River
Gang was never heard from again.

Most considered it a stroke of good fortune, but Swan was
never convinced. He and Morris would discuss the events of
that evening for years, well into their retirement. Despite many
theories and guesses as to what really went on, it was a question
they would never be able to answer.

CHAPTER 1
170 miles West-Southwest of Durban, July 27, 1909


The SS Waratah plowed through the waves on a voyage from
Durban to Cape Town, rolling noticeably with the growing
swells. Dark smoke from coal-fired boilers spilled from her single
funnel and was driven in the opposite direction by a contrary
wind.

Sitting alone in the main lounge of the five-hundred-foot
steamship, fifty-one-year-old Gavin Brèvard felt the vessel roll
ponderously to starboard. He watched the cup and saucer in
front of him slide toward the edge of the table, slowly at first,
and then picking up speed as the angle of the ship’s roll increased.
At the last second, he grabbed for the cup, preventing
it from sliding off the edge and clattering to the floor.

The Waratah remained at a sharp pitch, taking a full two
minutes to right herself, and Brèvard began to worry about the
vessel he’d booked passage on.

In a prior life, he’d spent ten years at sea aboard various
steamers. On those ships the recoil was quicker, the keel more
adept at righting itself. This ship felt top-heavy to him. It made
him wonder if something was wrong.

“More tea, sir?”

Deep in thought, Brèvard barely noticed the waiter in the
uniform of the Blue Anchor Line.
He held out the cup he’d saved from destruction. “Merci.”
The waiter topped it off and moved on. As he left, a new

figure came into the room, a broad-shouldered man of perhaps
thirty, with reddish hair and a ruddy face. He made a direct line
for Brèvard, taking a seat in the chair opposite.

“Johannes,” Brèvard said in greeting. “Glad to see you’re not
trapped in your cabin like the others.”
Johannes looked a little green, but he seemed to be holding
up. “Why have you called me here?”
Brèvard took a sip of the tea. “I’ve been thinking. And I’ve
decided something important.”

“And what might that be?”

“We’re far from safe.”

Johannes sighed and looked away. Brèvard understood. Johannes
thought him to be a worrier. A fear-laden man. But
Brèvard was just trying to be cautious. He’d spent years with
people chasing him, years living under the threat of imprisonment
or death. He had to think five steps ahead just to remain
alive. It had tuned his mind to a hyperattentive state.

“Of course we’re safe,” Johannes replied. “We’ve assumed
new identities. We left no trail. The others are all dead, and the
barn has been burned to the ground. Only our family continues
on.”

Brèvard took another sip of tea. “What if we’ve missed
something?”

“It doesn’t matter,” Johannes insisted. “We’re beyond the
reach of the authorities here. This ship has no radio. We might
as well be on an island somewhere.”

That was true. As long as the ship was at sea, they could rest
and relax. But the journey would end soon enough.

“We’re only safe until we dock in Cape Town,” Brèvard
pointed out. “If we haven’t covered our trail as perfectly as we
think, we may arrive to a greeting of angry policemen or His
Majesty’s troops.”

Johannes did not reply right away. He was thinking, soaking
the information in. “What do you suggest?” he asked finally.

“We have to make this journey last forever.”

“And how do we do that?”

Brèvard was speaking metaphorically. He knew he had to be
more concrete for Johannes. “How many guns do we have?”

“Four pistols and three rifles.”

“What about the explosives?”

“Two of the cases are still full,” Johannes said with a scowl.
“Though I’m not sure it was wise to bring them aboard.”

“They’ll be fine,” Brèvard insisted. “Wake the others, I have
a plan. It’s time we took destiny into our own hands.”

Captain Joshua Ilbery stood on the Waratah’s bridge despite
it being time for the third watch to take over. The weather
concerned him. The wind was gusting to fifty knots, and it
was blowing opposite to the tide and the current. This odd
combination was building the waves into sharp pyramids, unusually
high and steep, like piles of sand pushed together from
both directions.

“Steady on, now,” Ilbery said to the helmsman. “Adjust as
needed, we don’t want to be broadsided.”

“Aye,” the helmsman said.

Ilbery lifted the binoculars. The light was fading as evening
came on, and he hoped the wind would subside in the
night.

Scanning the whitecaps ahead of him, Ilbery heard the
bridge door open. To his surprise, a shot rang out. He dropped
the binoculars and spun to see the helmsman slumping to the
deck, clutching his stomach. Beyond him stood a group of
passengers with weapons, one of whom walked over and took
the helm.

Before Ilbery could utter a word or grab for a weapon, a
ruddy-faced passenger slammed the butt of an Enfield rifle into
his gut. He doubled over and fell back, landing against the
bulkhead.

The man who’d attacked him aimed the barrel of the Enfield
at his heart. Ilbery noticed it was held by rough hands, more fitting
on a farmer or rancher than a first-class passenger. He
looked into the man’s eyes and saw no mercy. He couldn’t be
sure of course, but Ilbery had little doubt the man he was facing
had shot and killed before.

“What is the meaning of this?” Ilbery growled.

One of the group stepped toward him. He was older than
the others, with graying hair at the temples. He wore a finer suit
and carried himself with the loose elegance of a leader. Ilbery
recognized him as one of a group who’d come on board in
Durban. Brèvard, was the name. Gavin Brèvard.

“I demand an explanation,” Ilbery said.

Brèvard smirked at him. “I should have thought it quite
obvious. We’re commandeering this ship. You’re going to set a
new course away from the coast and then back to the east.
We’re not going to Cape Town.”

“You can’t be serious,” Ilbery said. “We’re in the middle of
a bad stretch. The ship is barely responding as it is. To make a
turn now would—”

Gavin aimed the pistol at a spot halfway between the captain’s
eyes. “I’ve worked on steamers before, Captain. Enough
to know that this ship is top-heavy and performing poorly. But
she’s not going to go over, so stop lying to me.”

“This ship will surely go to the bottom,” Ilbery said.

“Give the order,” Brèvard demanded, “or I’ll blow a hole in
your skull and pilot this ship myself.”

Ilbery’s eyes narrowed to slits. “Perhaps you can navigate,
but what about the rest of the duties? Do you and this lot intend
to man the ship yourselves?”

Brèvard smiled wryly. He’d known from the start that this
was his weakness, the chink in his armor. He had eight others
with him, three of them children. Even if they’d been adults,
nine people couldn’t even keep the fires stoked for long, let
alone guard the passengers and crew, and pilot the ship at the
same time.

But Brèvard was used to playing the angles. His whole life
was a study in getting others to do as he wished, either against
their wills or without them knowing they were doing his bidding.
He’d known he needed leverage, and the explosives in the
two cases enabled him to turn the odds in his favor.

“Bring in the prisoner,” he said.

Ilbery watched as the bridge door was opened and an unkempt
teenager appeared. This one brought in a man covered
in coal dust. Blood flowed from a broken nose and a gash
across his forehead.

“Chief?”

“I’m sorry, Cap’n,” the chief said. “They tricked us. They
used children to distract us. And then they overpowered us.
Three of the lads are shot. But it’s so loud down there no one
heard until it was too late.”

“What have they done?” the captain asked, his eyes growing
wide.
“Dynamite,” the chief said. “A dozen sticks attached to boilers
three and four.”

Ilbery turned to Brèvard. “Are you insane? You can’t put explosives
in an environment like that. The heat, the embers. One
spark and—”

“And we’ll all be blown to kingdom come,” Brèvard said,
finishing the thought for him. “Yes, I’m well aware of the consequences.
The thing is, a rope waits for me onshore, the kind
that stretches one’s neck. If I’m going to die, I’d rather it be
quick and glorious than slow and painful. So don’t test me.
I have three of my people down there with rifles like these to
make sure no one removes those explosives, at least not until
I leave this ship at a port of my choosing. Now, do as I say and
turn this vessel away from the coast.”

“And then what?” Ilbery asked.

“When we’ve reached our destination, we’ll take a few of
your boats, a heap of supplies, and everyone’s cash and jewelry,
and we’ll leave your ship and disappear. You and your crew will
be free to sail back to Cape Town with a fantastic story to tell
the world.”

Using the bulkhead behind him for support, Captain Ilbery
forced himself up and stood. He stared at Brèvard with contempt.
The man had him and both knew it.

“Chief,” he said without taking his eyes off the hijacker.
“Take the helm and turn us about.”

The chief staggered to the wheel and pushed the hijacker
aside and did as ordered. The rudder answered the helm, and
the SS Waratah began to turn.

“Good decision,” Brèvard said.

Ilbery wondered about that, but knew he had no choice.

For his part, Brèvard was pleased. He sat down in a chair,
laid the rifle across his lap, and studied the captain closely. Having
spent his lifetime misleading others, from policemen to
powder-wigged judges, Brèvard had learned that some men
were easier to read than others. The honest ones were more
obvious than the rest.

As Brèvard stared at this captain, he pegged him as one of
those. A man with pride and smarts and a great sense of duty
for his passengers and crew. That sense of duty compelled him
to comply with Brèvard’s demands in order to protect the lives
of those on board. But it also made him dangerous.

Even as he acquiesced, Ilbery stood tall and ramrod straight.
Though he clutched his stomach from the blow he’d taken, he
kept a fire burning in his eyes that beaten men didn’t have. All
of which suggested the captain was not ready to relinquish his
ship just yet. A countermove would come, sooner rather than
later.

Brèvard didn’t blame the captain. Quite frankly, he respected
him. All the same, he made a mental note to be ready.

SS Harlow—10 miles ahead of the Waratah

Like the captain of the Waratah, the captain of the Harlow was
on the bridge. Thirty-foot waves and fifty-knot winds required
it. He and his crew were making constant corrections, working
hard to keep the Harlow from going off course. They’d even
pumped in some extra water as ballast to help reduce the roll.

As the first officer reentered the bridge following an inspection
run, the captain looked his way. “How are we faring, number
one?”

“Shipshape from stem to stern, sir.”

“Excellent,” the captain said. He stepped to the bridge wing
and glanced out behind them. The lights of another vessel
could be seen on the horizon. She was several miles astern, and
making a great deal of smoke.

“What do you make of her?” the captain asked. “She’s
changed course, out away from the coast.”

“Could be a turn to get more clearance from the shoals,” the
first officer said. “Or perhaps the wind and current are forcing
her off. Any idea who it is?”

“Not sure,” the captain said. “She might be the Waratah.”

Moments later, a pair of flashes only seconds apart lit out
from the vessel’s approximate position. They were bright
white and then orange, but at this range there was no sound,
like watching distant fireworks. When they faded, the horizon
was dark.

Both the captain and first officer blinked and stared into
that darkness.

“What was that?” the first officer asked. “An explosion?”

The captain wasn’t sure. He grabbed for the binoculars and
took a moment to train them on the spot. There was no sign of
fire, but a cold chill gripped his spine as he realized the lights of
the mystery ship had vanished as well.

“Could have been flares from a brushfire on the shore behind
them,” the first officer suggested. “Or heat lightning.”

The captain didn’t respond and continued to stare through
the binoculars, sweeping the field of view. He hoped the first
officer was right, but if the flashes of light had come from the
shore or the sky, then what had happened to the ship’s lights
visible only moments before?

Upon docking, both men would learn that the Waratah was
overdue and missing. She’d never made port in Cape Town, nor
had she returned to Durban or made landfall anywhere else.

In quick succession both the Royal Navy and the Blue Anchor
Line would dispatch ships in search of the Waratah, but
they would return empty-handed. No lifeboats were found. No
wreckage. No debris. No bodies floating in the water.

Over the years, nautical groups, government organizations,
and treasure seekers would search for the wreck of the missing
ship. They would use sonar, magnetometers, and satellite imaging.
They would dispatch divers and submarines and ROVs to
scour various wrecks along the coast. But it was all in vain.
More than a century after her disappearance, not a single trace
of the Waratah had ever been found.

CHAPTER 2
Maputo Bay, Mozambique, September 1987



The sun was falling toward the horizon as an aging fifty-foot
trawler sailed into the bay from the open waters of the Mozambique
Channel. For Cuoto Zumbana, it had been a good day.
The hold of his boat was filled with fresh fish, no nets had
been torn or lost, and the old motor had survived yet another
journey—though it continued to belch gray smoke.

Satisfied with life, Zumbana closed his eyes and turned
toward the sun, letting it bathe the weathered folds of his face.
There was little he enjoyed more than that glorious feeling.
Such peace it brought him that the excited shouts of his crew
did not break him from it at first.

“Mashua,” one shouted.

Zumbana opened his eyes, squinting in the glare as the sunlight
blazed off the sea like liquid fire. Blocking the light with
his hand, he saw what the men were pointing at, a small wooden
dinghy bobbing in the chop of the late afternoon. It seemed
to be adrift, and there didn’t appear to be anyone on board.

“Take us to it,” he ordered. To find a small boat he could sell
would only make the day better. He would even share some of
the money with the crew.

The trawler changed course, and the old engine chugged a
little harder. Soon, they were closing the gap.

Zumbana’s face wrinkled. The small boat was badly weathered
and looked hastily patched. Even from fifty feet away he
could see that much of it was rotted.

“Someone must have dumped it just to be rid of it,” one of
his crewmen said.

“There might be something of value on board,” Zumbana
said. “Take us alongside.”

The helmsman did as ordered, and the trawler eased to a
stop beside the dilapidated craft. As they bumped it, another
crewman hopped aboard. Zumbana threw him a rope, and the
two boats were quickly tied off and drifting together.

From his position, Zumbana saw empty cooking pots and
piles of rags, certainly nothing of value, but as the crewman
pulled a moth-eaten blanket aside all thoughts of money were
chased from his mind.

A young woman and two boys lay beneath the old blanket.
They were clearly dead. Their faces were covered with sores
from the sun and their bodies stiff. Their clothing was tattered,
and a bloodstained rag was tied to the woman’s shoulder. A
closer look revealed scabbed wrists and ankles as if the three of
them had once been held in cuffs and restraints.

Zumbana crossed himself.

“We should leave it,” one of the crewmen said.
“It’s a bad omen,” another added.
“No. We must respect the dead,” Zumbana replied. “Especially
those who have been taken so young.”

The men looked at him suspiciously but did as they were
ordered. With a rope secured for towing, they turned once
again for shore with the old double-ended boat trailing out
behind them.

Zumbana moved to the stern, where he could keep an eye
on the small craft. His gaze went from the boat to the horizon
beyond. He wondered about the occupants of the small boat.
Who were they? Where had they come from? What danger
had they escaped only to die on the open sea? So young, he
thought, considering the three bodies. So fragile.

The boat itself was another mystery. The top plank in the
boat’s side seemed as if it might have once been painted with a
name, but it was unreadable now. He worried if the boat would
make it into port. Unlike its dead passengers, it seemed ancient.
Certainly it was older than the three occupants. In fact, it
looked to him like it might belong to another era all together.

Revue de presse

The guy I read (Tom Clancy)

Cussler is hard to beat (Daily Mail)

Delivers what it promises (Financial Times)

The Adventure King (Sunday Express)

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2866 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 440 pages
  • Editeur : G.P. Putnam's Sons (27 mai 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00G3L0ZTG
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 CLIVE CUSSLER CONTINUES TO ENTERTAIN! 27 mai 2014
Par the GreatReads! - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Ghost Ship by Clive Cussler is the twelfth book in the bestselling National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA) Files series. Co-written with Graham Brown, this installment of the series is set in the USA, North Korea, South Korea and a few African countries. With Dirk Pitt saddled as the head of NUMA, the action has shifted to Kurt Austin, Joe Zavala. and the husband-wife team of Paul and Gamay Trout as the main players.

Believing that Sienna Westgate may still be alive, waiting to be found, Kurt Austin goes in search of her, taking him to various countries and continents. Sienna, his long-lost love, is believed to have died when her family’s yacht sunk in the Indian Ocean. But there are reasons to hope that she may still be alive. However, he soon uncovered an entrenched and vast web of human trafficking, cybercrime and suspicious accidents. And Kurt, aided by his friends, must get to the bottom of it if he is to know with certainty the fate of Sienna Westgate.

Ghost Ship by Clive Cussler is full of suspense, fast-paced, exciting and totally enjoyable, and fans of the NUMA Files series will find the latest addition a great reading escape.
14 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Computer Hacking on Steroids 1 juin 2014
Par William D. Curnutt - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I always get excited when a new Clive Cussler novel is coming out. But I ask myself, "Can he do it again and pull off another fascinating story?" I also ask myself, "What Global Topic hasn't he covered?"

Well, here it comes. The world has grown so dependent on computer systems that we don't fully understand just how vulnerable that can really make us. We all know that hackers are out there and they are stealing identities from people every day and ruining credit scores and lives.

But what if the hackers were to actually hack a "Government" and steal that "Government's" identity? How devastating could that really be, and is it really possible.

Add to that some detective work, some advance bioengineering issues and you have a novel that is fun to read, fast paced and typical Cussler good times.

Kurt Austin is struggling as we start the book. He has appeared to have an emotional melt down. He is seeing a psychiatrist to try and get himself back in the game. Really, come on, Kurt Austin? He is our hero of hero's, how can he have a mental breakdown. But it is true and those around him are concerned about his ability to function.

Throw into the mix that he answers a rescue call for a ship in distress to discover that it is an old love, Sienna, who is on the ship with her husband and their children. When he and Zavala get there the boat is sinking. He goes aboard (in a huge storm) to try and effect a rescue. But all he does is see the floating body of what is most likely one of Sienna's children. He then is knocked out cold and has to be rescued himself.

When he comes to, he accepts the fact that Sienna is dead and moves on. But is that true Kurt Austin fashion? Not on your life and that leads us to believe there truly is something wrong with him.

In another "Side" story the Trouts are later diving on the sunken ship that Sienna was in when all their computers go haywire and the computers attempt to thwart their investigations as well as try to kill them. Futuristic computers out of control! That is the stuff of the future thrillers.

The Trouts then discover, of all things, a ghost ship. A boat that has been missing for a 100 years. What possibility can this ghost ship have to our current sinking?

Well, keep reading to find out. I won't give you any more details, you have to read on your own. But Cussler and his co-writer have done it again, they have given us a fun read that is probable even though fantastical to comprehend.

Will Austin come out of his funk? Will he have a chance to save a beautiful girl? Will the world melt down due to a global computer virus?

Keep reading to find out.

Enjoy!
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A Cracking Read! 4 juillet 2014
Par Beck - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to read a Clive Cussler novel, it is right up my alley – military/scientific action taking place predominantly at sea. I love all books that discuss the sea – I have always been bored by fighter jets, but intrigued by submarines and warships. And Ghost Ship certainly had nautical themes in spades. Despite not reading any of the previous books in this series, I could still relate to the characters, and mentions of backstory were small or simply inconsequential things that didn’t jump out to someone who hadn’t read any of the older books.

The plot is action packed, and far fetched (just how I like my military thrillers, thankyou.), and there was a sprinkling of humour and morality that just lifted the story. The plot was quite easy to follow, and even though the turns weren’t surprising, the journey was thorougly enjoyable.

The characters were a good ensemble cast, which is suprising as these books usually have one ‘hero’ character. It’s nice to see people working as a TEAM!. My personal favourite character of this novel was Duke – everytime he said something, I laughed out lout. Especially when things were in a bit of a crisis state.

I am unable to compare this book to any other Cussler novels, as previously mentioned, this is my first foray into his works, but it was enjoyable enough reading experience. Maybe when I have hunted out some of the older Cusslers I will be able to see how different this book is his, when compared to his standalone works.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Best I've read in a long time! 12 juin 2014
Par A. Goyette - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
The last half dozen or so books of Cussler's had, in my opinion, been something of a disappointment. This book, however, is as good as I remember Cussler being! I loved how they worked the "ghost ship" into the story and how one of the "bad guys" turned out to be just a "lost soul", taken advantage of and made to believe that she was evil. In the end, she showed her true colors, helping Austin and Zavala to save the day. The story behind the "ghost ship" is intriguing as well and the made up ending fits perfectly, making you wonder if something similar really did happen to the ship. Who knows? Maybe someday we'll find out the truth. I highly recommend this book, as I finished it practically in one day. I just couldn't put it down! One of the best Cussler books I've read in quite a while!
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Merciless villains, double-dealing partners and swift seafaring activity all carry Cussler fans on a harrowing chase. 7 juillet 2014
Par Bookreporter - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Clive Cussler and Graham Brown bring to life this latest Kurt Austin adventure from the NUMA Files, enticing readers with a prologue set in 1909 in Durban, South Africa. Chief Inspector Robert Swan of the Durban Police Department and his men have traced the notorious Klaar River Gang to a remote farmhouse. To their astonishment, the building is on fire, flames shooting into the dark sky. Shots soon ring out, and the lawmen duck for cover. They discover no outlaws shooting but hordes of ammunition igniting in the inferno. A massive explosion from within the house sends scraps of confetti fluttering to earth. The paper pieces, some bundled together, prove to be thousands of British 10-pound notes, presumably the loot from the Gang’s last bank robbery.

From the puzzling turn-of-the-century scene, Cussler and Brown’s tale advances to a bay off the coast of Mozambique in 1987. A fishing trawler spots a small wooden dinghy, badly weathered and drifting. With his craft now roped to the dinghy, visions of treasure cross the captain’s mind. But once aboard, his crew uncovers the bodies of a young woman and two boys, dead with signs that they had been held captive. Markings etched on its wooden hull indicate that the small boat may have come from a bygone era.

Cussler and Brown skillfully move forth into the present day, when NUMA crew members Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala fly on board a rescue helicopter on a mission to offer assistance to vessels floundering in the Indian Ocean in a raging storm off South Africa. When the Ethernet, an American luxury yacht belonging to Internet billionaire Brian Westgate, is located, it’s about to turn over. Westgate is believed to be on board with his wife, Sienna, and two children. Sienna is a world-famous computer programmer and Austin’s former love. Austin reaches the doomed yacht by dangling from a rope hoist onto its deck, fighting fierce water swells. Making his way to a glass wall, he sees a wet blonde face, with a child floating beside the woman, on the side opposite him. He feels himself yanked by a cable, then dropped against the sinking bulkhead when the cable snaps.

Several months later, Austin recovers from his near-drowning but is consumed by recurring nightmares that leave him dazed and confused. His fractured skull is healing, but the traumatic brain injury has left him with a severe case of survivor’s guilt. He is not convinced that Sienna is dead. An inquiry through international contacts gives credibility to his belief that she is alive, possibly being held hostage. But why? And by whom? Austin’s instinct leads him in the direction of her rumored sighting.

On the advice of his doctor, Austin returns to work as NUMA Director of Special Projects, with Zavala as Assistant Director. Both attend an evening event at the Smithsonian where Westgate, the lone yacht survivor, will donate computers to downtrodden schoolchildren, armed with secure networking from the Phalanx program developed by his late wife. Austin engages him afterward with a question: “Where were you when the Ethernet went down?” The CEO of Westgate’s company, David Forrester, intervenes and calls Security, at which point Austin and Zavala are escorted from the building. When U.S. government sources reveal that Austin’s suspicions may have merit, Austin, Zavala and the entire crew become embroiled in a situation that may erupt with far-reaching consequences.

With most pieces to a state-sponsored puzzle of suspicious events revealed, Cussler and Brown invent a plot both convoluted and bizarre. Outcomes potentially have world-crashing cyber-outcomes. Into the fray comes a tangle of criminal activity rooted in early 20th-century unsolved mysteries. Descendants from ill-fated crime families of earlier eras carry out horrendous plans to rule modern society from its cyberspace. Mozambique, Dubai, North and South Korea, Iran, South Africa and the vast Indian Ocean provide backdrops for the adventures of the NUMA crew. In these 400+ pages, human trafficking and kidnapped scientists factor into the broad-based pursuit of the truth. Merciless villains, double-dealing partners and swift seafaring activity all carry Cussler fans on a harrowing chase to outwit the bad guys in favor of good.

Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.
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