Books

lots of booksI’m an avid reader. Crazy about it. I have tons of books – this is a chaotic snapshot of my library, mid alphabetisation. I especially collect books by Clive Cussler and Robert Crais. Don’t ask me why, but I do. I’ve listed them below (the ones in bold I own). Feel free to buy me any that I’m missing…

Clive Cussler

Clive Cussler essentially writes the same book, over and over again. It’s basically James Bond, based in America, with a high focus on underwater exploits.

  1. It starts with a prologue, where a WW2 plane crashes, or a German Submarine sinks, or a Mongolian horde is massacred. Each time, there is some vital artifact on board, that proves to be plot-changingly-important later on in the story.
  2. Then, there’s an evil bad guy, who happens to own a multi-billion dollar corporation, with a plan to half destroy the world as part of some dastardly plan.
  3. Finally, there’s the good guy. Always into collecting something, guns, poetry, classic cars. Always a ladies man, with a hard edge – “steely blue eyes, that look right into your soul” kind of thing. Generally works for NUMA, a sort of freelance underwater government agency.  

For the first 20 years, Clive Cussler used a character called Dirk Pitt exclusively in the “good guy” role. Unfortunately, by the time Dirk was 50, it became a bit more unlikely that he would be on the front lines.

Cussler then came up with the ingenious idea of Dirk having a son he never knew about, also called Dirk Pitt, who looks identical, and is also a marine engineer, who randomly appears in the last 3 pages of one of the books. Terrible story writing – imagine doing that in a school creative writing project, let alone a multi-million bestseller – but in effect allows Pitt to live on forever, which I’m cool with. Recently he has come up with a few more characters who are all great, but all also basically just Dirk Pitt again.

Dirk Pitt Adventures

Mediterranean Caper (1973)
Iceberg (1975)
Raise the Titanic (1976)
Vixen 03 (1978)
Night Probe (1981)
Pacific Vortex (1983)
Deep Six (1984)
Cyclops (1986)
Treasure (1988)
Dragon (1990)
Sahara (1992)
Inca Gold (1994)
Shockwave (1996)
Flood Tide (1997)
Atlantis Found (1999)
Valhalla Rising (2001)
Trojan Odyssey (2003)
Black Wind (2004)
Treasure of Khan (2006)
Arctic Drift (2008)
Crescent Dawn (2010)
Poseidon’s Arrow (2012)
Havana Storm (2014)

The Numa Files

Blue Gold (2000)
Serpent (1999)
Fire Ice (2002)
White Death (2003)
Lost City (2004)
Polar Shift (2005)
The Navigator (2007)
Medusa (2009)
Devil’s Gate (2011)
The Storm (2012)
Zero Hour (2013)
Ghost Ship (2014)
Pharaoh’s Secret (2015)

Oregon Files

Golden Buddha (2003)
The Sacred Stone (2004)
Dark Watch (2005)
Skeleton Coast (2006)
Plague Ship (2008)
Corsair (2009)
The Silent Sea (2010)
The Jungle (2011)
Mirage (2013)
Piranha (2015)

Isaac Bell Detective Series

The Chase (2007)
The Wrecker (2009)
The Spy (2010)
The Race (2011)
The Thief (2012)
The Striker (2013)
The Bootlegger (2014)
The Assassin (2015)

The Fargo Series

Spartan Gold (2009)
Lost Empire (2010)

The Kingdom (2011)
The Tombs (2012)
The Mayan Secrets (2013)
Eye of Heaven (2014)

The Solomon Curse (2015)

Robert Crais

Robert Crais writes excellent crime fiction. I’ve never read anyone who quite captures sarcasm in written prose so well: the majority of his books are entirely in the first person. His lead character is a sassy PI called Elvis Cole, whose self deprecating take on the world belies his compassionate interior. He’s also hard as nails.

With a nod to classic film noir, captivating descriptive language, and an intelligent understanding of how people tick, I’m always keen to read a Cole Novel…

The Monkey’s Raincoat (1987)
Stalking the Angel (1989)
Lullaby Town (1992)
Free Fall (1993)
Voodoo River (1995)
Sunset Express (1996)
Indigo Slam (1997)
L.A. Requiem (1999)
Demolition Angel (2000)
Hostage (2001)
The Last Detective (2003)
The Forgotten Man (2005)
The Two Minute Rule (2006)

The Watchman (2007)
Chasing Darkness (2008)
The First Rule (2010)
The Sentry (2011)
Taken (2012)
Suspect (2013)
The Promise (2015)

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