Sahara (Dirk Pitt Series #11)

Sahara (Dirk Pitt Series #11)

by Clive Cussler

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1996, Egypt. Searching for a treasure on the Nile, DIRK PITT thwarts the attempted assassination of a beautiful U.N. scientist investigating a disease that is driving thousands of North Africans into madness, cannibalism, and death. The suspected cause of the raging epidemic is vast, unprecedented pollution that threatens to extinguish all life in the world's seas. Racing to save the world from environmental catastrophe, Pitt and his team, equipped with an extraordinary, state-of-the-art yacht, run a gauntlet between a billionaire industrialist and a bloodthirsty West African tyrant. In the scorching desert, Pitt finds a gold mine manned by slaves and uncovers the truth behind two enduring mysteries — the fate of a Civil War ironclad and its secret connection with Lincoln's assassination, and the last flight of a long-lost female pilot....Now, amidst the blazing, shifting sands of the Sahara, DIRK PITT will make a desperate stand — in a battle the world cannot afford to lose!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780671789237
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: 11/28/1992
Series: Dirk Pitt Series , #11
Pages: 576

About the Author

Clive Cussler is the author or coauthor of over eighty previous books in five bestselling series, including Dirk Pitt®, NUMA® Files, Oregon® Files, Isaac Bell, and Sam and Remi Fargo. His nonfiction works include Built for Adventure: The Classic Automobiles of Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt, and Built to Thrill: More Classic Automobiles from Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt, plus The Sea Hunters and The Sea Hunters II; these describe the true adventures of the real NUMA, which, led by Cussler, searches for lost ships of historic significance. With his crew of volunteers, Cussler has discovered more than sixty ships, including the long-lost Confederate ship Hunley. He lives in Arizona.


Phoenix, Arizona

Date of Birth:

July 15, 1931

Place of Birth:

Aurora, Illinois


Pasadena City College; Ph.D., Maritime College, State University of New York, 1997

Read an Excerpt


A Dirk Pitt Adventure
By Clive Cussler

Pocket Star Books

Copyright © 1992 Clive Cussler
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-7434-9719-8

Chapter One

May 10, l996 Alexandria, Egypt

The white sands of the empty beach flared beneath the barefeet of Eva Rojas, the fine grains sifting between her toes. She stood and gazed at the Mediterranean Sea. The deepwater was dyed cobalt blue, becoming emerald as it shallowed, and then fading to aquamarine as its waves fanned out on the bleached sand.

Eva had driven her rental car 110 kilometers west from alexandria before stopping at a deserted section of beach not far from the town of El Alamein where the great desert war of World War II was fought. Parking off the coastal highway, she collected her tote bag and walked through low dunes toward the tide line.

She wore a coral one-piece stretch jersey bathing suit that fit her like a second skin. Her arms and shoulders we recovered by a matching top. She stood gracefully, lightly, and her body was firm, the limbs slim and tan. Her red-gold hair was tied in a long braid that fell down her back almost to her waist and glistened under the sun like polished copper. She stared from Dresden blue eyes that glowed from a face with smooth skin and high cheekbones. Eva was thirty-eight but could have easily passed for thirty. She would never make the cover of Vogue, but she was pretty with a vibrantwholesomeness that men, even much younger men, found very appealing.

The beach appeared deserted. She stood poised, turning her head and staring up and down the shore like a cautious deer. The only other sign of life was a Jeep Cherokee, painted turquoise with the letters NUMA on the door, sitting about a hundred meters up the road. She had passed it before pulling over and parking. The Jeep's occupant was nowhere to be seen.

The morning sun had already warmed the sand, and it felt hot to her naked feet as she walked toward the water. She stopped a few meters short of the water's edge and spreadout a beach towel. She checked the time before dropping her watch in the tote bag. Ten after ten. After applying a number25 sunscreen lotion, she stretched out on her back, sighed, and began soaking up the African sun.

Eva still suffered from the lingering effects of jet lag after the long flight from San Francisco to Cairo. That and four days of nonstop emergency sessions with physicians and fellow biologists over the strange outbreaks of nervous disorders recently discovered throughout the southern Sahara Desert. Taking a break from the exhausting conferences, she wanted nothing more than to immerse herself in a few hours of rest and solitude before traveling through the vast desert on a research mission. Gratefully, as the seabreeze soothed her skin, she closed her eyes and promptly dozed off.

When Eva awoke, she glanced at her watch again. It read eleven-fifty. She had been asleep an hour and a half. The sunscreen had held sunburn to a light shade of pink. She rolled over on her stomach and gazed around the beach. A pair of men in short-sleeved shirts and khaki shorts were slowly walking in her direction along the water's edge. They quickly stopped as they spotted her observing them and turned as if staring at a passing ship. They were still a good 200 meters away, and she took no more notice of them.

Suddenly, something caught her eye in the water some distance from shore. A head with black hair broke the surface. Eva held a hand over her eyes to shade the sun and squinted. A man with a dive mask and swim fins was snorkeling alone in deep water beyond the breakers. He appeared to be spearfishing. She watched as he dove out of sight, remaining underwater for so long she thought he was surely drowning. But then he resurfaced and continued his hunt. After several minutes, he swam toward shore, expertly catching a breaking wave and body surfing into the shallows where he stood up.

He held a strange-looking spear gun with a long barbed shaft and surgical rubber attached to its ends. With his other hand, he carried a group of fish, none weighing less than 3pounds and attached by a stainless steel hoop that hung from a belt and ran through their gills.

Despite a deep tan, his craggy face didn't bear Arabic features. His thick ebony hair was plastered down by the saltwater and the sun sparkled the drops of water clinging to the matted hair on his chest. He was tall, hard-bodied, and broad-shouldered, and walked with a loose grace that was impossible for most men. She guessed him to be close to forty.

As he passed Eva, the man coolly licked his eyes over her. He was close enough so that she could see they were an opaline green, set wide with a clear glimpse of the white around the iris. He stared at her with such direct candor that it seemed to reach into Eva's mind and mesmerize her. Part of her was afraid he might pause and say something, the other part wishing he would, but his white teeth showed in a devastating smile as he nodded and walked past her to the highway.

She watched him until he disappeared behind the dunes in the area where she had seen the NUMA jeep. What's the matter with me, she thought, I should have at least acknowledged his attention with a smile in return. Then she dismissed him in her mind, deciding that it would have been a waste of time since he probably couldn't speak English anyway. And yet, her eyes shined with a light that had not been there for a long time. How odd, she thought, to feel young and excited by a strange male who gazed at her for one brief moment, and who would never pass her way again.

She felt like going into the water to cool off, but the two men strolling along the beach had approached and were passing between Eva and the surf so she modestly decided to wait until they had passed on. They didn't have the fine features of Egyptians, but the flatter nose, darker almost black skin, and matted curly hair of people who lived on the southern fringe of the Sahara.

They stopped and furtively looked up and down the beach for perhaps the twentieth time. Then suddenly, they where upon her.

"Get away!" she screamed in instinctive reaction. She frantically tried to fight them off, but one, a slimy-eyed, rat-faced man with a thick black moustache, brutally grasped her by the hair and twisted her on her back. A cold fear shot through her as the other man, whose tobacco-stained teeth were etched in a sadistic smile, dropped to his knees and sat across her thighs. The rat-faced attacker straddled her chest, his legs pressing against her arms, forcing her deep into the sand. Now she was pinned helplessly, totally, unable to move little else than her fingers and feet.

Strangely, there was no lust in their eyes. Neither manmade any attempt to tear away her swimsuit. They were not acting like men intent on rape. Eva screamed again, high and shrill. But her only reply was the surf. There wasn't another soul to be seen on the beach.

Then the rat-faced man's hands closed over her nose and mouth, and he began to smother her calmly and purposely. His weight on her rib cage added to the constriction of air. The supply of air to her lungs was completely cut off. Through the hypnotic spell of terror, she realized with horrified disbelief that they intended to kill her. She tried to scream again, but the sound came muffled. She felt no pain, only blind panic and shocked paralysis.

She tried desperately to tear away the unrelenting pressure on her face, but her arms and hands were gripped as if in a vise. Her lungs demanded air that wasn't there. Blackness began to creep into the edge of her vision. Desperately, she held onto consciousness, but she could feel it slipping away. She saw the man who was sitting on her thighs peer over the shoulder of her murderer, realizing his leering face was the last sight she would ever see.

Eva closed her eyes as she approached the brink of a black void. The thought that flashed through her brain was that she was having a nightmare, and that if she opened her eyes it would be gone. She had to struggle to lift her eyelids for one final look at reality.

It was a nightmare, she thought almost joyously. The man with the stained teeth wasn't leering anymore. A thin metal shaft was protruding from both his temples, much like a novelty arrow that fitted over the head and looked as if it had been shot through the skull. The assailant's face seemed to collapse and he fell backward over her feet, his arms spread wide in crucifixion.

Rat-face was so intent on smothering the life from Eva that he didn't notice his friend had fallen away. Then for one second, maybe two, he froze as a pair of large hands materialized and tightly clamped around his chin and the top of his head. Eva felt the pressure over her nose and lips die as her assassin threw up his arms and furiously tore at the hands that were gripping his skull. The utter unexpectedness of this new development only added to the unreality of the nightmarish shock in Eva's mind.

Before blackness closed over her, she heard a crunching sound, like a person biting down on an ice cube, and she had a fleeting glimpse of the killer's eyes, wide open, protruding, staring sightlessly out of a head that had been twisted around in a full 360-degree circle.


Excerpted from Sahara by Clive Cussler Copyright © 1992 by Clive Cussler. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sahara 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 74 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book when I saw the trailer for the movie. I have the tendency to read the books before the movies come out just to see how different the books will be. The movie didn't even compare to the book. A must read for an adventure seeker.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sahara has almost everything from a perfect book: It's funny, action packed and has some romance in there. It's starts off addicting enough with and iron clad warship and Kitty Mannock. Sahara is definitly one of the best Dirk Pitt books. The only real complaint I have is the legnth of the book. I felt it could have been shorter by about 40 pages. As usual the ending scene with the rescue is pure Cussler. Meaning that when all hope seems lost Al or Dirk find a way to kick more butt and win. The best part of Sahara is that it appeals to about everyone. Action nuts, Adventure freaks, Political conspiracy lovers. It's got about it all. It's a roller coaster ride that everyone should take a ride on! It's the 3rd best Pitt book and gets a five out of five.
axyrcab More than 1 year ago
Great story. Plot developed well.
Snarklesta More than 1 year ago
This is the first Clive Cussler book I ever read, I was 12. I loved it then, and I love it now. It's one of the few books I can read over and over again. It does start out a little slow in the beginning, but if you stick it out it more than compensates. It's 384973483 times better than the movie. Had to throw that out there.
JBG6000 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book like I enjoy most of Clive Clusslers books I have read. I enjoyed being able to compare to the movie and I understand why Clive Cussler was pissed the movie is very different. I am glad to have it in my collection.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Al of his books that I have read so far have been the greatest, this make the fifth book so far. I hope Clive never runs out of material.
zdunc More than 1 year ago
This is the best clive custler book written yet. I reccomend it to anyone who can read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read alot of books from Clive Cussler and for every book that he has wrote always took my mind and thoughts to the character's that are portrayed. This book 'Sahara' had me going. The more I read the more exciting it got. The plot was difficult and at times I had to go back and read again just to understand and thats where to me make a great story line. I've read this book two times. This is really a great book. I say that people should read this. This book is well worth it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sahara is a fast paced action packed adventure book that will keep your eyes glued to it until the very end. Dirk Pitt is our fearless hero who pits himself up against many dangers and enemies. He and his friend Al Giordino discover a horrible secret that is leaking out of a top secret environmental establishment that endangers the existence of mankind. The characters in Sahara are very round and three dimensional. This book deals with the theme of doing what's right in the name of humanity and justice. Clive Clussler also bases Sahara on the classic battle of good versus evil. The plot of the book is complex with a lot of twists that makes Sahara a very enjoyable book to read. The subplots of the book with Admiral Sandecker and other side characters add a flavor of diplomacy and politics to the action based book. Clive Clussler uses vivid descriptions to make the environment come alive. Sahara is an incredible book that will make your heart beat faster as you are swallowed up by the world of Dirk Pitt. There are very few and vague references of sex in the book, so this might disturb young children reading the book. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in action adventure books. I guarantee you that this book will satisfy anyone who have a passion to read. 5Q For Clive Cussler's book Sahara, I would give it a 5 for quality because the book has a very interesting and complex plot. The book flows smoothly together. Lots of rich and round characters that fit perfectly together in Sahara. Very descriptive setting which makes emotions come alive. 4P For Clive Cussler's book Sahara, I would give it a 4 for popularity because it is an exciting and fast paced action adventure book. Anyone with a taste for action adventure novels would love this book. He uses around an eighth-ninth grade level vocabulary, so most young adults would be able to understand it. Sahara is a great and addictive book whom people with appeals to a broad audience.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my tenth Clive Cussler I've read and it's just didn't seem to be up to par with the others I've read. Some parts of the book didn't need to be there and just added to the length. Other than that a good Dirk Pitt novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been reading Clive Cussler for years and books like Sahara are why. Ever page is so good it practically turns itself as Dirk Pitt fights the modern good vs. evil battle. If you are a fan of intellegent, explosive action, you too will fall in love with this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is unfortunate that I chose to get into the Dirk Pitt Saga after the movie came out and everybody started reading Cussler novels. This book, however, was my first expierience with Dirk Pitt and it has undoubtedly sparked a life long romance. The character of Pitt is slightly James Bond, while the story is very Indiana Jones, except with more action, more romance, and a lot more fun! Cussler is basically Amazing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I find that the book is a great read and I would recommend it to anyone despite the poor ending, which was very sad, it felt like he got bored and just wanted to finish the book. If you liked any of Dan Brown¿s books you will love Clive Clusser¿s books. It is a very fast paced book with many twists and turns and will keep you glued to your seat. I would free up a weekend, grab some coffee, Sahara and strap your self in for a great ride.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this book. It was great. I found out that the movie Sahara was based off of this book and just had to read it. Now I know why Matthew McConaughey begged Clive Clusser for two years just to play Dirk Pitt.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read sahara and it was great! I had been reading a lot of Tom Clancy and heard that Clive Cussler was pretty good. Then I saw the preveiws for the movie sahara and thought:that loks good. when I was at Costco I saw a copy of Sahara and that it was writen by clive cussler so I gave it a try. It was better than the hunt for red october, patriot games, clear and present danger and cardnal of the cremlin!! Since then I have read some of the other books in the series, Treasure, Valhala Rising, Trojan Odesy and I am currently reading Dragon. This is, in my opinion, the best Clive cussler book EVER. I have tried reading some of his Kurt Austin books but Sahara is better. Packed With ancient Confederate ironclads, exploding helicopters, land yacts and the witty humor and expresions of Dirk Pitt and lifelong, gungho freind Al Giordino Sahara has everything except burning garbage trucks (pronounced gor-Di-no or Gi-or-di-no or something like that)
df6b_mattW on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first Dirk Pitt Adventure I read. My Dad said I'd like the book , he did when he was growing up. Everyone should read the Dirk Pitt novels.
macjest on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A typical Clive Cussler potboiler. Either you like his stories or you don't. I will say though, that he does cook up some really outlandish stories from the past and manages to find a way to connect them to the present day. Who would really think of finding a Civil War era ironclad in the Sahara desert?
jrcchicago on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was so bad that I couldn't get past page 100 or so. The writing was awful, riddled with cliches, and the character descriptions were painful. If there were the option to give the book zero stars, I would.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"I appreciate your kindness...", Abraham Lincoln says as he boards the Confederate Ironclad in shackles. Another time period, Kitty Mannock flies blindly into a sandstorm, crashing and inevitably perishing in the harsh desert. Dirk Pitt, macho man, enjoys a swim. He spots two assassins try to kil an Eva Rojas, UN scientist. He kills them and learns of a horrible disease spreading through Africa that turn men into cannibals, who kill and eat their own family. These three subplots tie in together in this laughter filled, tear jerking, and action packed novel by Clive Cussler. -Alex B.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Published Book Review of Sahara Sahara written by Clive Cussler is the eleventh in his series of Dirk Pitt adventure-fiction books. From the very beginning, I found that it to be a very compelling book that really gripped the reader, making it hard to put down until the end.  Cussler worked in some amazing threads throughout the story, making it very multidimensional and a slightly more complicated read. But, I think this really added to the overall theme of the book, making it more exciting and fun to read.  The book starts out with a scene in 1865, where a Confederate iron-clad named the “Texas” takes  an unknown prisoner aboard and fights its way through the federal blockade, then vanishes into the Atlantic. It then abruptly skips to another scene in 1931 where an Australian aviatrix Kitty Mannock goes missing mysteriously in the middle of the Sahara while making an attempt to fly from London to  Capetown. These events are only the start though, as Cussler works his magic of mystery even further. Suddenly it’s 1995 as the main character Dirk Pitt is called to find a Pharaoh’s funeral barge buried at the bottom of the River Nile. However this is just the start, as Pitt and his partner Al Giordino embark on a thrilling series of problems and enigmas. We follow them through the many plot twists,  from dealing with a horrible disease ripping through Africa to finding the source of unprecedented pollution, that may ruin the oceanic ecosystem as a whole.  Of course, there has to be a villain or this wouldn't be a Dirk Pitt save-the-world adventure, as we find out this time it's a French billionaire named Yves Massarde, along with local African connection General Zateb Kazim. Together they basically represent everything corrupt and bad that anyone could ever think of, making it very easy to root for Dirk Pitt and company to solve all of the conundrums that  they face in the book. This is the third book in the Dirk Pitt series that I have read up to this point, and I have found them all equally great. Sahara specifically though, is not the book for you if you are looking for a serious, extremely realistic novel. It is a purely a fun and exciting book to read, but also entirely fictional, and a real life equivalent would be not even remotely believable. A ton of totally unrelated events must fall  into place perfectly for Dirk Pitt to miraculously save the world as we know it. Nevertheless, it is still an  enjoyable dramatic novel that is great for reading in your spare time. I know I will be starting the next edition in the series shortly, and would encourage anyone looking for an amusing book to pick up a  copy of Sahara. 
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