Trojan Odyssey (Dirk Pitt Series #17)

Trojan Odyssey (Dirk Pitt Series #17)

by Clive Cussler

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In his first adventure since the revelation that he’s a parent, Dirk Pitt must uncover the truth behind the myth of another long-lost father-figure, Homer’s Odysseus, if he’s going to stop a dangerous cult from reshaping the earth in their own image.
Fraternal twins, Summer Pitt and Dirk Pitt, Jr., are working to determine the origin of a strange brown tide infesting the ocean off the shore of Nicaragua when two startling things happen: Summer discovers an artifact, something strange and beautiful and ancient.  And the worst storm in years boils up out of the sky, heading straight for them and a nearby floating luxury resort hotel called Ocean Wanderer.
The peril for everybody concerned is incalculable. And now that Dirk Pitt has learned he’s a father, he will stop at nothing to protect his two children. He rushes into the chaos, only to find that what’s left in the storm’s wake makes the furies of nature pale in comparison. For there is an all-too-human evil at work in that part of the world, and Summer’s relic may be the only clue to the man calling the shots. Whoever he is, he’s connected to a cult that believes the Celts, also known as the Achaeans, reached the New World millennia before the accepted history suggests. If he’s right, his ancestors laid the foundation for the work he will soon complete—and our world will be a very different place.

Though if Summer's discovery is to be believed, the world is already a very different place...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425199329
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/28/2004
Series: Dirk Pitt Series , #17
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 108,317
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Clive Cussler is the author or coauthor of over fifty 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 AdventureThe 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 Colorado and 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

Trojan Odyssey

By Clive Cussler

Thorndike Press

Copyright © 2004 Clive Cussler
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0786261129

Chapter One

August 15, 2006 Key West, Florida

Dr. Heidi Lisherness was about to meet her husband for a night out on the town when she took one last cursory glance at the latest imagery collected by a Super Rapid Scan Operations satellite. A full-figured lady with silver-gray hair pulled back in a bun, Heidi sat at her desk in green shorts and matching top as a measure of comfort against the heat and humidity of Florida in August. She came within a hair of simply shutting down her computer until the following morning. But there was an indiscernible something about the last image that came into her computer from the satellite over the Atlantic Ocean southwest of the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa. She sat down and gazed more intently into the screen of her monitor. To the untrained eye the picture on the screen simply took on the appearance of a few innocent clouds drifting over an azure blue sea. Heidi saw a view more menacing. She compared the image with one taken only two hours earlier. The mass of cumulus clouds had increased in bulk more rapidly than any spawning storm she could remember in her eighteen years monitoring and forecasting tropical hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean with the National Underwater and Marine Agency Hurricane Center. She began enlarging the two images of the infantstorm formation. Her husband, Harley, a jolly-looking man with a walrus mustache, bald head and wearing rimless glasses, stepped into her office with an impatient look on his face. Harley was also a meteorologist. But he worked for the National Weather Service as an analyst on climatological data that was issued as weather advisories for commercial and private aircraft, boats and ships at sea. "What's keeping you?" he said, pointing impatiently at his watch. "I have reservations at the Crab Pot." Without looking up, she motioned at the two side-by-side images on her computer. "These were taken two hours apart. Tell me what you see." Harley examined them for a long moment. Then his brow furrowed and he repositioned his glasses before leaning closer for a more in-depth look. Finally, he looked at his wife and nodded. "One hell of a fast buildup." "Too fast," said Heidi. "If it continues at the same rate, God only knows how huge a storm it will brew." "You never know," said Harley thoughtfully. "She might come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. It's happened." "True, but most storms take days, sometimes weeks, to build to this strength. This has mushroomed within hours." "Too early to predict her direction or where she'll peak and do the most damage."

"I have a dire feeling this one will be unpredictable." Harley smiled. "You will keep me informed as she builds?" "The National Weather Service will be the first to know," she said, lightly slapping him on the arm. "Thought of a name for your new friend yet?"

"If she becomes as nasty as I think she might, I'll call her Lizzie, after the ax murderess Lizzie Borden." "A bit early in the season for-a name beginning with L but it sounds fitting." Harley handed his wife her purse. "Time enough tomorrow to see what develops. I'm starved. Let's go eat some crab." Heidi dutifully followed her husband from her office, switching off the light and closing the door. But the growing apprehension did not diminish as she slid into the seat of their car. Her mind wasn't on food. It dwelled on what she feared was a hurricane in the making that might very well reach horrendous proportions.

A hurricane is a hurricane by any other name in the Atlantic Ocean. But not in the Pacific, where it is called a typhoon, nor the Indian, where it is known as a cyclone. A hurricane is the most horrendous force of nature, often exceeding the havoc caused by volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, creating destruction over a far larger territory. Like the birth of a human or animal, a hurricane requires an array of related circumstances. First, the tropical waters off the west coast of Africa are heated, preferably with temperatures exceeding eighty degrees Fahrenheit. Then, bake the water with the sun, causing vast amounts to evaporate into the atmosphere. This moisture rises into cooler air and condenses into masses of cumulus clouds while giving birth to wide-ranging rain and thunderstorms. This combination provides the heat that fuels the growing tempest and transforms it from infancy to puberty. Now stir in spiraling air that whips around at speeds up to thirty-eight miles an hour, or thirty-three knots. These growing winds cause the surface air pressure to drop. The lower the drop the more intense the wind circulation as it whirls around in an ever-faster momentum until it forms a vortex. Feeding on the ingredients, the system, as it is called by meteorologists, has created an explosive centrifugal force that spins a solid wall of wind and rain around the eye that is amazingly calm. Inside the eye, the sun shines, the sea lies relatively calm and the only sign of the horrendous energy are the surrounding white frenzied walls reaching fifty thousand feet into the sky. Until now, the system has been called a tropical depression, but once the winds hit 74 miles an hour it becomes a full-fledged hurricane. Then, depending on the wind velocities it puts out, it is given a scale number. Winds between 74 and 95 miles an hour is a Category 1 and considered minimal. Category 2 is moderate with winds up to 110. Category 3 blows from 111 to 130 and is listed as extensive. Winds up to 155 are extreme, as was Hurricane Hugo that eliminated most of the beach houses north of Charleston, South Carolina, in 1989. And finally, the granddaddy of them all, Category 5 with winds 155-plus. The last is labeled catastrophic, as was Hurricane Camille, which struck Louisiana and Mississippi in 1969. Camille left 256 dead in her wake, a drop in the bucket as compared to the 8,000 who perished in the great hurricane of 1900 that laid complete waste to Galveston, Texas. In terms of sheer numbers, the record is held by the 1970 tropical cyclone that stormed ashore in Bangladesh and left nearly half a million dead. In terms of damage, the great hurricane of 1926 that devastated Southeast Florida and Alabama left a bill totaling $83 billion, allowing for inflation. Amazingly, only two hundred and forty-three died in that catastrophe. What no one was counting on, including Heidi Lisherness, was that Hurricane Lizzie had a diabolic mind of her own and her coming fury was about to put the previous recorded Atlantic hurricanes to shame. In a short time, after bulking up on muscle, she would begin her murderous journey toward the Caribbean Sea to wreak chaos and havoc on everything she touched.

Chapter Two

Swift and powerful, a great hammerhead shark fifteen feet long glided gracefully through the air-clear water like a gray cloud drifting over a meadow. Its two bulging eyes gazed from the ends of a flat stabilizer that spread across its snout. They caught a motion and swiveled, focusing on a creature swimming through the coral forest below. The thing looked like no fish the hammerhead had ever seen. It had two parallel fins protruding to the rear and was colored black with red stripes along the sides. The huge shark saw nothing savory and continued its never-ending search for more appetizing prey, not realizing that the odd creature would have made a very tasty morsel indeed. Summer Pitt had noticed the shark but ignored it, concentrating on her study of the coral reefs inside Navidad Bank seventy miles northeast of the Dominican Republic. The bank encompassed a dangerous stretch of reefs thirty by thirty square miles with depths varying from three feet to one hundred feet. During the passage of four centuries, no less than two hundred ships had come to grief on the unforgiving coral that crowned a seamount soaring from the abyssal depths of the Atlantic Ocean.

The coral on this section of the bank was pristine and beautiful, rising in some areas as much as fifty feet off the sandy bottom. There were delicate sea fans and huge brain coral, their vivid colors and sculptured contours spreading into the blue void like a majestic garden with a myriad of archways and grottos. It seemed to Summer that she was swimming into a labyrinth of alleyways and tunnels, some becoming dead ends while others opened into canyons and crevasses large enough to drive a large truck through. Though the water was in excess of eighty degrees, Summer Pitt was fully encased from head to foot in a Viking Pro Turbo 1000 heavy-duty vulcanized rubber dry suit. She wore the black-and-red suit instead of a lighter wet suit because it totally sealed every inch of her body, not so much as protection from the mild water temperature but as a deterrent to the chemical and biological contamination that she had planned to encounter during her assessment and monitoring of the coral. She glanced at her compass and made a slight turn to the left, kicking her fins while clasping her hands behind and under her twin air tanks to reduce water resistance. Wearing the bulky suit and AGA Mark II full face mask made it seem easier to walk on the bottom than swim over it, but the often sharp and uneven surface of the coral made that nearly impossible. Her physical contours and facial features were shrouded by the baggy dry suit and full head mask. The only clues to her beauty were the exquisite gray eyes gazing through the face mask lens and a wisp of red hair that showed on her forehead. Summer loved the sea and diving through its void. Every dive was a new adventure through an unknown world. She often imagined herself as a mermaid with salt water in her veins. Urged by her mother, she had studied ocean sciences. A top student, she graduated from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, where she had received her master's degree in biological oceanography. At the same time, her twin brother, Dirk, had achieved his degree in ocean engineering at Florida Atlantic University. Soon after they returned to their home in Hawaii, they were informed by their dying mother that the father they never knew was the special projects director for the National Underwater and Marine Agency in Washington, D.C. Their mother had never talked about him until she was lying on her deathbed. Only then did she describe their love and why she let him believe that she had died in an underwater earthquake twenty-three years before. Badly injured and disfigured, she thought it best that he live his life unencumbered, without her. Several months later she gave birth to twins. In memory of her undying love she had named Summer after herself, and Dirk after his father. After her funeral, Dirk and Summer flew to Washington to meet Pitt Sr. for the first time. Their sudden appearance came as a total shock to him. Stunned at confronting a son and daughter who he had no idea existed, Dirk Pitt became overjoyed, having believed for more than twenty years that the unforgettable love of his life had long since died. But then he was deeply saddened to learn she had lived all these years as an invalid without telling him and had died only the month previously. Embracing the family he never knew he had, he immediately moved them into the old aircraft hangar where he lived with his huge classic car collection. When he was told that their mother had insisted they follow in his path and become educated in the ocean sciences, he orchestrated their employment with NUMA. Now, after two years of working on ocean projects around the world, she and her brother had embarked on a unique journey to investigate and gather data on the strange toxic contamination that was killing the fragile sea life on Navidad Bank and other reefs throughout the Caribbean. Most parts of the reef system still teemed with healthy fish and coral. Brightly hued snappers mingled with huge parrot fish and groupers while little iridescent yellow-and-purple tropical fish darted around tiny brown-and-red sea horses. Moray eels looking fierce with their heads protruding out of holes in the coral, opened and closed their jaws menacingly, waiting to sink their needle teeth into a meal. Summer knew they looked frightening only because that was their method of breathing since they did not have a set of gills on the back of their necks. They seldom attacked humans unless they were antagonized. To be bitten by a moray eel, one almost had to place a hand in its mouth. A shadow crossed above a sandy gap in the coral and she looked up, half expecting to see the same shark returning for a closer look, but it was a flight of five spotted eagle rays. One peeled off the formation like an aircraft and cruised around Summer, staring curiously before swooping upward and rejoining the others. After traveling another forty yards she slipped over a formation of horny gorgonian coral and came within view of a shipwreck. A huge five-foot barracuda hovered over the debris, staring out of cold, black beady eyes at all that took place in its domain. The steamship Vandalia was driven onto Navidad Bank in 1876 during a fierce hurricane. Of her one hundred and eighty passengers and thirty crewmen, none survived. Listed by Lloyd's of London as lost without a trace, her fate remained a mystery until sport divers discovered her coral-encrusted remains in 1982. There was little left to distinguish Vandalia as a shipwreck. A hundred and thirty years on, the bank had covered her with anywhere from one to three feet of sea life and coral. The only obvious signs of what was once a proud ship were the boilers and engines that still protruded from the twisted carcass and exposed ribs. Most of the wood was gone, long rotted away by the salt water or eaten by critters of the sea that consumed anything organic. Built for the West Indies Packet Company in 1864, Vandalia was 320 feet from the tip of her bow to the jack staff on her stern, with a 42-foot beam and accommodations for 250 passengers and three holds for a large amount of cargo. She sailed between Liverpool and Panama, where she unloaded her passengers and cargo for the rail trip to the Pacific side of the isthmus where they boarded steamers for the rest of the journey to California. Very few divers had salvaged artifacts from Vandalia. She was difficult to find in her camouflaged position amid the coral. Little was left of the ship after being crushed that horrible night by the mountainous waves of the hurricane that caught her in the open sea before she could reach the safety of the Dominican Republic or nearby Virgin Islands.


Excerpted from Trojan Odyssey by Clive Cussler Copyright © 2004 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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Trojan Odyssey (Dirk Pitt Series #17) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 116 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was not the usual page turner that I'm used to in the Dirk Pitt series. It was a bit slow, but still a good read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this book and found it to be boring, not as thoroughly researched, and full of errors - more so than usual. While the plot is OK and enjoyable enough, I still think Inca Gold or even Atlantis Found as better books. This read like a tired version of Dirk Pitt novel - it really didn't 'feel' like a Clive Cussler novel was this written by a ghost writer?? A number of errors that I can remember in particular include: (1) The ship that Jason sailed on was the 'Argo' not the 'Argonaut' the Argonauts were the Greek heroes that sailed with Jason! (2) Fuel Cell technology that uses Nitrogen and then produces water as its output waste??? I mean at least do a little research on fuel cell. The reason why Hydrogen produces water in the first place is because the hydrogen ion produced bonds with oxygen to produce water while generating electricity. How can you produce H2O WITHOUT the H??? (3) How could Summer be the 'Daughter-In-Law' of Loren Smith Pitt?? Shouldn't she be the Step-daughter?? (4) Pumps in the tunnel... why would you need pumps in the tunnel when the water pressure at that depth is enough to induce water flow? He probably meant a turbine which can produce electricity when connected to a generator. Some additional comments: Why does he kept referring to China as 'Red China'? Nobody refers to China as that any longer - even in 2003 when this book was published. He never did place a connection between what Odyssey was doing and Hurricane Lizzie! I suspect he meant to include that in the book, i.e. that the freakish super hurricane was brought about by climactic changes that occurred because of the experimentation or whatever by Odyssey. What happened to that gentleman Dirk and Al met at the tavern on their way to the heavily guarded Fort? Clive made it sound like there was something fishy about this character and never followed up on this thread. And what is the deal with that 'low cost' fuel cell thingymagingy that can produced with 8 parts?? 8 parts?? Are you hallucinating? Even the most rudimentary wind-up toy requires more than 8 parts, let alone an ultra-sophisticated piece of technology. Why didn't he just leave well enough alone. Clive puts too much useless details in this book that made it even less plausible than it already is. I would have been willing to gladly suspend disbelief given the genre of the book, but this calls for beyond even that! It's ok to inject Sci-fi elements into a book of this kind, but please at least do some research and put some semblance of plausibility scientific or otherwise into your stories. Clearly Clive is very well versed in automobiles, marine science, sailing, piloting choppers - but for those that he is not, I wish he'd stop cutting corners just to get a book out in print. Mr. Cussler please do your research or fire your editor!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been a Clive Cussler fan for years. After purchasing and reading this book though, I believe it is time for Clive to give up trying to write as he once did. This is a book I wish I had never bought, and I agree with the critical comments others have written. Placing Dirk Pitt in the political arena of directing NUMA is something I just can't see; nor can I see a helicopter fly into the worse hurricaine ever and drop into the eye. Somethings just aren't believeable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like the transition and how the baton is being passed. Hoping Dirk Cussler delivers!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow! So much action going on at the same time. But as usual, it all flowed together in Cussler form. Another great read!
SanctiSpiritus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Why is the author slowly letting the superstars Dirk and Al fade away???? Dirk's children are very, very boring. Please stick with Dirk & Al. I am sure there are many capers and adventures still left for the two heros. Please, let the children become doctors or architects. :)
pwoodford on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Four sentences, pulled at random from different chapters, should tell you all you need to know:"Now as their objective stood before them it became obvious that unlike the others towns and cities they had sacked, this one would not fall without a long and lengthy campaign.""'You ain¿t gonna believe this,' he answered in a Georgia accent, 'but the last dropwindsonde profiling system I released recorded horizontal wind speeds of up to two hundred and twenty miles an hour as it fell through the storm toward the sea.'¿"Exotically designed minibuses with luxurious interiors and painted lavender pulled up to the aircraft to accommodate the passengers.""Seemingly adhered to the marble slab, he could not move nor turn his head."Talk about phoning in your work . . . sweet Jesus! Apparently, best-selling author¿ Clive Cussler can insult readers and desecrate the English language with impunity, so long as he keeps making money for his publisher. Thank God I found this book in a hospital waiting room and didn¿t actually pay for it.
MsBeautiful on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Adventure/Thriller, Fun to listen to on tape or cd
SonicQuack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Firstly, open your skull and remove your brain. Cussler's adventures on the high seas have slowly ventured in to unrealistic waters over the years and Trojan Odyssey continues the trend. Readers prepared to suspend their disbelief will be propelled through a tale of Dirk Pitt's daring yarn spun out in Nicaragua as he fights the forces of Spectre - the uber-villain created for this novel.Odyssey opens with a magnificent and thrilling action sequence, in which Pitt's children are the placed in to danger. This opener showcases great narrative skills from Cussler and the rest of the story doesn't live up to it, although it never stops trying. The cast is more diverse too, creating a wider opportunity for adventures, although there are some incredible coincidences to be pushed aside. It's standard adventure territory for the most and is somewhat predictable, although it maintains its sense of fun throughout.
MSWallack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Neither Cussler's best nor his worst. This was, however, the first book to feature the new characters introduced at the end of Valhalla Rising. The book also appears to mark a shift in the course of the Dirk Pitt series. I enjoyed it, but I didn't love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im guessing you wouldn't fit a size 16 either
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first read a Clive Cussler novel about 18 years ago. I took it for what it was, a fun and fast-paced action movie in the form of a book. I suspended my belief long enough to enjoy a bit of a daring hero romp, and that was fine. I looked to this book for more of the same and could not have been more disappointed. Whoever edited this book needs reprimanded, or even fired. Some of the setting description repetition was jarring and the misuse of phrases and continuity errors were quite bad as well. The outright misogyny was DEPLORABLE. I could let it slide that the bad guys were all girls and they were all smokin' hot. I forgave him for making Summer (the action hero's daughter) helpless and a damsel. I even let it go when the hard-core soldier guy makes some comment about how his hard-core shootykillers might need counselling after killing civilian women because they were “knockouts”. But the comment about the German Scientist, held captive with her husband, was unforgivable. Call her matronly, grandmotherly or even say she's well-fed (though that's still rude) but for Dirk Pitt, hero extraordinaire, to look at this woman and comment to himself that she'll never fit a size sixteen dress is so incredibly sexist and rude it makes me sick. When I read that bit I wanted to throw the book from me as hard as possible, preferably at Cussler's face. The comment, like most of the drivel that filled this novel, had absolutely NOTHING to do with the story, plot, situation or ANYTHING relevant. This novel is filled with those. While everybody gets introduced and described in detail, from an old car to a helicopter pilot, none of it ever has anything to do with the damn story. Speaking of which, if Dirk Pitt can land in a helicopter after evading machine-gunning bad guys, hear a pilot (living in Nicaragua for years) say two things and identify the accent as Montanan only to have it be from neighbouring Wyoming, then I'll stand in front of Cussler and eat my goddam hat. What a bag of sh*t. Same on you Cussler. This novel had promise, but you made the entire thing a bag of sh*t.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
XD XD XD "I just died." Seth; "Well...yay."
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Ski-Bray More than 1 year ago
The book begins with a new theory of the Trojan War - that it actually involved the Celts. This was the first 31 pages of the book, and I had a hard time getting through this. I wanted to get on with the book, so after more or less skimming through this introduction, I stuck with it and finally did get to the actual story. I hadn’t read any of Cussler’s other books, and the main character, Dirk Pitt, surprised me at how James Bondish he was. He was pretty much a cross between Bond and Jacques Cousteau. He would, without thought to his own safety or the dangers involved and sometimes without even a plan of action, dive into any dangerous situation – but it always seemed to turn out all right. I also found it confusing that his son was also named Dirk, so we have Dirk and Dirk in the same book. As far as the storyline, it seemed to be several loosely connected stories. There was a floating hotel and a hurricane, which seemed to destroy everything in its path - yet Pitt (the elder) seemed to easily fly in and save the day. Cussler convinced me through most of the book that it was researched well, with the exception that it mentioned several times that hurricanes travel east rather than west. The story seemed to have some interesting speculative science in it. For me the book seemed rather long. I actually read another book when I was somewhere in the middle of Trojan Odyssey, then returned to it and finished it, and I’m a one-book-at-a-time person. The author had a cameo appearance at the end of the book, and I wondered if this was a trademark of his other books. Guess I’ll have to read another Cussler book to find out. If you can suspend disbelief, this is an enjoyable book. I hadn’t read any other Cussler books, and this is the 17th book in the series, so perhaps I would have rated it higher if I had a better understanding of the main characters. I flip-flopped between 3 and 4 stars, but went with 4 simply because I hadn’t read the other 16 Dirk Pitt books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago