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Deep Six is another Clive Cussler novel featuring Dirk Pitt, it appears to have been originally published in 1984, against the backdrop of the Cold War.
I think this book is quite different from many of Cussler's other novels, because to me at least it seemed to focus on many of the fears that the American public held about the Russians & Communism. Now I don't remember the Cold War at all, so having done some research it appears to have ended in around 1991, when I was 3, so my perceptions of the Cold War are perhaps different to those of people who experienced it first hand. However, to me the plot does seem a bit clichéd and is in some ways a bit stereotypical, although of course with a unique twist from Cussler. It's hard to describe my feelings as I read through the novel, I think it was a 'oh this is exactly the kind of fears that Americans would have held about what Russian intentions were then.' It would be interesting to hear what others think of the novel seeing as this is the first review of it!
The American President feels that the best way for him to quell the threat of Russia is to provide them with an aid package to help them deal with the abject poverty that many, many Russian people were living in. His idea is that if the Russian people are more comfortable then there will not be the same desire for a war of any sort with the US. Of course there is huge opposition to this policy especially within his own government, so the president decides to take his 3rd & 4th in command for a cruise on the presidential yacht, along with the unexpected addition of the vice-president. Closely guarded by presidential security, yet the next morning it is discovered that all 4 politicians along with the crew have vanished without a trace.
Dirk Pitt is called in to try and help with efforts to locate the four men, and as usual is drawn into a plot of enormous magnitude.
I did enjoy the novel, but this isn't one of my favourite Cussler novels at all. I felt that there were a few unanswered questions at the end of the book - unanswered questions drive me nuts! I like a book to finish with all the loose ends nicely tied up.
As I said earlier I did find the plot a little too stereotypical, but perhaps (without trying to be too cryptic or giving away too much of the plot) the events of the book were either genuine fears, or this sort of thing was actually happening to some degree, I don't know. However if you ignore the bands of reality it was an intriguing plot, whether mind control to the extent shown in this book is really possible I don't know but it's certainly an interesting idea! I should say that I did really like the ingenious twist that Cussler used to prevent this from becoming too much of a stereotype (at least in my opinion).
However, no matter what I think of the plot, Cussler never disappoints when it comes to his key character Dirk Pitt, a charismatic and engaging character who seems to have a penchant for delving into mysteries and finding solutions when all around him people are drawing blanks. He is a very complex character and all the sides of his character are well portrayed here - from the charming ladies man, to the resolute, almost cold blooded killer.
It's an enjoyable read, but I wouldn't say it was one of Cussler's best novels. I'd really be interested to know the thoughts of anyone who's both read the book and remembers the Cold War a little better than me! Whilst I'd recommend it as a Clive Cussler novel, I don't know if it's the best novel to start with if you're new to this author. I should point out that in my experience you don't need to read this series in order, just pick up a book and read it, I'm sure you'll enjoy!