cover image Lost Empire

Lost Empire

Clive Cussler with Grant Blackwood, Putnam, $27.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-399-15676-2

Cussler and Blackwood's second adventure to feature husband-wife treasure hunters Sam and Remi Fargo deviates little from the familiar formula of the first in the series, Spartan Gold. When Sam and Remi find a huge ship's bell on a dive off the Tanzanian coast, they must work to find a way to recover it without running afoul of the Tanzanian government. Meanwhile, Mexican president Quauhtli Garza, a staunch nationalist, knows that this bell comes from a former Confederate ship that sank off the east African coast after the Civil War. Garza fears the discovery of a missing piece of a Quetzalcoatl statuette, which was aboard the ship, will undermine his grip on power. Once Garza dispatches his henchman to Tanzania to deal with the Fargos, the novel devolves into a standard chase thriller. Uninspired dialogue ("I love adventure as much as the next gal, but there's something to be said for good food and a warm bed with clean sheets," Remi tells Sam) doesn't help. (Sept.)