cover image Devil’s Gate

Devil’s Gate

Clive Cussler and Graham Brown. Putnam, $27.95 (480p) ISBN 978-0-399-15782-0

Sierra Leone’s ambitious dictator, Djemma Garand, has coerced Alexander Cochrane into constructing “a directed-energy weapon of incredible power,” which can cook people from the inside out in the action-packed ninth Kurt Austin adventure (after 2009’s Medusa) from bestseller Cussler and new collaborator Brown (Black Rain). A test of the weapon on a cargo vessel happens to occur near a ship transporting Austin and his NUMA (National Underwater Maritime Agency) Special Operations Team to the Azores. Austin’s rescue attempt of the stricken boat brings him into direct conflict with Andras, a vicious thug in Garand’s employ. Both men escape to battle another day in a James Bond–like plot that includes an attractive Russian scientist, Katarina Luskaya, who becomes both love interest and hostage. In the end, Andras conveniently gives Austin a fighting chance to escape a death trap. Thriller fans who aren’t too picky about credibility will be most rewarded. (Nov.)