cover image The Pharaoh's Secret

The Pharaoh's Secret

Clive Cussler and Graham Brown. Putnam, $28.95 (422p) ISBN 978-0-399-17411-7

In bestseller Cussler's 13th NUMA Files novel (after 2014's Ghost Ship, also coauthored with Brown), it's business as usual for Kurt Austin of the National Underwater and Marine Agency as he and his cohorts battle modern-day mad men armed with an ancient deadly weapon. Kurt and partner Joe Zavala are diving for relics in the Mediterranean when they respond to a distress call from a nearby island, where they find hundreds of people who have been put into a state of suspended animation after inhaling an ancient Egyptian substance called the Black Mist. The man controlling the mist, Tariq Shakir, a former member of the Egyptian secret police, has built an organization, Osiris, whose goal is to conquer all of North Africa. Shakir is also draining an aquifer deep beneath the Sahara, which will bring Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya under his control. Toss in vast underground chambers, pits of voracious alligators, Napoleon's foray into Egypt, mummified bullfrogs, and you could be anywhere in any number of other Cussler novels. But no matter the recycling of the same old stuff; Cussler fans will be perfectly happy. Agent: Peter Lampack, Peter Lampack Agency. (Nov.)