cover image Clive Cussler’s Dark Vector: A Novel from the NUMA Files

Clive Cussler’s Dark Vector: A Novel from the NUMA Files

Graham Brown. Putnam, $29.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-593-41967-0

In the prologue of the routine 19th entry in the late Clive Cussler’s NUMA Files series (after 2021’s Fast Ice), Brown’s first solo contribution to the bestselling franchise, the Chinese treasure ship Silken Dragon sinks after a volcanic eruption in the South China Sea in 1808. In the present, series regulars Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala are working with Yan-Li, a nautical historian from the People’s Republic of China, to find the Dragon when they receive a new assignment. A ship has gone missing, the Canberra Swift, and the NSA and the Pentagon are interested because the Swift was carrying powerful computers that were developed to operate underwater. Meanwhile, the leader of a criminal syndicate in Hong Kong captures Yan-Li and threatens to kill her mother and two children unless she helps him find the sunken Swift and retrieve the computers. The many different bad guys can be confusing, and Brown throws in a lot of background information about boats and salvaging that lends authenticity but otherwise adds nothing to the plot. This one is for Cussler die-hards only. Agent: Peter Lampack, Peter Lampack Agency. (May)