cover image Celtic Empire: A Dirk Pitt Novel

Celtic Empire: A Dirk Pitt Novel

Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler. Putnam, $29 (464p) ISBN 978-0-7352-1899-4

In bestseller Cussler and son Dirk’s rousing 25th Dirk Pitt adventure (after 2016’s Odessa Sea), a series of maritime disasters catch the attention of Pitt and other members of the National Underwater and Marine Agency. Where these attacks have occurred, a deadly outbreak of a cholera-like illness has followed. BioRem Global Limited, a bioremediation company ostensibly using bioengineered bacteria to clean up these so-called accidents, has instead orchestrated them to revive an ancient disease, genetically enhanced to cause an evolutionary genocide, for which there is no modern cure. Pitt’s son and daughter, Dirk Jr. and Summer, discover the source: an ancient Egyptian plague still viable in the DNA of royal mummies. Fortunately, there’s hope for a treatment. In 1334 BCE, Maritaten, an Egyptian princess, fled her homeland across the seas to Ireland, bringing along an extinct herbal curative. The authors overly rely on convenience to get Pitt and company out of jams, but then again, that does keep the plot barreling along toward its satisfying finish. This series remains as fresh as ever. Agent: Peter Lampack, Peter Lampack Agency. (Mar.)