Book Review: Clive Cussler & Graham Brown’s Devil’s Gate

Posted June 25, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Clive Cussler & Graham Brown’s Devil’s Gate

Devil's Gate


Clive Cussler, Graham Brown

action & adventure, thriller that was published by G.P. Putnam's Sons on November 14, 2011 and has 474 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads three-stars

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Crescent Dawn, The Jungle, Kingdom, The Storm, The Tombs, Poseidon's Arrow, Zero Hour, The Mayan Secrets, Mirage, Ghost Ship, The Eye of Heaven, Piranha, The Emperor's Revenge, Pirate, Odessa Sea, Havana Storm, Nighthawk, The Romanov Ransom, Typhoon Fury

Ninth in the NUMA Files thriller series revolving around Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala.

Be sure to read the prologue.

My Take

Okay, this was not one of my favorites. Normally, I can’t read fast enough. This one I actually put down every once in awhile as my mind wandered. There’s action in here, but it’s a bit toned down, not like the usual. Still, there’s plenty of fun gadgets, great escapes, and the usual romance spiced with danger.

Too funny, even Captain Haynes has his own laugh at Joe and Kurt, pointing out that their having to perform the task of disciplinarians is a fair turnabout for all the years they’ve been naughty.

It was kind of weird reading about the war in Sierra Leone. It’s about the time I was there and we were expected to keep a getaway bag packed at all times. The security company involved did not have a good rep amongst the ex-pats there and the Liberian rebels were oh-so-much worse.

Cussler/Graham make a good point about America knuckling under when countries decide to nationalize foreign infrastructure. I can see both sides. Corporations aren’t in business to be charitable, although there is much to be said for being decent and giving back to a community. There’s also the Ugly American syndrome which is rife amongst corporations and diplomats. Then there’s the corruption that’s almost more a part of life than life itself in third world countries. Those in power are more interested in feathering their Swiss bank accounts than in helping their fellow countrymen. So. Catch-22.

Omigod. An apology from an intelligence agency. Who knew.

I did kind of expect that Cussler could afford a copyeditor, but with all the articles that were missing in this story…I guess not.

The Story

It’s too bad for this set of pirates that NUMA ships are afloat at all. It just takes one mistake to set the good guys on the bad guys. And Kurt Austin is one of the good guys who doesn’t give up. Well, okay, so he lets the submarine race with Joe at Santa Maria Island hold things up, but little do they expect to encounter some intense magnetic trouble!

It truly is trouble, but not very close to Kurt and Joe’s usual brand. Nope, The Portuguese and Spanish governments want Kurt and Joe to oversee the site exploration as NUMA is trusted by both governments to be fair.

Paul and Gamay Trout join the fun with Rapunzel to find more answers only to almost fatally discover more questions. But, hey, they’re not the only ones having fun as Kurt’s date with Katarina suffers a nasty blow right after she informs him of a bit of sneaky trickery. It’s Kurt’s anger that turns up the massacre although it doesn’t do much in terms of discovering the true targets before it’s too late!

The Characters

Kurt Austin is coming up to 40 and keeping in shape for his job at NUMA is taking more and more work. A career that sees him regularly beat up, shot at, and half drowned. Joe Zavala is Kurt’s partner and a genius at engineering and mechanics. Dirk Pitt is the director of NUMA and Admiral James D. Sandecker is now the Vice-President of the United States. Hiram Yaeger is NUMA’s resident computer genius.

Paul Trout is married to Gamay. Both oceanographers. In this installment, Gamay is interfacing via VR with Rapunzel, an experimental ROV.

Katarina Luskaya is a Soviet scientist with a degree in advanced energy systems. And her country’s best choice to sneak in and check out this anomaly discovered near Santa Maria Island. She’s also pretty cheeky with great courage.

Alexander Cochrane is in charge of the magnets that power the Large Hadron Collider (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland. Seems he’s a bit pissed off. Andras, a.k.a., the Knife, has a history with Kurt Austin. And the Russians. A history that complements the kind of man he is. Djemma Grand is the current president of Sierra Leone and he has a thing for Hannibal and riding crops à la Patton. He’s worked hard to stabilize the country even though he continues to hold his brother Nathaniel Grand prisoner. Djemma has a good dream for his country. It’s too bad his plans on how to achieve it are so bad.

Hudson Wallace is a pilot and contractor for the newly formed CIA in 1951. Tarasov is a Russian refugee escaping with two heavy trunks. Charlie Simpkins is his copilot on this flight. Kirsti Nordegrun has only been married to Captain Nordegrun for two years. Unluckily, the shipping company has no problem with the captain’s family coming along for a ride. Haruto Takagawa is the president and CEO of Shokara, the company which owns the pirated Kinjara Maru. Even though he owes his life to Dirk Pitt, this is one occasion where even his honor won’t accept a meeting.

Cameron Brinks is with the NSA and fulfills the stereotypes. He and Admiral Farnsworth are “spearheading the response”. Mr. Ion is an operator in Singapore with enough contacts to get anything accomplished. Just don’t count on his loyalty. He also has a history with Austin.

The Cover and Title

The cover is deep shades of blue and rather space agey with Joe’s yellow submarine deep under the ocean’s surface exploring a graveyard of wrecked planes and ships.

The title is a nickname bestowed on a particular part of the ocean’s floor; it seems to form a Devil’s Gate.