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Fire Ice by Clive Cussler


Rating: (Mildly Recommended)


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Fans of Clive Cussler will read his new novel, Fire Ice, out of habit. Cussler and co-author Paul Kemprecos reprise Kurt Austin as the protagonist and take him and friends from NUMA around the world to stop a Russian madman from wreaking terror on the United States. Unlike the character development of Cussler’s Dirk Pitt, which has become enhanced through more volumes, Austin remains somewhat wooden and one-dimensional. Readers who aren’t familiar with Cussler will want to skip this one, and try one of the Pitt novels instead.

As we expect from Cussler, Fire Ice brings readers ample suspense, and the practicality of a terror threat keeps us turning the pages. There’s even a Russian character named Boris, who’s a modern Rasputin.

Here’s an excerpt from the middle of the book:

“Austin’s eyes took a few seconds to adjust to the dimness. The pungent fragrance of incense evoked the image of an ancient Byzantine chapel in a monastery he had visited high on a hill at Mystra, overlooking the Greek city of Sparti. Gaslight flickered in brass lanterns of ornate gold and stained glass that were set into sconces in rough plaster walls covered with brilliantly painted icons. The vaulted ceiling was reinforced with thick wooden ribs. A high-backed chair faced an altar at the far end of the room.
They moved in for a closer look. The altar was draped with a dark purple cloth stitched in gold with the letter R. On top of the altar was a smoking incense burner. Set in the wall above the altar was a lamp whose yellow light illuminated a large black-and-white photograph in an ornate gold frame.
Seven people were pictured in the photograph. From the facial resemblance they shared, the two adults and five young people appeared to be posing for a family portrait. Standing on the left side was a bearded man wearing a military-style visored cap and a ceremonial military uniform trimmed with fancy piping. Medals adorned his chest.”

If you guessed the Romanov’s, you’re right. Villan Mikhail Razov has plans to restore the monarchy in Russia, with himself as czar. Fire Ice tells the story of how Razov tries to accomplish this feat, and how Kurt Austin foils his plans. For a lukewarm action novel, you may want to give this one a try at the beach or while on vacation.

Steve Hopkins, July 3, 2002


ã 2002 Hopkins and Company, LLC


The recommendation rating for this book appeared in the August 2002 issue of Executive Times


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