By Clive Cussler
With my viral lurgey still laying me low I reached for the second Clive Cussler novel - Inca Gold published on 1994.
Another Dirk Pitt adventure this time following the trail of a gold shipment being sent back to England 500 hundred years ago. Drakes Golden Hind may have been successful in its homeward journey, but the Spanish bullion carrier wasn't so lucky. It was caught up in a tidal wave which washed it five miles inshore, leaving just one survivor.
Fragmented accounts of the shipwreck survived, which included directions to a massive hoard on Inca gold. The goodies and the baddies both got wind of the hoard and the race was on.
As in all Cussler's books, adventures abound with Pitt beating impossible odds only to seemingly lose out of the prize at the very last moment. Of course, there are 'good triumphs over evil' tales and in the conclusion the baddies are undone and the goodies emerge triumphant.
Maybe its reading two Dirk Pitt stories back to back but suddenly I found a feeling of deja vu. In the dying episodes of the tale Pitt is to be found being washed into an underground river 100kn from its entrance at the coast - a seemingly impossible journey. But this is Dirk Pitt we are talking about and the hero never dies.
Pitt emerged from a subterranean river two days later, bruised and battered, sucking the last mouthful from his oxygen cylinder and making it to the surface by the thinnest of margins. He saves the day, gets the girl and lives on to plunge headlong into Cusslers next money spinning book.
Do I sound jealous? Of course I am. Oh to have such a enduring hero, one which the boy scout in us longs to emulate and one which pulls a faithful readership back time and time again.
In some ways its a remake of Dragon with different locations - but so what! Another good tale which kept the pages turning for at least three days of ill health.