Locating sports cars set to trigger nuclear detonation in spy thriller

Book review by Sebastian Lim

Title: Dragon

Author: Clive Cussler

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 9780007843725

In this thriller, a Japanese business tycoon, virtually godlike in his Shinto culture, attempts to bring America to its knees by threatening nuclear devastation, unless the United States sells her economic soul to Japan.

The thriller starts back in time with a failed mission of an American B-29 bomber’s attempt to deliver the 3rd nuclear bomb on Osaka in 1945 before the actual story kicks off in 1993, where a Norwegian carrier vessel travelling through the Pacific is blown to bits and vapourises.

The explosion caused fatal damage to “Soggy Acres” – a special underwater project carried out by the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA), headed by Dirk Pitt.

Pitt manages to save the lives of his fellow mariners on the project and has a narrow escape from death himself, along with the assistant special project director, Al Giordino.

Upon reaching the surface, they learn that a Japanese terrorist organisation named, The Golden Dragon, has been smuggling nuclear bombs to different cities of the US. The Norwegian carrier that blew up in the Pacific was carrying one such consignment to the American shores when it accidentally blew up.

The US President quickly forms a MAIT team (Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team) to investigate the event that took place on the Pacific.

The team eventually learns that The Golden Dragon has launched a secret mission that would cripple the economy of the world and launch Japan as the dominant economic force.

The devilish scheme is known as the Kaiten Project, headed by Hideki Suma, a diplomat; Ichro Tsuboi, chief director of Kanoya Securities (largest security company in the world) and Korori Yoshishu, leader of the Japanese underworld.

The MAIT team also learns that Suma and his associates have planned to blackmail most of the prominent world leaders into submission or they would explode the nuclear bombs that have been smuggled into various countries along with the United States, wiping out communications and all the data of any kind that their respective governments might have in their systems.

Pitt finds out that the Japanese have been smuggling the bombs across the US in Japanese sports cars and have parked them at unknown locations.

With a painful sacrifice from one of the MAIT team key members, they further learn the locations of the cars carrying the nuclear bombs along with the most important information they’ve had until then.

The Japanese plan to detonate the bombs from a remote location they call the Dragon centre. Fortunately, it’s not yet fully operational and hence provides the American government an opportunity to attack it.

Pitt together with Giordino, not only discover the location of this secret Dragon centre but also manage to rescue two prominent political leaders along with a batch of MAIT team members that had been sent to blow the Dragon centre from within.

But with the doomsday looming so close and time running out, can Pitt manage to save not just America but the entire world from the Japanese world domination?

An exciting and suspenseful read from Clive Cussler. The plot is fairly straightforward (if not a little unbelievable), and the characters are well-drawn and full-bodied.

If you are a fan of the author, this Is one thriller you should not miss.

Sebastian Lim is an experienced journalist and editor who now runs his own book review blog — coolreadsseb.blogspot.com. The views expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent that of The Weekly-Echo.