Black Wind: an Introduction to Dirk Pitt

My latest elliptical book was Black Wind by Clive Cussler, one of the Dirk Pitt series. Although I just published a review of another elliptical book, no need to fear that I have been reading at crazy speeds or suddenly developed lots of spare time to work out. I’ve actually been reading this one for about 8 months. I typically have multiple elliptical books in progress so I can switch out if I get tired of one. This was my first Dirk Pitt novel, although it’s fairly far into the series (the first was published in 1973, while Black Wind was not published until 2004). There was no logic starting with this one; it just happened to be one that I could borrow. I had been wanting to read one of these since I realized that the movie Sahara was based on one of the Dirk Pitt novels. Not having read any of the previous books, I was a bit confused why he had just met his son even though they share a first name. Also, I didn’t feel like there was much character development but also attribute that to having missed the earlier stories.

The story begins with a flashback to World War II aboard a Japanese sub that is tasked with carrying out a biological attack on the United States, but ultimately is sunk with its payload intact. In the current day, the sea-buried weapons are sought out by a wealthy South Korean business man who is actually a North Korean agent. His organization is masquerading as a Japanese terrorist group, who plans to use them to attack the west coast to distract the United States and others while he engineers an annexation of South Korea. The younger Pitt, the main character of this novel, working for NUMA (National Underwater and Marine Agency) is caught in the action when his ship is near the Aleutian Islands while a toxin is released airborne (either during retrieval or as a test by the terrorists). We are quickly introduced to several other characters including a potential romantic interest and the younger Pitt’s sister.

This book has lots of action and I love the historical ties, but it misses out the depth of human interaction that usually keeps me hooked in while reading.  I’m planning to read a couple more before I make up my mind on the series, and actually have another started, so stay tuned!

~ Kristen

Book artwork from


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