Top critical review
Lazy, formulaic and riddled with historic errors
on 14 October 2013
As a semi regular reader of Cussler, usually when looking for something undemanding when on holiday, I am becoming increasingly depressed by the quality of his work.
This book must rank as one of his most disappointing. I have become used to the authors casual disregard of historic facts & reluctantly accept the need for these as a plot device but in this novel he has stretched things too far.
HMS Hampshire didn't depart from Portsmouth 3 days before it's loss -with Kitchener & his staff on board rather she left Scapa Flow 3 hours before her loss.
Similarly she really can't be described as one of the RN's most powerful ships - by 1916 it was clear that armoured cruisers were obsolete death traps for their crews.
The plot is heavily contrived, research archaeology seems to Cussler simply to be a matter of looking at a fresco, visiting a library, a few happy coincidences and even the most involved historic mystery is solved.
i do wonder how many more times the author will use the plot device of an ancient wreck found in a cave / glacier / ice sheet etc.
To mitigate, as usual the plot moves at pace & the use of Istanbul as a setting is interesting but this book really is pulp fiction suitable only to allow one to put the brain into neutral whilst passing some undemanding hours.