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This is the fourth different co-writer for Cussler, which leads the reader to wonder why. Leaving that aside, the book is typical Cussler - lots of action with the good guys winning at the end.
Sam Fargo and his wife Remi specialise in finding treasure, often shipwrecks, and after a Viking prologue, the book has them foiling would-be thieves from a wreck in Spanish waters.
The principal bad guy, a cardboard cut-out Englishman, is foiled but he pops up again after the Fargos' next find, a perfectly preserved Viking vessel.
The ship is filled with pre-Columbian Toltec artefacts from Mexico, proof of the theory that the Vikings ventured as far as Central America.
As Sam and Remi chase clues about a rumoured treasure, the Eye of Heaven, they travel to Mexico, across to Laos and back to Mexico, interspersed with a few trips home to the United States.
The Englishman reappears in all his nastiness but of course the Fargos win the day in a fast-paced novel underpinned by historical data.
The only downside is the author's tendency to name all the hotels the Fargos stay at and describe in unnecessary detail the meals they eat and wine they drink. Skip those bits and it's a good read.
- Gillian Vine is a Dunedin journalist.