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Wrath of Poseidon: A Sam and Remi Fargo Adventure


Wrath of Poseidon: A Sam and Remi Fargo Adventure

It's time for the latest Sam and Remi Fargo adventure! It feels great to say this because it proves how authors have the ability to move us with their words and stories even after they are gone. Clive Cussler passed away earlier this year, but not without leaving a few books in the pipeline awaiting publication. WRATH OF POSEIDON is his first posthumous release and his fifth collaboration with Robin Burcell.

This tale, like many from Cussler, is rooted in the annals of history --- in this case, both oceanic and world history. It begins in the year 546 B.C. at Sardis, which is part of the Persian Empire. A small uprising that may have involved Samian pirates is squashed by King Cyrus II. We then switch our gaze to Korseai off the coast of what we now know to be Greece. There, two young boys are boating out to Poseidon's Trident, two sculpted carvings that reach up from the sea like part of the ocean god's famous weapon. Their purpose is to land on the island by the Trident so that they may whisper in Poseidon's ear to send their recently deceased father home. Their innocent quest is stopped short by Drakon, a Samian pirate, who fears they are seeking out the great treasure that is said to be in the caves at this location. Our step back into the past ends with none of the parties involved accomplishing their goals or finding any hidden riches.

We then return to present day, with Sam and Remi Fargo in Washington, D.C. Their visit to the Georgetown area involves having dinner with St. Julien Perlmutter, a striking character standing at 6’4”, fully bearded in the manner of King Henry VIII, and a renowned authority on maritime history. They quickly get to the heart of the matter --- a cache of gold stolen from King Cyrus II in 546 B.C. after he conquered King Croesus. This subject matter makes the husband-and-wife team step back into their own timeline to a point 10 years earlier. The moment in question is the night they met, which would soon tie into the very treasure to which Perlmutter is referring.

"WRATH OF POSEIDON is written in compact chapters ala James Patterson, as Cussler and Burcell end each one with some sort of cliffhanger or effective plot twist that keeps the pages turning."

For Sam and Remi, it is pretty much love at first sight. One evening at their favorite bar/restaurant --- the Lighthouse Café in Redondo Beach --- Sam sends a bottle of Sangria to Remi's table of four because they are obviously celebrating something. He announces that he is on his way out but that they should enjoy the bottle on him. Remi immediately recognizes him because he is sort of a local hero who had just saved the life of a surfer the day before. A shelf stocker at a local market, Sam is quite enthusiastic about anything involving maritime history and antiquarian searches for treasure. The two of them ultimately combine their individual hobbies and converge somewhere in the area of Greece.

Remi is planning to go diving for treasure in the same spot where a dangerous billionaire is also focused: Fourni Korseon, Greece. Adrian Kyril has made his wealth and reputation from importing and exporting more than merely olive oil. Remi and her friend, Dimitris, get too close for comfort as far as Kyril is concerned, and they are forcibly taken from their dive boat and placed on a speed boat where they are whisked away to parts unknown. Initially, they think that their captors are pirates. During their time with these “Greeks with guns,” Remi sends out some messages for help. One is to Sam, who leaves his job at the supermarket and jets over to Greece to come to the aid of his soon-to-be forever love.

Guided by Dimitris' father, Nikos, Sam eventually finds the two captives, who manage to slip away from the partying Mirage yacht on which they were being held. Now, with time to reconvene, the four of them realize that they must learn everything they can about Kyril as he looks to be a major threat they will not be able to easily shake. Sam reaches out to an old Hungarian woman, Ms. Wondrash, who provides him with everything she can turn up on Kyril. He bears all the traits of a modern-day pirate, or at least he has the wealth to act as such by way of the billions he has acquired in his role of mob boss. Sam and Remi learn about a casino fundraiser that Kyril is hosting, and they infiltrate it to see what they can find out. Of course, not being James Bond or anywhere close to a professional spy, their cover is quickly blown and they have to flee for their very lives. They have now made themselves quite well known to Kyril, and he has made eliminating Sam and Remi part of his primary to-do list.

During one of their self-guided missions, Dimitris is taken. Are actual modern-day pirates or Kyril behind this? A good portion of the novel finds Sam, Remi and company in and out of trouble as they try to get close to Kyril and his organization. Through some amazing stroke of luck, they are able to take photos of some of Kyril's “product,” which makes Interpol very happy. Kyril is apprehended and put away based on the information that Sam and Remi uncover. Now, with him temporarily out of the way, they can focus on finding the hidden treasure that Remi came to Greece to locate.

All the while, the eventual return of Kyril or some of his cohorts looms over the entire story and provides tension that remains right up until the breakneck finale. WRATH OF POSEIDON is written in compact chapters ala James Patterson, as Cussler and Burcell end each one with some sort of cliffhanger or effective plot twist that keeps the pages turning.

I confess that I was not very knowledgeable about Robin Burcell before delving into this story. Many years ago I had read one of her novels, THE BONE CHAMBER; it was good, but her name just slipped back into the plethora of authors writing in the genre that emerged after Dan Brown came on the scene. Well, it seems that the late, great Clive Cussler infused Burcell with his swaggering, pirate-like spirit because the literary pairing works. It's a shame that we won't see any more from Cussler. Readers can only hope that Burcell, having now co-authored five of these adventures, will keep the series going on her own.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on June 5, 2020

Wrath of Poseidon: A Sam and Remi Fargo Adventure
by Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell

  • Publication Date: May 26, 2020
  • Genres: Adventure, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 0593087887
  • ISBN-13: 9780593087886