Most authors strive to make their plots believable. Not Clive Cussler. In the Oregon series, he and his co-authors can almost be seen inventing one fantastic thing after another as they sketched out the plot for "Corsair".
And "Corsair" by Clive Cussler and Jack Du Brul is just plain fun because of it. There isn't even the barest attempt at making the plot plausible - and that makes it all the more fun. "Corsair" is pure fantasy, pure action adventure.
As often is the case with a Cussler novel, it opens with a flashback, this time to the Muslim pirates of the Barbery Coast and a naval battle in which an American sailor first shoots and then saves the life of a Muslim captain. The American officer, supposedly spends two years with the Muslim, Sulieman Al-Jama, a former Iman turned pirate and infidel killer.
Flash forward two hundred or so years and the United States Secretary of State Fiona Katamoro is winging her way toward Tripoli, Libya where a momentous peace conference is to get underway. The hopes of the world are raised because of the wondrous intelligence, skills, experience and beauty of the Secretary of State - all of Cussler's heroes are more or less better than perfect examples of humanity.
Well Secretary of State Katamoro has a little difficulty getting to her destination: her aircraft has apparently crashed and she is not be found.
Just before this, a familiar character in Cussler's Dirk Pitt and Oregon series, St. Julian Perlmutter, gourmand, intellectual, bon vivant and maritime historian, browses the letters of Henry Lafayette, the man who save and then lived with Sulieman Al-Jama so long ago. According to the long ignored letters of Lafayette, Al-Jama had recanted his belief that all infidels must be killed or enslaved and instead came to believe that Islam and Christianity should and must co-exist.
This would be handy because of the peace conference and because a modern day Muslim terrorist has adopted the name of Sulieman Al-Jama and is making regular video appearances beheading infidels.
Now at last to the Oregon. The Oregon appears to be a dilapidated 534' long freighter. But the old wreck really disguises a fantastic ship inside called the Oregon. The Oregon is an advanced intelligence, oceanographic, combat and everything else vessel captained by Captain Juan Cabrillo, dashing man about the world's oceans, former CIA operative, brilliant strategist, tactician, judge of fine cigars, wine and women. He also has but one leg. The Oregon is fitted with a revolutionary = and purely imaginary - propulsion system. It also bristles with more armaments than most modern warships, more electronics than the NSA and is crewed by the most brilliant men and women in the world, all of whom are great scientists, technologists, doctors, engineers, helicopter pilots, what have you. The men are all handsome and the women beautiful. Cussler is not one for understatement - ever.
When Katamoro's plane disappears, there is an archaeological dig going on in Tunisia for Roman ruins - but four of the team members are actually looking for Sulieman Al-Jama's testament of peace.
Now to cap it all, Libya has a new foreign minister who shot from obscurity only months earlier.
Bear in mind, this is just the background.
Events start moving fast and furiously. Whenever Cabrillo or one of the Oregon appears to be any danger, Cussler and Du Brul pull another rabbit out of the hat. And another. And another and then some more. The two of them are storytellers of the kind who will invent on the spot just to keep their listeners enthralled.
And the result is an action packed novel, filled with entirely unbelievable characters, unbelievable plot twists, unbelievable action. In a word, it's great!
Things roll along quickly and although you know Cabrillo will triumph in the end, just as they have in the five prior novels, Cussler and Du Brul still manage to keep the tension high.
These are two master storytellers at work and they don't miss a beat. This is just a plain, fun read. Suspend your need for credibility - and just enjoy the action.