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River of Ruin [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

Jack Du Brul , J. Charles
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 10 2003 Philip Mercer Series
In the heart of Panama, a volcanic lake feeds a serpentine river - its stone banks laid by the Incas, who took back the gold and jewels plundered from them by the conquistadors. Legend has it that the Twice-Stolen Treasure has been buried for centuries in the Panamanian jungle. Discovering it means surviving the black waters of the River of Ruin... It begins at a Paris auction house, with a favor granted by an old high school friend to geologist Philip Mercer: the opportunity to buy a rare diary written during the French attempt at digging the Panama Canal. But Mercer isn't the only one who wants it. Three Chinese assassins have been dispatched to get it, forcing Mercer into a subterranean game of cat and mouse that takes him from the hellish maze of l'empire de la mort and through the sewers of Paris. Mercer realizes he has uncovered an intricate Chinese plot to trigger a deadly shift in the world's balance of power. At stake is control of the canal, recently handed over to the government of Panama by the United States. Only Philip Mercer - with help from beautiful U.S. Army officer Lauren Vanik, a cell of French Foreign Legion commandos, and a crusty eighty-year-old retired sea captain named Harry White - can stop them.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Jam-packed with action and larger-than-life heroics, DuBrul's latest (after Pandora's Curse) sets geologist Philip Mercer on a course to save the world once again. This time he's in Panama, where he uncovers a Chinese plot to bomb the canal with nuclear weapons in order to strong-arm the U.S. into allowing China's takeover of Taiwan. Though teeming with up-to-the-minute technology (such as an experimental but deadly long-range cannon), the novel possesses a surprising Cold War perspective toward China. DuBrul demonstrates his knowledge of everything from geology to mechanics through prose that is at times too technical for the lay reader, but he lends his protagonist a welcome touch of emotional complexity. Mercer's softer side surfaces in his dealings with sexy heroine Lauren Vanik, a U.S. army officer, and, to a different extent, when his recollections of an old mentor prevent him from succumbing to diabolical Chinese torture. Despite these introspective moments, this is an adventure story at heart, and the action scenes come fast and furious, in sewers, factories, giant ships and more. It's evident from the outset that Mercer and his team will come out on top, but the fun is watching DuBrul untangle his own skillfully woven knots.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.


“A combination of Dirk Pitt and James Bond.”The Sunday Oklahoman
“The technology [Du Brul] comes up with is on par if not superior to Clancy.”—Clive Cussler
“Outrageous cliffhangers.”Kirkus Reviews
“A breakneck pace.”—Douglas Preston
“[An] adrenaline rush.”Publishers Weekly

--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A hit among misses Dec 21 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have read all of Jack Dubrul's novels so far, and there is one thing I can say about him. When he is good, he is good and when he is bad, he is really bad. I know that might sound generic, but it's true, and the best I could think to write it. His hits as I mentioned above seem to come with every other outing he takes us along with his character Mercer. It all started with Vulcan's Forge, which was good as action adventure goes, but was a little weak on characterization. Mercer's friends are all cardboard cutouts, that are at best one dimensional. Next came Charon's Landing, which was just bad. It felt like he had writers block when he wrote it and went with whatever first popped into his head to keep the story going, which was usually a crude joke. He improved with The Medusa Stone, which was a well rounded novel, and you actually began to care about the poorly drawn supporting characters such as the eighty year old friend, that he traveled across the world to save, and who has been in all the adventures so far, in one way or another. Pandora's Curse was like deja vous if you read a book called Riptide by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Also, nazi hunters and nazis altoghether are all worn out. Aside from some good action, and the tug of war between a sub and a zeppelin that was the seed that started the novel in the first place, it was a mediocre effort. Oh, the secret society or brotherhood aspect has been better used many different places, Serpent by Cussler and Kemprecos for example. Now we come to River of Ruin. By now we like Harry the octagenarian, and we begin to learn some of Mercer's dark past. As an action adventure novel, it was good with some really good bad guys, and the whole plot involving the Panama Canal was good. Read more ›
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not a very good novel Oct. 10 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a book full of mistakes.
The research is very poor, even unacceptable at times. For example, the author said you cannot be French to become part of the Legion Etrangere, this is completely incorrect.
Another aspect very annoying is the tentative to put French sentences here and there. Nothing wrong with the idea, but then write in correct French, "Combien du soldats?", "Bon idee", and many other sentences are absolutely wrong. More than two third of the French text is full of errors. Visibly DuBrul didn't bother to ask a basic French speaker to check his translation. This carelessness makes me wonder about the rest of the techno-mumbo-jumbo...
DuBrul's characters are uselly very black and white, but this time it's not even funny: The perfect american superman, against the nasty (and ugly) chineses, with the arrogant French spy. It's shallow and often very pathetique.
Overall I was very desappointed. I put one star because anyone who manage to write a book deserve that at least, but it's probably the last time I will bother to read a DuBrul.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Bad facts-lazy author? Oct. 4 2003
By "1-dfw"
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have read all of this author's books that are out in paperback, and have been giving him the benefit of the doubt up to now in regard to him getting his facts wrong on each item that I might happen to have any personal knowledge about. He seems to always get his facts wrong when talking of airplanes. In the River of Ruin he has the pilot flying a helicopter from the left side seat. In others he has 737s making transocean flights, and people falling 10 feet to the ground from a 757 or 767 on the ground(its more like 20 or more feet). A helicopter flight from one city in Peru to another is something like four hours to him, when in actuality its about an hour and a half TRAIN ride. In River of Ruin he has one player in a Henderson microprene one half millimeter body suit. Henderson is merely a brand name with no significance. He means a NEOPRENE WET suit. In every area the author writes about with which I'm familar, he doesn't get his facts right, so, such all of his errors are very easily researched, I can only assume he simply is too lasy and doesn't want to bother to get his facts correct. I assume this holds true concerning the guns, etc. also. I like to think that although I may be reading a work of fiction regarding the story line, the basic items in it are true, or at least we're told by the author that he made them up. Not so here.He needs to do his research if he's going to be a real writer.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pandemonium in Panama Feb. 25 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Jack DuBrul uses a consistent formula to create another successful novel in River of Ruin. Philip Mercer, the do everything mining engineer seemingly has a nose for trouble. Attending a rare book auction in Paris to buy a manuscript concerning the Panama Canal, he unwittingly stumbles into what he thinks is s Chinese plot to recover treasure in Panama. The treasure is really a front for a plot to accomplish quit a bit more than that.
An attack on Mercer's life in Paris sends him scurrying to Panama to find a mining school colleague who is searching for the Twice Stolen treasure. This is allegedly Inca treasure that was stolen by the conquistadors and stolen back and hidden in Panama. Mercer discovers his friend, Gary Brewer and his crew have mysteriously died at the site of the treasure excavation. Mercer's party is then attacked by a group from Hatcherly Corp., a Chinese company doing business in Panama. Hatcherly, a front for COSTIND, a Chinese defense conglomerate is headed by the powerful and influential Liu Yousheng, the villain of the book.
Mercer, desperate to find his friend's killers, is aided by the familiar confident, assertive and beautiful woman found in all DuBrul books, in the person of U.S. Army captain Lauren Vanik. Also lending a hand is Mercer's best friend and father figure, the bourbon swllling, chain smoking, octagenarian ex- sea captain, Harry White. White recruits Roddy Herrara an Panama canal pilot who is the son of an old friend. Mercer also eventually joins forces with a group of French Legionnaires and a French secret agent who are also trying to determine what the Chinese are up to.
It turns out that the Chinese are attempting to seize control of the Panama Canal.
Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Character Development
This was the first novel by Jack DuBrul I read and was impressed. I generally like good character development and that the main character has associations and friends and to learn... Read more
Published on May 30 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars River of Ruin
I am not setting up to write a review- I like the author's works and think he can spin a taut yarn and because of that I keep coming back to his books. Read more
Published on March 2 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars several tons of action
I agree,many other fiction action authors have said he has a great talent; there is no doubt on that statement. Read more
Published on Oct. 12 2003 by David A. Spearman
4.0 out of 5 stars Top notch action-thriller
Take a dash of Robert Ludlum, throw in a heaping tablespoon of Clyde Cussler and you have Jack DuBrul's latest techno/spy/thriller, River of Ruin. Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2003 by Sven Golly
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Grand Slam Effort from Du Brul
Clive Cussler has long held the undisputed title of Grand Master of Adventure Fiction for years...and while Jack Du Brul may not have his sights set on de-throning Cussler, his... Read more
Published on Jan. 13 2003 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Keep 'em coming!
River of Ruin is Du Brul's best since The Medusa Stone (hard to top that one, really). It's extremely fast-paced, witty and highly entertaining. Read more
Published on Jan. 3 2003 by Traveling Pants
4.0 out of 5 stars Mercer Moves Mountains, Maintains Mayhem
The newpaper headline aside I really liked this book. After reading the tedious Red Rabbit by Clancy, this book was refreshing. Read more
Published on Dec 9 2002 by R. Frye
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book yet!
What happens when you combine Dirk Pitt and James Bond? You get Phillip Mercer. Jack Du Brul has plunged geologist Phillip Mercer in the middle of a plot to gain control of the... Read more
Published on Dec 6 2002 by Anna M Shain
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