BOOKS CHECKED OUT
Hidden treasures, secret codes, greedy villains, or a race to the finish may signify an adventure story. In action-filled novels like those sampled below, the main characters face dangers of various sorts on their quests.
by Clive Cussler with Grant Blackwood
Husband and wife Sam and Remi Fargo are treasurer hunters. “Of course, ‘job’ wasn’t quite the right word for what Sam and Remi did. For them it wasn’t about a paycheck but rather the adventure.” While exploring a Maryland swamp, they discover an old German submarine that contains a bottle from Napoleon’s lost wine cellar, which causes them to embark on a hunt for an unknown treasure. Deciphering clues, they gallivant across Europe, several times encountering an obsessed Russian and his henchmen who are after the same thing. “[Sam’s] rising fear turned to immediate relief as he saw a hand emerge from the undergrowth along the bank across the lagoon. The hand was pointed toward him, palm out: Wait. A second later Remi’s face emerged from the foliage. She tapped her ear…And then he heard it: the thumping of a helicopter blade, faint and then moving closer.” Author Clive Cussler has written many adventure stories, including others about the Fargos.
by Douglas Preston
“‘Maxwell Broadbent was born into a working-class family. He went to Central America when he was young and disappeared into the jungle for two years. He made a big discovery, robbed some Mayan temples, and smuggled the stuff back. That’s how he got started. He was a dealer in questionable art and antiquities.’” No love is lost among Broadbent’s three sons, who are summoned to his home hoping for news of their inheritance, only to find a video explaining his absence: “You’re going to earn this money. I’ve arranged to bury myself and my collection in a tomb somewhere in the world. I challenge you to find me. If you do, you can rob my tomb and have it all.” This instigates a search that involves the three brothers, an ethnopharmacologist, a pharmaceutical company, and a private detective, all racing against each other for the same ancient Mayan codex deep in the jungle. “They walked for hours up and down ravines, wading swift streams, at times hacking their way through dense stands of bamboo or ferns. Biting ants rained down on them and crawled down their shirts, and several times Don Alfonso impaled small snakes with his machete and flicked them aside. It rained briefly and they were soaked. The sun came out and they steamed.”
‘The Amber Room’
by Steve Berry
The famed Amber Room from the Russian Catherine Palace has been missing since World War II. Karol Borya saw the amber panels once, and described the sight to his former son-in-law, “‘Like stepping into fairy tale. The amber was hard and shiny like stone, but not cold like marble. More like wood. Lemon, whiskey brown, cherry. Warm colors. Like being in the sun.’” After her father’s death, Judge Rachel Cutler is determined to solve the Amber Room mystery that intrigued him. Followed by her ex-husband, she sets off for Germany. Cold-hearted art collectors and killers are also hot on the trail of the Cutlers, each other, and the long lost art. “[He] stepped across to the body. He withdrew the stiletto and checked for a pulse. None. Surprising. The man died fast. But his aim had been true.”
‘The Last Oracle’
by James Rollins
An ancient relic is the initial clue in this thriller, when Gray Pierce receives an antique coin from a man shot in front of him. “It wasn’t every day a man dropped dead in your arms.” Pierce is a member of the Sigma Force, “an elite team of ex-Special Forces soldiers who had been retrained in scientific fields to serve as a covert military arm for DARPA, the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency.” Hunting for the assassin, Pierce learns that the coin is a key leading to a diabolical plan involving the secret bioengineering of children. “Gray cursed under his breath. Unable to stop the deaths to come, his only recourse was to apprehend the mass murderer who had orchestrated the deadly operation. Gray stepped out into the open with his pistol leveled.” This is one of several Sigma Force novels by Rollins.
The Rutland Free Library has the books above and many other adventure stories.