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Black Wind

Black Wind

Clive Cussler
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4.7 of 5
PENGUIN; Export Ed edition (2004)
Genre Fiction
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A father and son team wrote this book, and a father and son team serve as the protagonists of this undersea thriller, part of the Dirk Pitt series. A World War II plan by the Japanese to depopulate the U.S. with a Chinese biological weapon launched via submarine is linked to a 2007 scheme by a South Korean to detonate a roc
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7 Reviews
  • I enjoyed "Black Wind" more on this go-around than I did the first time I read it (circa 2005), partially because the plot line seems more timely than ever now with North Korea being such a major news item,
    but there are still some technical gaffes (explained below) and the lack of edginess so prevalent in the classic Cussler novels of the 1970s and 80s that prevent me from giving the novel a full 5 stars.

    p. 8: the Bungo Strait--shades of "Run Silent, Run Deep!"

    Lookup: Seiran floatplane

    --p. 11: "Naval authority on submarines was notably relaxed, even in the Japanese Navy." Time-Life Books' "War Under the Pacific" noted the same thing.

    So, even back then and in non-U.S. countries, sub crews got better chow than the rest of the Navy, eh?

    --p. 17: Lookup Farragut-class destroyer USS Theodore Knight

    --p. 29: Lookup Steller's sea lions.

    Lookup "Laissez le bons temps rouler?" = "Leave well enough alone?"

    --p. 38: "'We've notified the Coast Guard *and* the Department of Homeland Security" [emphasis added] Um, the Coast Guard IS a part of DHS.

    --p. 41: Basil named for the sea serpent from "Shock Wave?"

    --p. 45: Um, although the AK-74 rifle may have full-auto capability, it's not technically considered a "machine gun."

    Lucky for Jack Dahlgren that the round didn't tumble upon impact!

    --p. 48: "'Well,' Dirk said, tearing a steaming leg off the big crustacean, 'we could use some lemon and butter.'" Heh heh, glad to see that the NUMA peeps, their love for the sea and the environment in general notwithstanding, are not vegetarians!

    --p. 54: "'It just makes sense for everyone involved to ease trade restrictions. Our own steel tariffs may still get in the way of an agreement.'" Wow, what coincidental timing (reading this passage and quoting it on 26 April 2018).

    "'It’s a damn mystery how they can think that way, given the past aggressiveness of the North.'" Again, how timely.

    --p. 69: "'I think a dinosaur crapped in my mouth during the night,' Dahlgren said
    with a belch." Haha, appetising anal-ogy!

    --p. 89: "Shining his light on one set of valves, he made out BARASUTO TANKU in white lettering, which he presumed operated the ballast tanks." Um, would it be in actual "lettering" per se, or Japanese (Kanji) script? Or does Dirk actually know how to read Kanji?

    --p. 91: "Type 95 torpedoes, large and deadly fish that were both more reliable and more explosive than the American counterpart during the war." Hmmm, really? I'll have to look that one up....

    --p. 97: "An ex–Marine Corps MP, Finch still sported a crew cut and spoke with the blunt voice of a basic training drill sergeant." Ahem, the Corps calls 'em "drill instructors (DIs)," not "drill sergeants."

    --p. 99: "'there has been no real radical Islamic presence visible in Japan.'" Hell, there's very little Islamic presence in Japan, moderate OR radical.

    p. 101: "The twenty-three-year-old master sergeant was an avionics specialist at the air base," AHEM, no way would a mere 23 year-old be a Master Sergeant in ANY branch of the U.S. military in this day & age! Promotions to that level of seniority just don't happen that fast nowadays, not even battlefield promotions (especially not within the senior NCO ranks)!

    --p. 110: "William Beebe, Sylvia Earle, and Don Walsh." Some historically iconic oceanographic names there!

    --p. 116: "'Just like the Titanic,' he marveled." Hmmm, an allusion by Al to his (and Dirk's) "Raise the Titanic!" adventure?

    --p. 125: "communist entrepreneur" a deliberately ironic oxymoron on the authors' part, I presume? Wow, Dae-jong Kang is the ultimate Cadillac communist!

    p. 148: Referring to an Ingram Mac-10 as a "burp gun?" Um, no, that nickname belongs to the M3 submachine gun AKA the "grease gun."

    --p: 188: "The aristocratic club was appropriately housed on the hundredth floor of the world’s tallest building, the recently completed International Business Center Tower located in western Seoul." Really, taller than the Burj Khalifa?

    --p. 205: "Starfish," an homage to the "Raise the Titanic" film adaptation (even though Clive hated it)??

    p. 259: Pararescue Jumpers (PJs), HOOYAH!

    --p. 338: G8 meeting, how timely!

    --p. 347: Ahem, in the Air Force, "First Sergeant" is a job title like "Commander," not an actual rank.

    --p. 348: Air Force generally doesn't use the acronym/abbreviation "S.O." for Special Operations teams. They use "STT" for "Special Tactics Teams" instead.

    --p. 358: Ahem, the Navy doesn't use the term "Special Forces" for its SEALs/UDT types. Special Warfare or SpecWar, but not "Special Forces."

    --p. 389: Ahem, it's not the "Customs Department," it's the Bureau of Customs & Border Protection (CBP) within the Department of Homeland Security.

    --p. 510: Ahem, a SEAL is a SAILOR, not a "soldier!"

    --p. 513: A SIG-Sauer P226 holds a 15-round magazine, not 13, and moreover, it's supposed to go to slide-lock when out ammo, therefore no "firing pin beat down on an empty chamber."

  • This story is a contemporary struggle of a power hungry nation to use any means to cause destruction and suffering to US citizens, and the people behind this take pleasure in causing pain. In this novel, the evil permeates from North Korea, disguised at originating with the Japanese to throw off the US intelligence forces. In the meantime, without government authority, a group of Americans work to ferret out the bad guys. Dirk Pitt is the Arnold Schwarzenneger of Cussler's books. He can do anything under any circumstances and still pop up in one piece. Cussler introduces cutting edge technology in underwater equipment and his characters use it and other equipment in interesting ways to trick or stop the enemy. The enemy's threat in this book is unique and readers will be holding their breath to see if it can be stopped, and how, in time to avert catastrophy.

  • I enjoyed the book but feel Cussler is getting too nefarious with his plots. His villains are taking on a very dastardly nature and I am not always enjoying the books anymore, especially the number of times his heroes and heroins get caught by the bad guys and then have to escape. Just once I'd like to see them do some reconnoitering, get in and get out, and all without being caught, tortured, etc. I love action but continuously contrived action gets boring after awhile. I feel it's time for a Cussler break and decided to begin reading other authors.

  • The Pitt father, son and daughter trio teamed up to combat a Korean madman. The NUMA cast along with Navy SEALS were successful in destroying a rocket and a madman.

  • I had a hard time at first making sense of the first chapters. So I reread them . Very good read. Dirk Pitt SR and Junior were excellent.

  • Being an long time fan of Mr. Dirk Pitt and Al Giordano I must say I was a bit sceptic when Mr. Clive Cussler introdused Dirk Pitt (jr) and Summer in Valhalla Rising.
    Though, that book with also Trojan Odyssey and Treasure of Khan beeing great stories, this one also falls for my pleasure.

    Black Wind takes us thru the story with fast pace, great twists and with the humorous quotes from Dirk Pitt.
    Also Dirk Pitt Sr and Al Giordano makes their appearance in this novel, and gives it the touch for topping it all.

    Clive Cussler tense to incorporates history into his stories. This is what I like about his novels.
    As Rebecca Graf says[...]:
    "For me, after reading his books I want to explore the true history of what he brings in and learn more about it."
    That quote is saying it all for me.
    I love this "what if" scenarios. It's a novel, it's not non-fiction, but i takes real history and starts it all with "what if".

    Plot introduction:
    The novel centers around a North Korean plot to launch a biological warfare attack on the United States, creating an opportunity for the invasion and annexation of South Korea. Dirk Pitt Jr., his father, and his sister Summer must foil the plot and expose and stop the antagonists before a deadly toxin can be spread in released over Los Angeles.

    The story's historical prologue takes place in December 1944. The commanding officer of the I-403, a Japanese I-400 class submarine, is given orders to launch a mysterious attack on the United States, a mission involving Japan's notorious biological warfare group, Unit 731. The I-403 reaches America's northwest coast, but is sunk before the mission can be carried out.

    I would say this is a must-read for Cussler fans. It has it all.

  • Actually one of my favorite Dirk Pitt books. Though I missed having the action focused on Dirk Sr., his kids and their characterizations were entertaining. Although the plots of these books are always fraught with improbability, this plot was one that seemed more realistic than some others. Lots of fun, lots of action, good villian, and great good guys.