Night Probe according to Dirk Pitt, is an old diving term for exploring the darkness of underwater caves.
This book by Clive Cussler was published in 1981 and the fifth book featuring my favorite hero Dirk Pitt.
The Storyline (from the back cover)
Dive to Destiny!
May 1914, Two top diplomats hurry home by sea and rail, each carrying a document of world-changing importance. Then the liner Empress of Ireland is sunk in a collision, and the Manhattan-Line Express plunges from a shattered bridge-- both dragging their VIP passengers to watery oblivion. Tragic coincidence--or conspiracy?
Three quarters of a century later a chance revelation re-opens the question. In the energy-starved, fear-torn 1980's, those long-lost papers could destroy whole nations--and Dirk Pitt, the man who raised the Titanic confronts his biggest challenge yet. Racing against time, and the hired killers of enemies and allies alike--the horrors of the sea bed--he launches his revolutionary deep-sea research craft in the hunt for the documents. Night probe has begun...
Terror and assassination...deadly international intrigue...drama beneath the waters...Night Probe! is the new Cussler classic giant, pile-driving suspense!
Again, a very classic Clive Cussler novel, one with a prologue set in the earlier days of history, for this one, May 1914. With the war looming in the horizon, the British goes into a secret treaty with the US to survive the hard times. Then, tragically, diplomats carrying the signed copies of the said treaty were killed in separate accidents. Thereby, obliterating evidence of the secret agreement. Just what I applaud. It takes me back to that era way way before I was even conceived and makes me a silent observer in the front lines of the stage set a year before World War I. Then, the story takes you to the near future, eight years after, 1989. Remember, the book was published in 1981 and it was written probably a year or two before that. Ironically, Canada was also set to sever its legal dependence from UK in 1982, which is part of the plot of the novel. Yes, all of Dirk Pitt novels of Cussler has these kind of elements in the plot but they are always different each time. It has never happened that I had experienced a deja vu. Never. Dirk Pitt's adventures are always very singular and outstanding.
Night Probe in short, is a search for the lost signed copies of the treaty as a last resort to save the US from the impending energy crisis. Our hero, Dirk Pitt has to find the last readable copy of the treaty in the depths of a miner's cave in the darkness and race to grab it before a former MI6 agent gets it and destroys it. Then, all hope will be lost for the US. Sounds straightforward, yes? No and that is why, you have to read Clive Cussler. You will never know what hits you. It has always been a stupendous experience. Believe me. I can't describe enough the exhilaration each time I am in a Dirk Pitt undertaking. It's like an out-of-body-experience. It's like I am right there, in each moment, trying to find my way in the dark cave.
Night Probe is one of the novels I have read in my early stages of awe of Cussler. It's probably the second work I have of him. The first sensations I had when I read Sahara were just reinforced and makes me want to savour all of Cussler's work. I became an addict only on my second hit. And from there, there was no looking back. I have become a slave of Cussler and Dirk Pitt and other amazing characters like Kurt Austin and Juan Cabrillo. I have become Cussler's minion.
With this book, I have decided I have to learn to dive. Unfortunately, it has not come to fruition yet but I will, one of these days. I have mastered snorkeling and scuba diving is just right the next alley. It would be a shame if I would not be able to explore the wonders of the underwater treasures of the Philippines. Right at my doorstep, the waters of Cebu is waiting and I only need to heed its call and plunge.