Medusa (A Novel from the NUMA Files)
by Clive Cussler & Paul Kemprecos
G P Putnam & Sons 2009
I love this series of books from Clive Cussler.
Kurt Austin is the head of the special assignments team for NUMA. This is the same job that Dirk and his mate Al Giordino were doing for many years before Dirk got married to Lori and his kids showed up. But I guess it was inevitable - that things had to change.
Dirk Pitt now has a non-active role as the Director of NUMA and Admiral Sandecker is now the Vice President of the USA.
In this book Kurt and his team (Joe Zavala, Paul & Gamay Trout) are investigating the cause of a new flu outbreak in China. Then Kurt learns that one Chinese Triad gang developed the flu and released it. They intended to destabilise the Chinese government and bring the Triads into power.
This triad has 3 leaders - a set of triplets. Each is in charge of a different area of the business. One triplet is in Shanghai, another is in Hong Kong and the third is in USA.
The triad has hijacked a private laboratory that was hidden underwater in the Melanesian area of the Pacific Ocean, nor far from the island of Pohnpei.
Kurt and Joe are charged with finding out what happened to the laboratory and to do anything they can to rescue the scientists being held there. Paul and Gamay must do whatever they can to trace the origin of this new strain of flu, and find a vaccine for it. Part of the vaccine is derived from the toxic venoms of jellyfish - hence the title name Medusa.
The action runs from DC to Florida to Boston to the Caribbean, to Pohnpei to Shanghai. This is another excellent adventure. It is also entirely appropriate to have an adventure story about a flu of unknown origin at the exact same time as the world is also battling a flu of "supposedly" unknown origin. It is called Swine Flu.