I am a big fan of the NUMA books by Clive Cussler. The initial books starred Dirk Pitt, one of my favorite modern heroes, and the later NUMA Files books were coauthored by Clive Cussler and Paul Kemprecos. So when I came across Cool Blue Tomb which was written by Paul Kemprecos in his pre-NUMA days, I was very eager and curious to read it. And Cool Blue Tomb did not disappoint.
Cool Blue Tomb stars Aristotle Socarides, or ‘Soc’ as he is popularly known as. Soc is a Vietnam war veteran who later became a police officer for the Boston PD. He is flying solo now as a private investigator in a small seaside community on Cape Cod. Most of the time, he just prefers to go fishing.
A young diver is found dead. A man called Mike Barrett approaches Soc with a story of buried treasure. There are literally hundreds of wrecks buried among the sandbars of the Cape. But Barrett is sure he has found the Gabriella, a British frigate that sunk in 1778. She was carrying payroll for the British army and also a lot of personal wealth and gold carried by British soldiers. Barrett’s charts for the location of the ship are missing, and he wants Soc to find them for him.
Soc’s investigations uncover a lot of dirt on the dead diver. A ravishing rich woman hires Soc to spy on her husband. And some family obligations land another assignment in Soc’s lap. All he wants to do is go fishing with his partner Sam.
Soc has a grasp on philosophy and a wicked sense of humor. He has intimate knowledge of the history of the region, and people skills that depend on a lot of beer. Soc gets some diving done and plays with his life while trying to uncover the truth.
Cool Blue Tomb does not have as much under sea action as I would have liked. But that is because I subconsciously compare it to a Dirk Pitt book. There is adventure and intrigue here, and a mystery that is not obvious. Soc has a good mind although he generally comes across as a beach bum.
I would definitely like to read other adventures of ‘Soc’. It is easy to get lost in this fast narrative that is rich with the history of the Cape and interspersed with jewels of Soc’s wit. A must read for all treasure hunters and adventurers!