Book review: Clive Cussler’s Piranha has a good deal of bite

“Piranha,” the latest in the Oregon Files series of novels, proves to be the best entry in the series to date.

Piranha by Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison. Courtesy G.P. Putnam’s Sons
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Piranha, the latest in the Oregon Files series of novels by Clive Cussler, has a new co-author, Boyd Morrison, and proves to be the best entry in the series to date.

Juan Cabrillo and his team are experts in covert missions, and their ship, the Oregon, has always been their base of operations. It has state-of-the-art technology and weaponry, but can be disguised as a rusty wreck. Deception has been key in all their missions and Cabrillo runs his operations with his trustworthy crew in a style similar to the Mission: Impossible series.

The latest mission sends Cabrillo and his team to Venezuela, where one of their adversaries uncovers the deception and realises the ship is the Oregon.

To escape, they fake the sinking of the ship, but that’s just the beginning of their problems. Their adversary has access to weaponry and drones and he also seems to anticipate Cabrillo and his crew’s every move.

Oregon Files novels typically have outlandish villains mixed with elaborate con jobs designed by the heroes. Cabrillo always seems one step ahead of the fiend and his dastardly plot. That's not the case this time. Cabrillo has to scramble to survive, and he and his crew will be tested in ways they never imagined.

An extra element that makes this entry a winner is the cameos and appearances by characters from previous Cussler novels. There's even one by Tyler Locke, the hero of Morrison's solo adventures. Piranha is a perfect beach read.