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All Action, All The Time

Clive Cussler is famous for macho thrillers, so why are 50 percent of his readers women?

Best-selling adventure writer Clive Cussler knows how to grab his readers. And before letting them go, he tosses them around with explosive commotion, ties them up with an intricate plot, and makes them cry out for justice – or revenge. His protagonists are handsome, smart and powerful, yet romantically vulnerable, and his villains are nothing short of diabolical. He has great skill in writing dialogue and describing the details of a scene. If  he feels the story beginning to slow a bit, “I’ll throw in some action,” he says. “Like a landslide or an avalanche.”

Cussler keeps up the electrifying pace in his latest novel, The Wrecker (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, $27.95). The year is 1907 and the owner of the Southern Pacific Railroad is desperate to complete his express line through the Cascade Mountains before winter sets in. He fears the financial panic gripping the country and the labor unrest that threatens to match the famed nationwide Pullman strike of a decade earlier.

However, what he fears most is a cunning saboteur known as “the wrecker,” who uses his superior engineering skills to cripple, crush and destroy the railroad’s progress and murder its workers. Who is he and what does he want? Is he an anarchist, a revolutionary or a criminal mastermind? Whoever he is and whatever his motives, he must be stopped before more lives are lost.

Read the entire article in the January 2010 issue