Book #16 in the Dirk Pitt series (published 2001)
In the middle of its maiden voyage, a luxury cruise ship using revolutionary new engines suddenly catches fire and sinks. Its alarms stay silent; its sprinkler system remains inactive. Nearby NUMA special projects director Dirk Pitt notices smoke and races to the rescue. He’s too late to save the engineer behind the ship’s new technology, but helps the man’s daughter, Kelly Egan, escape with her father’s work in a leather briefcase.
While Ms. Egan strives to uncover the hidden value in her father’s inventions, Pitt is hired on by maritime insurers to investigate the wreckage. Neither are prepared for the mechanical marvels they’ll soon be forced to confront. The machines could only be the stuff of legend, described in the tales of Viking explorers or the accounts of Jules Verne. And they may be Pitt and Egan’s only hope when an oil tycoon with a plan of his own appears on the scene.
Before journey’s end, Pitt will take on a power-mad millionaire, tread upon territory previously known only to Verne’s illustrious Captain Nemo, and make shocking discoveries about his own past.