This is perhaps the fourth Sam and Remi Fargo adventure I’ve read and probably the best of the lot thus far–though I admit, that I somehow seem to have skipped over a book or two, so I perused them out of order. Cussler or perhaps I should say Russell Blake seems to be hitting his stride. Not that his half-stride doesn’t exceed most authors leaps and bounds.
The independently wealthy treasure hunters, Sam (husband) and Remi Fargo (wife), continue to gallivant around the globe, visiting exotic locations and unearthing ancient treasures. This one involves uncovering the secret connection between Vikings, Toltecs, and the god Quetzl Coatl.
In their efforts to discover this secret, they require the help of a disgraced Professor Laslo (the spelling may be incorrect on the name, since I listened to this rather than read the book) who they find in a drugged and alcoholic stupor somewhere in Cambodia–having abandoned his pursuit of a lost treasure horde in favor of a pursuit of strong spirits.
Most generously, the Fargos pay for rehab and get him back on his feet. However, the book fails to point out the irony that the Fargos are themselves functional alcoholics (as opposed to Professor Laslo who is a decidedly non-functional alcoholic when we first meet him).
Every meal described by the author goes into loving detail about the bottle of wine the Fargos consume, or includes mentions of multiple drinks and jokes about hangovers.They even, somewhat callously, plan to discuss the days events over a “few” margaritas, directly in front of Laslo. Later the Fargos go out and sample a multitude of whiskeys.
The unintentional moral of the story seems to be that Non-Functional Alcoholism is bad, but Functional Alcoholism is good. But this is just me making a wry observation…
On another, character-related note, the Fargos have a pair of Californian researchers working for them named Pete and Wendy. In the books I’ve read, neither of them seems to have developed much of a personality. In this book Pete is given a romantic sub-plot, where he demonstrates an interest in another researcher’s niece. However, we still never really get to know Pete.