Clive Cussler and Paul Kemprecos, “The Navigator”

A complex novel centered on the theft of a precious Phoenician statue, The Navigator follows various leads that point to one possible location of the lost Ark of the Covenant. With Kurt Austin at the helm, the discovery will be made with the best of intentions. But one man, a typical Cussler megalomaniac villain, will stop at nothing to fulfill what he believes to be his family’s destiny. Cussler and Kemprecos deliver another action-packed and plot-driven novel with The Navigator.

Plot Overview: Murder, Greed and History

About 900 B.C., a Phoenician man secretly delivered an item to the Americas; while trying to leave, he was ambushed by his brother. In 1809 Thomas Jefferson, using a code, writes to Meriwether Lewis of a discovery. On his way from the Louisiana Territory to Washington, Lewis is mysteriously killed. In 2003 the Baghdad Museum is ransacked, and a Phoenician statue is stolen.

Carina Mechadi, an attractive investigator for the UN, manages to track down the stolen statue. When the ship she is traveling on is waylaid by pirates, the statue is stolen for a second time. Luckily for Carina, Austin comes to her rescue, saving her from a would-be rapist. The two, with the help of Joe Zavala and Paul and Gamay Trout, embark on a wild-goose chase throughout the U.S. and the Middle East. In order to recover the statue, however, they must also unravel its secret.

Waiting behind the action is Viktor Baltazar and his evil henchman, Adriano. A narcissistic, powerful criminal, Baltazar believes himself to be invincible. Although he attempts to continue his family’s legacy by possessing the statue, Baltazar neglects to consider Kurt Austin and his ostensible superhuman abilities.

Criticisms and Compliments

Like Blue Gold, The Navigator traces Austin’s heroic events as he manages to save a beautiful lady – with whom he inevitably has some romantic chemistry – and prevent a power-hungry, irrational man from acting out a complicated plan that will be detrimental to the world’s balance. Kurt Austin is a classic hero, but his ability to make daring rescues, one after another, with positive outcomes and little to no wounds becomes unbelievable. Cussler’s plots also tend to be farfetched, but his explanations of historical possibilities, such as the Phoenicians reaching the Americas long before any other explorer, seem plausible. The Navigator is a fascinating read, and Cussler and Kemprecos neatly tie up the loose threads of the intricate plot.


  • Cussler, Clive and Paul Kemprecos. The Navigator (The Numa Files). Putnam Adult, 2007 ISBN 9780425222362