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TITLES BY CLIVE CUSSLER

DIRK PITT® ADVENTURES

Celtic Empire (with Dirk Cussler)

Odessa Sea (with Dirk Cussler)

Havana Storm (with Dirk Cussler)

Poseidon’s Arrow (with Dirk Cussler)

Crescent Dawn (with Dirk Cussler)

Arctic Drift (with Dirk Cussler)

Treasure of Khan (with Dirk Cussler)

Black Wind (with Dirk Cussler)

Trojan Odyssey

Valhalla Rising

Atlantis Found

Flood Tide

Shock Wave

Inca Gold

Sahara

Dragon

Treasure

Cyclops

Deep Six

Pacific Vortex!

Night Probe!

Vixen 03

Raise the Titanic!

Iceberg

The Mediterranean Caper

SAM AND REMI FARGO ADVENTURES®

The Wrath of Poseidon (with Robin Burcell)

The Oracle (with Robin Burcell)

The Gray Ghost (with Robin Burcell)

The Romanov Ransom (with Robin Burcell)

Pirate (with Robin Burcell)

The Solomon Curse (with Russell Blake)

The Eye of Heaven (with Russell Blake)

The Mayan Secrets (with Thomas Perry)

The Tombs (with Thomas Perry)

The Kingdom (with Grant Blackwood)

Lost Empire (with Grant Blackwood)

Spartan Gold (with Grant Blackwood)

ISAAC BELL ADVENTURES®

The Saboteurs (with Jack Du Brul)

The Titanic Secret (with Jack Du Brul)

The Cutthroat (with Justin Scott)

The Gangster (with Justin Scott)

The Assassin (with Justin Scott)

The Bootlegger (with Justin Scott)

The Striker (with Justin Scott)

The Thief (with Justin Scott)

The Race (with Justin Scott)

The Spy (with Justin Scott)

The Wrecker (with Justin Scott)

The Chase

KURT AUSTIN ADVENTURES

Novels from The NUMA Files®

Fast Ice (with Graham Brown)

Journey of the Pharaohs (with Graham Brown)

Sea of Greed (with Graham Brown)

The Rising Sea (with Graham Brown)

Nighthawk (with Graham Brown)

The Pharaoh’s Secret (with Graham Brown)

Ghost Ship (with Graham Brown)

Zero Hour (with Graham Brown)

The Storm (with Graham Brown)

Devil’s Gate (with Graham Brown)

Medusa (with Paul Kemprecos)

The Navigator (with Paul Kemprecos)

Polar Shift (with Paul Kemprecos)

Lost City (with Paul Kemprecos)

White Death (with Paul Kemprecos)

Fire Ice (with Paul Kemprecos)

Blue Gold (with Paul Kemprecos)

Serpent (with Paul Kemprecos)

OREGON FILES®

Marauder (with Boyd Morrison)

Final Option (with Boyd Morrison)

Shadow Tyrants (with Boyd Morrison)

Typhoon Fury (with Boyd Morrison)

The Emperor’s Revenge (with Boyd Morrison)

Piranha (with Boyd Morrison)

Mirage (with Jack Du Brul)

The Jungle (with Jack Du Brul)

The Silent Sea (with Jack Du Brul)

Corsair (with Jack Du Brul)

Plague Ship (with Jack Du Brul)

Skeleton Coast (with Jack Du Brul)

Dark Watch (with Jack Du Brul)

Sacred Stone (with Craig Dirgo)

Golden Buddha (with Craig Dirgo)

NONFICTION

Built for Adventure: The Classic Automobiles of Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt

Built to Thrill: More Classic Automobiles from Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt

The Sea Hunters (with Craig Dirgo)

The Sea Hunters II (with Craig Dirgo)

Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt Revealed (with Craig Dirgo)

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

The Adventures of Vin Fiz

The Adventures of Hotsy Totsy

G. P. Putnam’s Sons

Publishers Since 1838

An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

penguinrandomhouse.com

Copyright © 2021 by Sandecker, RLLLP

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

Ebook ISBN 9780593191231

Interior illustrations and endpaper by Roland Dahlquist

Title page image: Panama Canal construction by Everett Collection/Shutterstock.com

Cover illustration: Mike Heath

Design adapted for ebook by Maggie Hunt

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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CONTENTS

Cover

Titles by Clive Cussler

Title Page

Copyright

Map

Cast of Characters

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

About the Authors

CAST OF CHARACTERS ARGENTINA

OTTO DREISSEN German industrialist

HEINZ KOHL Dreissen’s valet/bodyguard

MATIAS GUZMAN Argentine Foreign Minister CALIFORNIA

ISAAC BELL Chief detective of the Van Dorn Agency

MARION BELL Isaac Bell’s wife

RENNY HART Van Dorn detective

J. WILLIAM DENSMORE California Senator

MAJOR COURTNEY TALBOT (U.S. ARMY, RET.) Former soldier turned adventurer

ELIZABETH DENSMORE Senator Densmore’s niece

JEFFERSON “KENO” WILSON San Diego police chief PANAMA

GEORGE WASHINGTON GOETHALS Head of Panama Canal Authority

SAM WESTBROOK Canal administrator

JACK SCULLY Canal chief mechanic

JEREMIAH TOWNSEND Canal archivist

RINALDO MORALES Court Talbot’s driver

RAUL MORALES Rinaldo’s brother

FELIX RAMIREZ Owner of the Central Hotel

ERNST LEIBINGER-HOLTE Swiss businessman

BENEDICT “TATS” MACALISTER Hotel guest

GUILLERMO ACOSTA Argentine civil engineer

WHITTIER AND JULIET WEBB Hotel guests

JORGE NUÑEZ Panamanian guide

DETECTIVE ORTEGA Panama City policeman

RUTH BUSCHMAN Nurse

PROLOGUE

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

October 14, 1912

They gave him the gun in New York, he was pretty certain, and he thought some money too. That had allowed him to stalk his prey across eight states, often staying in the same hotels and riding the same train. Most importantly, though, they’d helped him hear the ghost once again. And the ghost gave the same command he’d given eleven years earlier, only John hadn’t the strength to act then. Today was different.

John Flammang Schrank spent most of the afternoon in a bar across from the Gilpatrick Hotel, where he knew his target would eat dinner before motoring to the Milwaukee Auditorium to deliver a speech to further his unholy quest. A former bar owner himself, the Bavarian-born Schrank downed six schooners of beer but felt nothing but calm as the crowds outside the nearby hotel swelled in anticipation of getting a glimpse of their hero.

Traitor, he thought sullenly, the weight of the gun tugging at his coat pocket. Traitor and murderer.

He paid the barman and crossed the street. It was close to eight, and light spilled from the hotel’s windows. The air was crisp, so people wore long coats and hats pulled down low. Schrank was a portly man, round in the belly, with a friendly enough face dominated by a large, jutting chin. He had little trouble pressing his way through the happy throngs of people.

How could they show such adoration? he wondered. Didn’t they know the truth?

That truth had come to him shortly after his target had taken office. It was the ghost’s first appearance in a dream, a vivid dream that he’d never been able to shake. And now, with the help of his new benefactors, the dream had returned, only this time his target had been wearing the

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