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5 Best Clive Cussler Books (2024)

Best Clive Cussler Books ReviewBio

Clive Eric Cussler was born on the 15th of July, in the year of 1931, in Aurora, Illinois, United States of America. He was a famous and loved American adventure author along with being an underwater explorer too.


Like we noted above, Cussler was born in Aurora, Illinois, but was actually brought up in Alhambra, California. His father was Eric Edward Cussler, while Clive’s mother was Amy Adeline, born as Hunnewell. Amy had roots from England, while Eric’s own father was actually a German man. In a memoir of his, Clive revealed that his father fought on the German side during World War One.

Best Clive Cussler Books

Life and Education

Cussler went to Pasadena City College for two years prior to becoming enlisted in the United States Air Force at the time of the Korean War. While he fought in the Korean War and over the course of his service in the Air Force, Cussler was promoted to the position of sergeant, too.

Sadly, it must be noted that on the 24th of February 2020, Cussler passed away. We will take the question of what the best 5 Clive Cussler books are and raise you the five best Clive Cussler series.

Dirk Pitt Series


Famous Series

Cussler’s Dirk Pitt series is the one that the author is surely most known for as the twenty-five novels in the series are all equally loved among fans and readers. Now, to take a look at Cussler’s Dirk Pitt series in order, we have the following several books:

  1. Pacific Vortex!
  2. The Mediterranean Caper
  3. Iceberg
  4. Raise the Titanic!
  5. Vixen 03
  6. Night Probe!
  7. Deep Six
  8. Cyclops
  9. Treasure
  10. Dragon
  11. Sahara
  12. Inca Gold
  13. Shock Wave
  14. Flood Tide
  15. Atlantis Found

Among others.

The Treacherous Deep Sea

Now, following Cussler’s Dirk Pitt series order once more, we’ll take a look at Pacific Vortex! published in 1972. Pacific Vortex! was the first time that readers ever saw Dirk Pitt. Pitt is a deep-sea expert and an adventurer at heart.

His supreme test, it seems, is going to be jumping into the dangerous Pacific Vortex waters, where many a ship have gone in but seldom has any come out. The newest victim was a ship called Starbuck, a sheep for deep-diving nuclear arsenal.

If it’s completely lost, then surely it would deal a heavy blow to the defense of the nation, but that’s why Dirk Pitt is there to save the day. It is one of the top Clive Cussler books not just of Cussler’s Dirk Pitt novels, either.

No Rest for an Adventurer

In another of the best Cussler’s Dirk Pitt books, we see him landing in an airport while a First World War German albatross beleaguers the airfield. The wealthy and affluent owner of a shipping company is dead set on shipping more than just a few tons of cocaine into the United States, while the NUMA agency is getting ready to shut down his operation in Thasos.

However, on the Pitt side of the tale, he soon tracks down the origin of the attack that was meant for him, concluding that the shipping company owner must have been the one that ordered the hit.

Frozen and Lost

Before he can have any time for resting or to himself, Pitt is forced to take upon himself yet another perilous journey and yet another haphazard endeavor. A long-time-missing yacht, quite the luxury kind, has vanished as it was making its way towards the White House.

However, it was also frozen inside of a very heavy mass of ice, which makes the vanishing even more bizarre. Having no one else to do the job, it is Dirk Pitt that’s employed for this job. Probably one of the best works on a list of Cussler’s books.

Oregon Files Series



Cussler’s Oregon series is another very, very famous and beloved series from the terrific adventure novelist and some of the best-rated Clive Cussler books. It is comprised of fifteen novels in total, so it’s definitely shorter than the last one we reviewed, but that by no means affects the quality of the writing, as you surely know. Now, Cussler’s Oregon Files series in order goes as follows:

  1. Golden Buddha
  2. Sacred Stone
  3. Dark Watch
  4. Skeleton Coast
  5. Plague Ship
  6. Corsair
  7. The Silent Sea
  8. The Jungle
  9. Mirage
  10. Piranha
  11. The Emperor’s Revenge
  12. Typhoon Fury
  13. Shadow Tyrants
  14. Final Option
  15. Marauder

No Time to Waste

In the eponymous novel, the Golden Buddha is an artifact that many a person has wanted to get their hands on it. The large golden statue is an invaluable item that was given to the Dalai Lama as a gift, but upon being stolen, it’s been secreted faraway.

The Oregon crew have to get their hands on the Golden Buddha, but that’s not the only trouble they have – they need to do it on good Friday. The Dalai Lama must receive it by Easter when he is to go back to Tibet. It is sufficed to say that they have their work cut out for them. One of the most popular Clive Cussler books.

Eon-Old Secrets

In the second of Cussler’s Oregon novels, the Oregon crew along with Juan Cabrillo have to do the unthinkable. They are forced to try and get to a meteorite faster than an opposing group. The meteorite is a fifty-thousand-year-old one, hidden away by the Vikings and Eric the Red. It is known as the Sacred Stone and notable for its radioactive powers.

In the Wrong Hands

If someone, say Islamic extremists, had it in their possession, then the world as we know it would be reduced to ashes. The crew has little time to waste, but even if they had all the time in the world, it is not a given that they will be able to stop it, but they have to try. Surely, one of the best Clive Cussler books ever. Worth noting is that some of the most recent and new books by Cussler can be found in this series.

NUMA Files Series


Seventeen Books

Cussler’s NUMA Files series is a stark example of how a single author can be so fantastic over the course of so many books, so many series, and so many years. This particular series is comprised of seventeen novels. While there are different ways to have these Clive Cussler’s books ranked, Cussler’s NUMA Files series in order that we find the best is:

  1. Serpent
  2. Blue Gold
  3. Fire Ice
  4. White Death
  5. Lost City
  6. Polar Shift
  7. The Navigator
  8. Medusa
  9. Devil’s Gate
  10. The Storm
  11. Zero Hour
  12. Ghost Ship
  13. The Pharaoh’s Secret
  14. Nighthawk
  15. The Rising Sea
  16. Sea of Greed
  17. Journey of the Pharaohs

A Priceless Antiquity

The first of Cussler’s NUMA Files novels is Serpent. Off of Nantucket, on the sea’s bottom, lie the remains of the affluent liner Andrea Doria. The ship might have been quite an expensive one, but what is located still in it is priceless.

The pre-Colombian antique item is something that many people would pay a lot of money to have, or take all the lives they can. Kurt Austin, the leader of the NUMA team, sees this killing take place as he saves an attractive marine archaeologist. Nina Kirov was abducted when off of Morocco she made the discovery of the antiquity in question, but the attempts on her life are not over just yet. A book worthy of the attribute of Cussler’s best book.

A Target on Their Back

In Blue Gold, one of the best Clive Cussler novels we recommend wholeheartedly, we follow Kurt Austin and the NUMA team once more. As an investigation leads the NUMA team and the leader Kurt Austin towards the deaths of a number of gray whales, they find themselves at the Mexican coast, where an attempt is made on the life of Kurt along with the mini-sub he was using.

Another NUMA team in South America, though, uncovers an ominous tribe which boasts a mythical goddess in white. The two teams, while very much far away from one another, are in a race against time and entwined in the same plot that they have no choice but to play their part in. We assure you, that you will love Cussler’s Kurt Austin series.

Honest Thoughts

The NUMA Files series is surely one of the most action-packed, most thrilling from the list of Clive Cussler’s books, and, in our opinion, home to some of the best books from Cussler out there now and ever.

Fargo Adventures Series



Cussler’s Fargo series is the penultimate one we’ll be taking a look at today. The twelve books herein are indicative of why we consider this to be one of the best Clive Cussler series. Now, let’s take a look at the books and show what the exact Cussler’s Fargo novels in order are:


  1. Spartan Gold
  2. Lost Empire
  3. The Kingdom
  4. The Tombs
  5. The Mayan Secrets
  6. The Eye of Heaven
  7. The Solomon Curse
  8. Pirate
  9. The Romanov Ransom
  10. The Gray Ghost
  11. The Oracle
  12. Wrath of Poseidon

The Pillars’ History

Starting out with the series’ first novel, Spartan Gold, we see that millennia ago, Xerxes the Great, a Persian King, was noted to have been the one that raided the Delphi Treasury. Two gold pillars were what he took as a tribute.

Millennia later, in 1800, Napoleon came upon these same pillars in the Alps, but having no means of transporting them, he makes a map on a dozen rare wine bottles’ labels. Once he dies, the bottles vanish. It should be rather plain why we think these are some of the best novels by Cussler.

The Progeny’s Duty

This is where Sam and Remi Fargo enter the picture, as their exploring a swamp in Delaware, where a U-Boat of the Germans has been found. Inside is one of the lost bottles, but before they know it, the supposed descendant of Xerxes has come looking for these same bottles.

Hadeon Bondaruk, a millionaire, is not going to be content until he has the pillars he wants. On a side note, it’s worth remarking that Cussler’s Fargo novels are also Cussler’s latest books, too.

Curiosity Killed the Cat

In the next installment, Sam and Remi Fargo, the husband and wife duo, were scuba diving when they found a Confederate ship relic. The odd thing about the relic is what makes them consider the mystery and even take it upon themselves to unearth it, but little do they know that forces much greater are at large.

An ultranationalist Mexico party is also determined to get that artifact back, one that surely contains something they need desperately and they will stop at nothing – not even murder – until they acquire it. It is with sufficient reason that this is one of Clive Cussler’s best books.

Adventure and Action

The mystery at hand takes Sam and Remi Fargo all the way through Tanzania and even Zanzibar, then to the Madagascar rainforests, and even all the way to Indonesia. They will stop at nothing. Filled with tension, action, and adventure, this is one of the best Clive Cussler books ever.

Isaac Bell Series


Reading Order

Cussler’s Bell series is the last one we’ll be taking a look at with our Clive Cussler book reviews, but by no means is it the least. The series is comprised of a total of a dozen books and in our opinion, any Cussler’s Isaac Bell series in order should look like this:

  1. The Chase
  2. The Wrecker
  3. The Spy
  4. The Race
  5. The Thief
  6. The Striker
  7. The Bootlegger
  8. The Assassin
  9. The Gangster
  10. The Cutthroat
  11. The Titanic Secret
  12. The Saboteurs

Old Mystery

Book number one of Cussler’s Isaac Bell novels is The Chase. It begins in the 1950s, namely in April, when a locomotive, a steam-powered one, comes up from the Montana lake waters. Inside this ship are three corpses of men that perished some four decades ago.

However, there is something doubtlessly queer and odd about the ship, something that piques the interest of the people. In 1906, Isaac Bell was employed so as to locate and apprehend the so-called Butcher Bandit by the US Government.

A Murdering Robber

The Butcher Bandit had been killing people all the while robbing banks. Having no other leads and, even worse, no other resort, Isaac Bell was hired, just the man for the job.

Isaac Bell, though he is a terrific detective, soon finds that he might have met his match. The story at hand is a multilayered one featuring a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it plot. Worth mentioning that these are some of the best-selling Clive Cussler books, as well.

The Unrest of the Time

In the second novel of Cussler’s Isaac Bell books in order, titled The Wrecker, we are transported to the time of 1907. 1907, it is sufficed to say, was a time of economic hysteria and unrest among the masses for this reason.

There were fires, explosions, and trains being wrecked along the Cascades express line, so that there was nothing that could be done except for getting a professional’s help and that professional can be no one other than Isaac Bell.

A Ghost or a Genius?

As Bell begins his investigation, he understands that it must be the saboteur known as the Wrecker, a man that also has a bloodlust inside of him.

What Bell can’t comprehend, at least yet is how the man vanishes and reappears in such long distances in such a short time. Nonetheless, Bell is resolved to do his job and apprehend the fiend, but at what cost? Without a doubt, this might just be the best Clive Cussler novel.

What to Pick Up Next?

The Lacey & Casey is another series from Cussler’s books list that are remarkable.

Michael Englert

Michael is a graduate of cultural studies and history. He enjoys a good bottle of wine and (surprise, surprise) reading. As a small-town librarian, he is currently relishing the silence and peaceful atmosphere that is prevailing.