15 Best Clive Cussler Books Of All Time

Are you curious about the best Clive Cussler books? If so, take a look at a few options below, and consider adding them to your reading list.

There are a lot of amazing authors out there, and one of the most popular contemporary writers is Clive Cussler. He wrote 85 books that sold more than 100 million copies during his prolific literary career. He was a famous underwater explorer who went on several adventures in his own right, using his experiences to redefine a genre, leaving his mark on modern literature.

He was born in Aurora, Illinois, in 1931 and spent a significant amount of his life traveling. He never retired from writing, continuing to publish new books until he passed away at age 88.

Popular Clive Cussler Books

Best Clive Cussler Books

Take a look at a few of the top titles you should not overlook.

1. Pacific Vortex!

Pacific Vortex!

Pacific Vortex! is one of Cussler’s most popular books, published in 1983. One of his most famous characters, Dirk Pitt, takes center stage in this book. The story begins with him relaxing on the beaches of Hawaii, only to realize that something is floating in the ocean. There, he realizes that it is a communication capsule that used to belong to a United States Navy nuclear submarine.

Of course, similar to Cussler himself, Pitt is an avid adventurer, and he goes on a mission to find the missing submarine. Pitt finds out that it is a nuclear submarine with a nuclear arsenal, and the story only grows from there. This thrilling adventure is filled with twists and turns that have captivated people for nearly four decades.

Pacific Vortex!: A Novel (Dirk Pitt Adventure)
  • Cussler, Clive (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages - 02/23/2010 (Publication Date) - Bantam (Publisher)

2. Raise The Titanic

Raise The Titanic

In 1976’s Raise the Titanic, a top-secret Pentagon program is working hard to advance technology quickly to give the United States the upper hand. It turns out that the secret to all of this is a rare mineral called Byzantium. The only twist is that it was located off the coast of the Soviet Union, which represents some apparent challenges.

So, what does the Titanic have to do with all of this? It turns out that the first crew that was sent to access this rare mineral was on the RMS Titanic, which sunk during its maiden voyage. Pitt has to deal with a conflict that makes for a thrilling adventure that everyone will love.

Raise the Titanic! (Dirk Pitt Adventure)
  • Cussler, Clive (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 576 Pages - 02/03/2004 (Publication Date) - G.P. Putnam's Sons (Publisher)

3. Deep Six

Deep Six

Deep Six is another one of Cussler’s most popular works. This 1984 release is about the President of the United States going missing when a natural disaster occurs in Alaska.

It seems like everything in this part of the country is dying, and it turns out that there is a synthetic poison that was never destroyed as it was supposed to. Now, it is being used as a weapon, killing countless people.

Pitt is sent to explore what is going on, but unfortunately, one of his team members is exposed to the poison. The plot focuses on a series of notable events in the United States, the Soviet Union, and a mysterious Asian company. It remains to be seen whether this is simply a conflagration of terrible events or if there is a conspiracy theory lurking underneath the surface.

Deep Six (Dirk Pitt Adventure)
  • Cussler, Clive (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 544 Pages - 01/01/2006 (Publication Date) - Pocket Books (Publisher)

4. Night Probe!

Night Probe!

Night Probe! was published in 1981, and the name comes from an old diving term. This story takes place deep under the ocean waves, and people use “night probe” to describe what it is like to explore underwater caves.

Of course, Pitt is going to take center stage once again. This time, the adventure focuses not only on underwater exploration but also on the financial difficulties of the United States.

It all comes down to oil; the oil reserves of the United States are being significantly impacted. A massive trap contains millions of oil barrels found on underwater ocean floors. Now, the US is on the verge of losing everything, and there will be a lot of conflicts that arise to ameliorate a lot of the issues.

Night Probe!
  • Cussler, Clive (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages - 04/01/1982 (Publication Date) - Bantam Books (Publisher)

5. Iceberg


Iceberg is another thriller novel about Pitt. In this story, released in 1975, Pitt starts on vacation in California. Then, a coast guard plane discovers the remains of a missing yacht. In a frozen twist, it is locked in an iceberg.

It turns out the yacht was on a top-secret meeting. Now, it appears to be suspended in a frozen grave. Pitt goes off to try to solve another significant mystery.

Iceberg (Dirk Pitt Adventure)
  • Cussler, Clive (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 400 Pages - 03/02/2004 (Publication Date) - G.P. Putnam's Sons (Publisher)

6. Sahara


Sahara is a book published in 1992 that was later adapted for the big screen in 2005. The story begins in 1931 with a lady flying over the Saharan Desert; she runs into a sandstorm that throws her off her journey. Even though she landed on the ground alive, she is never found.

Flash forward to 1996, and a group of tourists comes to a deserted village. Unfortunately, they are attacked by cannibals hungry for human flesh, and only the tour guide can get away. Of course, this story will include Pitt, located somewhere in Egypt, going on a treasure hunt on the Nile River; he is subsequently sent to this village to investigate what is going on.

  • Cussler, Clive (Author)
  • 06/18/1992 (Publication Date) - Pocket Books (Publisher)

7. Inca Gold

Inca Gold

Inca Gold is another popular thriller novel by Cussler. This story was initially set in 1532 and was published in 1994. A fleet of ships has landed on a mysterious island located in the middle of the sea. Supposedly, this treasure is worth more than anything else on Earth. Unfortunately, this fleet of ships has vanished into history, and countless people have tried to find it but have been unsuccessful.

Then in 1998, in the Andes Mountains of Peru, a team of archaeologists mysteriously disappeared on an exploratory mission. It just so happens that Pitt is on an expedition in the local area.

Inca Gold (Dirk Pitt Adventures)
  • Cussler, Clive (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 676 Pages - 10/30/2007 (Publication Date) - Pocket Star Books (Publisher)

8. Treasure


Treasure is another adventure that focuses on Pitt. This time, instead of focusing on the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean, this 1988 story takes place near the Library of Alexandria. Pitt discovers many lost treasures in the library, but he runs into a dictator ravaging international relations.

Furthermore, the Secretary-General of the United Nations is also on the run from a terrorist cell in the Middle East. This problem has been designed explicitly for Pitt and his team. Even though Pitt is distracted by the fantastic historical treasures discovered at the library, he understands that there are more important things that he needs to focus on.

  • Cussler, Clive (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 688 Pages - 04/26/2011 (Publication Date) - Pocket Books (Publisher)

9. Valhalla Rising

Valhalla Rising

2001’s Valhalla Rising begins with a luxury cruise ship on a voyage with novel technology. Unfortunately, it catches fire and sinks on its first trip. Supposedly, none of its technology worked as it was supposed to. The sprinkler system did not respond, the alarm system did not work as it should, and the only sign that something was wrong with the smoke billowing from the ship when it caught fire.

When a team is sent to investigate, they are shocked at what they find. There is a tremendous amount of technology, history, and foul play involved, but what exactly is Pitt going to discover?

Valhalla Rising (Dirk Pitt)
  • Cussler, Clive (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 531 Pages - 07/30/2002 (Publication Date) - G.P. Putnam's Sons (Publisher)

10. Dragon


Dragon is a story published in 1990 that focuses on nuclear war and potential blackmail. In 1945, the United States won World War II by dropping two atomic bombs on the Japanese home Islands. In this story, one of the bombers carrying the nuclear bomb was shot down on its way to Japan.

In 1993, a Japanese cargo ship headed to the United States was destroyed. This incident served as a pretext for the Japanese to conduct an underwater salvage mission. Now, multiple conspiracy theories are coming together.

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11. The Chase

The Chase

The Chase is a book that takes place in 1906. The western United States is still being developed, and the wild west is still very much alive. Unfortunately, this part of the country is also being terrorized by many bank robberies that do not exactly leave a lot of witnesses behind. Furthermore, the culprit continuously disappears, making it difficult to track them.

That is where a new character, Isaac Bell, enters the picture. He is an unparalleled detective, and it is his job to find the culprit and make sure the crimes are solved. Of course, he will run into a few problems, one of which is an earthquake that makes his job much harder.

The Chase (An Isaac Bell Adventure)
  • Cussler, Clive (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 480 Pages - 10/28/2008 (Publication Date) - G.P. Putnam's Sons (Publisher)

12. Corsair


Corsair is a 2009 novel focused on Juan Cabrillo, the leader of a mysterious entity known as the Corporation. This is a private military company that is focused on modern technology while combining it with old freighters. Eventually, this company was assigned to locate the US Secretary of State, who was abducted while she was trying to broker peace in Libya.

Along the way, there are a lot of dangers this group encounters. They are looking for a mysterious, ancient ship that supposedly can bring peace to the Middle East. Do you want to explore the best suspense genre novels? Check out our round-up of the best Stephen King books! You can also use the search bar at the top right of the page to search for the best book genre you are interested in.

Corsair (The Oregon Files)
  • Cussler, Clive (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 437 Pages - 06/19/2024 (Publication Date) - Penguin Group (Publisher)

13. The Kingdom

The Kingdom

The Kingdom is a fairly recent Cussler book from 2011 that focuses on the stories of professional treasure hunters; Sam and Remi Fargo. They are looking for a sacred object that is supposedly as large as a human being.

Of course, they are not the only people on the hunt for this unique treasure. Several business tycoons, including a wealthy oil baron, are after the historical item for nefarious purposes.

The Kingdom (A Sam and Remi Fargo Adventure)
  • Cussler, Clive (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 480 Pages - 05/29/2012 (Publication Date) - G.P. Putnam's Sons (Publisher)

14. The Adventures Of Vin Fiz

The Adventures Of Vin Fiz

The Adventures of Vin Fiz is one of the author’s most underrated works. This is a story that focuses on Lacey and Casey. The only dream they have is to fly; at the beginning of the book, they are approached by a mysterious person who can bring toys to life.

Eventually, the kids can make their dreams come true. They use the powers of this book to fly across the country to New York; however, they encounter a lot of danger along the way.

Their courage is put to the test, and they are discovered what they are truly made of. Even though this is meant to be a children’s book, older people will enjoy it.

The Adventures of Vin Fiz
  • Cussler, Clive (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 176 Pages - 05/10/2007 (Publication Date) - Puffin Books (Publisher)

15. White Death

White Death

White Death is the fourth book in the popular NUMA Files series. This 2003 book focuses on the tale of Kurt Austin, who teams up with the NUMA team to tackle a new adventure. Together, they form the Special Assignments Team, and he tackles the threat of a dangerous radical environmentalist group.

They find out that the group has trapped a ship full of people, but after they conduct a daring underwater rescue, they make a shocking discovery that something more nefarious is at work. They uncover evidence of a sea harvesting operation that threatens to disrupt the balance of political power and a unique ecosystem.

As the story unfolds, Kurt Austin comes into contact with Nazis, Basque separatists, and various other extremist groups that he has to fight against to save the day.

White Death (NUMA Files Book 4)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Cussler, Clive (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 482 Pages - 05/25/2004 (Publication Date) - G.P. Putnam's Sons (Publisher)

The Final Word On The Best Clive Cussler Books

These are just a few of the many adventure books that this famous American author published. If you are looking for a Pitt adventure, do not hesitate to check out the National Underwater and Marine Agency.

Every Pitt novel is excellent, with many of them landing on the New York Times bestseller list. At the same time, do not overlook the Fargo adventures, as they are unique. Both The Numa Files and The Oregon Files are worth exploring too. If you enjoyed this round-up of the best Clive Cussler books, you might also be interested in adding our guide on the best historical fiction books to your weekend reading session!

FAQs About The Best Clive Cussler Books

Are There Any Other Books I Should Consider Exploring By Clive Cussler?

There are dozens of books you can read. Some of the books you may want to explore include The Pharaoh’s Secret, The Sea Hunters, Treasure of Kahn, Sea of Greed, Devil’s Gate, Dark Watch, and Crescent Dawn.

Why Do People Like Reading Books By Clive Cussler?

He is a famous thriller writer who can hold the attention of his audience from start to finish. Whether you are reading Golden Buddha, Havana Storm, Journey of the Pharaohs, or Lost City, he can bring multiple moving parts together to create a fantastic adventure.

Where Can I Buy Clive Cussler Books?

You may want to take a look at your local bookstore, or you may be able to find them online on Amazon. If you buy multiple books simultaneously, you may be able to save money. Of course, you can also visit your local library to see if it has any copies you can check out.