Dirk Pitt Books

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The Dirk Pitt series of books is a long-running series of adventure stories written by the prolific American author Clive Cussler. The series focuses around the titular character of Dirk Pitt, who is a world-renowned adventurer, who is often called upon to save the day in times of trouble. Pitt works for the National Underwater and Marine Agency, initially in the role of Director of Special Projects, after leaving the United States Air Force. Clive Cussler has drawn a lot on his own life to develop the character of Dirk Pitt, naming him after his own son, and projecting his love of cars onto Pitt. The Dirk Pitt series has become one of the longest running and most-loved series of books from the pen of Clive Cussler.

Order of Dirk Pitt Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Mediterranean Caper / Mayday! ( By: Clive Cussler) 1973 Description / Buy
2 Iceberg ( By: Clive Cussler) 1974 Description / Buy
3 Raise the Titanic! ( By: Clive Cussler) 1976 Description / Buy
4 Vixen 03 ( By: Clive Cussler) 1978 Description / Buy
5 Night Probe! ( By: Clive Cussler) 1981 Description / Buy
6 Pacific Vortex ( By: Clive Cussler) 1983 Description / Buy
7 Deep Six ( By: Clive Cussler) 1984 Description / Buy
8 Cyclops ( By: Clive Cussler) 1986 Description / Buy
9 Treasure (By: Clive Cussler) 1988 Description / Buy
10 Dragon (By: Clive Cussler) 1990 Description / Buy
11 Sahara ( By: Clive Cussler) 1992 Description / Buy
12 Inca Gold (By: Clive Cussler) 1994 Description / Buy
13 Shock Wave ( By: Clive Cussler) 1996 Description / Buy
14 Flood Tide ( By: Clive Cussler) 1997 Description / Buy
15 Atlantis Found ( By: Clive Cussler) 1999 Description / Buy
16 Valhalla Rising (By: Clive Cussler) 2001 Description / Buy
17 Trojan Odyssey (By: Clive Cussler) 2003 Description / Buy
18 Black Wind (By: Clive Cussler, Dirk Cussler) 2004 Description / Buy
19 Treasure of Khan (By: Clive Cussler, Dirk Cussler) 2006 Description / Buy
20 Arctic Drift (By: Clive Cussler, Dirk Cussler) 2008 Description / Buy
21 Crescent Dawn (By: Clive Cussler, Dirk Cussler) 2010 Description / Buy
22 Poseidon's Arrow (By: Clive Cussler, Dirk Cussler) 2012 Description / Buy
23 Havana Storm (By: Clive Cussler, Dirk Cussler) 2014 Description / Buy
24 Odessa Sea (By: Clive Cussler, Dirk Cussler) 2016 Description / Buy
25 Celtic Empire (By: Clive Cussler, Dirk Cussler) 2018 Description / Buy
26 The Devil's Sea ( By: Dirk Cussler) 2021 Description / Buy
27 The Corsican Shadow ( By: Dirk Cussler) 2023 Description / Buy
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Dirk Pitt is the fictional character in a series written by chart-topping author Clive Cussler. He is the child of Senator George Pitt and a graduate of the United States Airforce Academy. Dirk, who happens to be the protagonist in the series is a swashbuckler who seemingly seizes any opportunity that comes his way to save the day. He has portrayed a gentleman who is in love with the waters. He is also an enthusiastic collector of the car just like his creator.

Clive Cussler describes him as a tall man who’s his combo of dominating presence, and quick, sly wit exasperates his rivals.

The first novel in the series Dirk Pitt is The Mediterranean Caper. It features Dirk Pitt who is determined to put an end to an international drug smuggling cartels and an evil man named Bruno Von Till (the ruthless smuggler in history.) The protagonist is sent with his sidekick Al Giordino in the Aegean Sea to assist Rudi Gunn in an exploration mission conducted by NUMA.

The first book to be released in the Dirk Pitt series was The Mediterranean Caper, which was released in 1973, and received wide critical acclaim, picking up a nomination for an Edgar in the same year for the Best Paperback Original Novel. In our first meeting with Dirk Pitt, he is trying to deal with a smuggling operation run by the villain of the piece, Bruno Von Till, a German veteran of World War I and World War II. Both Pitt and second-in-command, Al Giordino, are sent to an area in the Aegean Sea to help combat this operation. However, while travelling to their intended destination, the men received a mayday call from the island of Thasos, which is home to Brady Air Force Base, which is claiming to be under attack from a World War I German warplane. This is only the start of things to come for our hero, as he must combat the evil Baron Von Till and try and stop his smuggling operation.

Although The Mediterranean Caper was the first book to be released in the Dirk Pitt series, it is not actually the first book chronologically. The first book chronologically in the Dirk Pitt series is actually Pacific Vortex, which was released in 1983. It is set before The Mediterranean Caper, even though it was released ten years later, and is the sixth book to be released in the Dirk Pitt series. We pick the action up with Pitt holidaying on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. He comes across a communication capsule which is primarily used by submarines looking to communicate with the surface without having to come up and breach the water. Upon examining the contests of the capsule, Pitt comes across a message from a nuclear submarine which had disappeared in the six months prior to the book in an area known as the Pacific Vortex, which is a fictional take on the Bermuda Triangle. Being a natural adventurer, this message sets Pitt off on a journey to find out what happened to the missing submarine and the crew which also vanished with it.

There has so far been two film adaptations of the Dirk Pitt series. In 1980, the third book to be released in the series, Raise The Titanic, which was released in 1976, was adapted into a film, featuring Richard Jordan in the lead role of Dirk Pitt. It was a box office flop, grossing only one-third of its budget. The second film adaptation was of the 11th book in the series, Sahara. This time, Matthew McConaughey took on the role of the leading man, and the film was released in 2005. Again, the film was a commercial flop, taking around half of the film’s budget at the boxes office.

Despite being flops at the box office, the Dirk Pitt series continues to have a loyal following, and Cussler has created a well-loved character that has had many adventures all over the world, while doing it with an air of class and style, all the while maintaining a fantastic collection of vintage cars.


In 1973 the Mystery Writers of America nominated The Mediterranean Caper for an Edgar Award for being Best Paperback Original Novel of 1973.


Dirk Pitt has appeared on the big screen twice, in films adaptations. Raise the Titanic a movie produced ITC Entertainment released on 1st August 1980 and distributed by Associated Film Distribution.

Sahara was adapted into a film that was made public to the film industry in 2005 and distributed by Paramount Pictures.


Raise the Titanic: the books features a race between Russia and United States in finding a metal that is crucial for the defense system. However, it is believed that the only last remaining of this metal was shipped on the Titanic on the day of her sinking. Dirk Pitt is assigned with the task of raising the Titanic. However, the Soviets discover of the plan by the American which could render their nuclear weapon useless and lead to the loss of balance of power in the world. The Soviets plan to Soviet plan to sabotage the whole mission and steal the rare mineral (byzanium) for themselves.

After the Titanic wreck is secured to be transported to the United States, the Soviets sneaks in and board the ship after hurricane strikes. They take the crew hostage. Dirk Pitt with the help of US Navy seals manages to take control over the ship again after battling the Soviets who had taken control of the ship. However, it would be later be discovered that the mineral was never boarded in the Titanic and that it was buried in a grave in a small English village.

Sahara: this is one of the most exciting and thrilling adventures by NUMA agent Dirk Pitt. He travels to the Sahara in Africa in search of a metallic outfit that was used during the Civil War times. While on his mission, he encounters a woman who informs him of a particular plague affecting the residents. Dirk Pitt begins an investigation into the epidemic and establishes a corporation that is responsible for the outbreak of the disease and also responsible for an outbreak caused by red algae. He is determined to stop the criminal acts of the organization and will stop at nothing to ensure that justice is served.

It is during this period that he comes across a mysterious airplane in the desert. It is believed that the 1930’s plane is that of Australian pilot Kitty Mannock who had flown for a Legendary, record-breaking flight but disappeared never to be found. Dirk Pitt and NUMA scientist work together to find a way to save the local people, find the lost ship and at the same time get out of Africa alive.

The Mediterranean Caper: this action adventure is the first published works of Clive Cussler. It features the protagonist Dirk Pitt who plays a deadly game of a hunter and the hunted with the most feared drug dealer in the history.


Many fans of series Dirk Pitt series also like the “Inspector Wexford” series written by British Crime Writer Ruth Rendell. The “Sam Fargo” series written by Grant Blackwood and Clive Cussler is also an ideal series worth reading. The series features two characters, Sam Fargo and his wife, Remi. The action and adventure scenes make this series one of the best-selling novel series.

Dirk Pitt FAQs

Q: Who writes the Dirk Pitt series of books?

A: The Dirk Pitt series of books is written by the American author Clive Cussler.

Q: What is the first book in the Dirk Pitt series?

A: Although The Mediterranean Caper was the first book to be released in the Dirk Pitt series, chronologicallt, Pacific Vortex is the first book in Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt series.

What Is The Next Book in The Dirk Pitt Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Dirk Pitt Series. The newest book is The Corsican Shadow and was released on November, 7th 2023.


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