A Book Spy Review: ‘Nighthawk’ By Clive Cussler and Graham Brown


In Clive Cussler and Graham Brown’s latest National Underwater and Marine Agency thriller, NUMA for short, Kurt Austin must locate an advanced unmanned spacecraft that suddenly disappeared–and he only has one week to do it.

Nighthawk, a super-advanced spacecraft carrying a secret payload, disappeared while returning from a three-year orbit. Both the United States Air Force and the NSA are desperate to find the aircraft, so they go to NUMA and secure the help of Kurt Austin. What Austin quickly learns, though, is that this is no ordinary search-and-recovery mission.

On board the Nighthawk is a very dangerous matter taken from the earth’s polar magnetic field. The matter must be kept close to freezing temperatures; otherwise, it could trigger an explosion more destructive than a nuclear blast. In fact, Nighthawk has the power to produce more damage than if all the nuclear weapons on earth were to detonate at the same time. 

Unfortunately for Kurt and his counterpart at NSA, Emma Townsend, Nighthawk’s cooling system has faltered, and it’s believed that if the spacecraft isn’t located and recovered within seven days, the matter inside will heat to the explosion point–triggering a catastrophic event that could wipe out all of humanity.

NUMA’s race to locate the spacecraft before Russia or China–who each dedicate their own resources to finding America’s next-gen technology/weapon–adds to the overall suspense. 

While the plot is fast-paced, there is little time dedicated to character development. So while longtime NUMA fans will feel right at home, newcomers may struggle to connect with the characters they know little about. Other than that, Cussler’s latest offering is a top-flight thriller. 

A huge jump up from last year’s The Pharoah’s Secret, Nighthawk is an exciting thriller that seems slightly more realistic and timely after multiple news headlines about disappearing aircraft.  

Author: Clive Cussler and Graham Brown
Series: NUMA #14
Pages: 464 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0399184015
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 6/10
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