Juan Cabrillo and his crew of mercenaries engage in one daring rescue operation after another with progressively higher stakes in Cussler's high-octane eighth Oregon Files novel (after The Silent Sea), his sixth collaboration with Du Brul. The rescue of a kidnap victim, an Indonesian teenage boy, from an Afghan village, yields a bonus in the form of MacD Lawless, a former U.S. Army Ranger, who proves of immediate value. Betrayals, more rescues, and escapes follow as one mysterious man seeks world domination using a discovery linked to 13th-century China. Cabrillo's handpicked team members, who operate from their state-of-the-art ship, the Oregon, are the only chance to stop a plot that threatens to bring the U.S. government to its knees. The frenetic action moves from Afghanistan to Singapore and the Burmese jungle with lots of derring-do at sea before climaxing in a surprising locale in a fashion sure to delight series fans.