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Dirk Pitt books in order: the complete series

Looking for Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt books in chronological order? Look no further!

Larger-than-life hero and renowned adventurer Dirk Pitt is the star of Clive Cussler’s mystery series where, alongside side-kick Al Giodino, he thwarts dangerous villains in a series of missions to defend the world from evil.

As the Grand Master of American action adventure, Cussler certainly knows what he’s doing. Expect underwater exploration, big action scenes and pacey storytelling.

With twenty-five thrilling adventures in the series you’ll be spoilt for choice.

If you love Clive Cussler, check out The NUMA files books in order, Isaac Bell books in order, The Oregon Files books in order Fargo books in order.

Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt books in chronological order:

Pacific Vortex! by Clive Cussler

1. Pacific Vortex! (1983)

Fully armed and with all hands on board, the nuclear submarine Starbuck sailed into the calm Pacific Ocean for sea trials – and vanished. No wreckage, no signals, no survivors: nothing… until ace maritime troubleshooter Dirk Pitt finds a single, chilling clue in the shark-torn surf off Hawaii – the log of the Starbuck.

‘Do not search for us, it can only end in vain…’ A crazed journal of madness and death is all that remains. And the Captain’s final, scrawled, fear-crazed note locates the Starbuck’s grave hundreds of miles from her last known position! The search for the Starbuck plunges Dirk Pitt into his most shattering assignment to date – a whirlpool of deep-sea mystery and terror – the Pacific Vortex!

Please note: while Mayday! was the first Dirk Pitt book Cussler wrote, fans wanting to read the series chronologically should start with Pacific Vortex, which is set first.

Mayday! by Clive Cussler

2. Mayday! (1973)

Major Dirk Pitt picked up the frantic distress call as he cruised his lumbering amphibious plane over the islands of the Aegean. Brady Air Force base was under fire, its entire force of jets destroyed on the ground by just one First World War bi-plane!

A psychotic ex-Nazi, a bloodthirsty Greek strongman and a beautiful double agent set Pitt on the trail of the warped mastermind behind a devastating sabotage plot. And on that trail, danger and death are never far behind…

Please note: while Mayday! was the first Dirk Pitt book Cussler wrote, fans wanting to read the series chronologically should start with Pacific Vortex, which is set first.

Iceberg by Clive Cussler

3. Iceberg (1975)

The towering iceberg drifting in the North Atlantic was a floating tomb. Embedded in the great gleaming mass was a ship – sealed in so solidly that not even its mast protruded.

Here was a sea mystery to rank alongside the Bermuda Triangle and the Marie Celeste. But for Major Dirk Pitt, top troubleshooter for the National Underwater and Marine Agency, it was also the first link in a fantastic chain of events that would lead him too close – and too often – to violent death. And to the discovery of the most sinister and bizarre conspiracy of the century… ICEBERG.

Raise the Titanic by Clive Cussler

4. Raise the Titanic! (1976)

Two and a half miles beneath the icy North Atlantic the mighty Titanic holds the key to the safety of the free world. The Americans want it. So do the Russians.

Ace maritime troubleshooter Dirk Pitt faces one of the most stupendous tests of courage and ingenuity ever.

Vixen 03 by Clive Cussler

5. Vixen 03 (1978)

Over thirty years ago, on an ultra-secret flight to the South Pacific, the transport plane Vixen 03 vanished. It was believed to be lost at sea. And carrying canisters of the most lethal substance known to man.

Now Vixen 03 has returned to haunt the world. Dirk Pitt, the ace maritime troubleshooter who raised the Titanic, is the only man who can overcome the nightmarish problems involved in retrieving her cargo. And the price of failure is terrifying.

Night Probe! by Clive Cussler

6. Night Probe! (1981)

May 1914. Two diplomats hurry home by sea and rail, each carrying a document of world-changing importance. Then the liner Empress of India is sunk in a collision, and the Manhattan-Line express plunges from a bridge – both dragging their VIP passengers to watery oblivion. Tragic coincidence or conspiracy?

In the energy-starved, fear-torn 1980s, Dirk Pitt discovers that those long-lost papers could destroy whole nations, throwing him into his biggest challenge yet. Racing against hired killers, he launches his revolutionary deep-sea search craft and faces the horrors of the sea bed to hunt for the documents.

Deep Six by Clive Cussler

7. Deep Six (1984)

For the President of the United States, the crisis point is approaching fast. With his new Soviet initiative entering its most crucial phase, the President suddenly finds himself faced with a pollution disaster of potentially cataclysmic proportions. And then – incredibly – he vanishes into thin air, leaving his country poised on the brink of chaos.

It’s left to troubleshooter extraordinaire Dirk Pitt to hotwire the connections between these two shattering events. From the icy Alaskan waters to a Korean shipbreaker’s yard; from a Caribbean shipwreck to a blazing inferno in the Mississippi Delta, he tracks down a conspiracy so fiendish and sophisticated that even the superpowers are helpless in its grip.

Cyclops by Clive Cussler

8. Cyclops (1986)

Dirk Pitt doesn’t go looking for adventure: it finds him easily enough. His chance witnessing of an airship disaster – which nearly kills him – and subsequent discovery of the gruesome fate of the crew sets in motion the most nail-biting chain of events of his career. The hijacking on a golf course of one of the world’s most powerful leaders; an exotic but outrageous undercover operation in the Caribbean; the sinister intrigue of a secret power base on the moon . . . Pitt’s considerable resources and guile are about to be tested to the limit.

But when he finds a trail leading towards a fabulous treasure hidden fathoms deep in the ocean, Pitt realises he is on to something very special indeed. For somewhere in the raging waters lies the legendary lost lady of El Dorado, the golden prize that had already lured thousands to their graves.

Treasure by Clive Cussler

9. Treasure (1988)

‘On behalf of a grateful nation I wish to thank you for this astonishing gift…’

The President of the United States had reason to be grateful. Dirk Pitt had unearthed the greatest storehouse of knowledge in the ancient world: the Alexandria Library.

The trail began in a lonely fjord in Greenland. It ended on the banks of the Rio Grande. In between Pitt had frustrated an assassination, rescued a hijacked liner, survived a deadly gun battle and halted an invasion.

Dragon by Clive Cussler

10. Dragon (1990)

Buried in the depths of the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Japan, lies one of the greatest drowned secrets of World Wart Two – a crashed B-29 Bomber that was carrying a third atomic bomb to Japan in 1945.

Its deadly cargo, lost in the sea for nearly fifty years, is at the heart of this classic Dirk Pitt thriller, in which a small group of Japanese nationalist fanatics, dreaming of a new Nipponese Empire, set out to neutralise and blackmail the USA – with nuclear weapons planted strategically in the country’s major cities.

Sahara by Clive Cussler

11. Sahara (1992)

Deep in the African desert, Dirk Pitt discovers that a top secret scientific installation is leaking a lethal chemical into the rivers, threatening to kill thousands of people – and to destroy all life in the world’s seas.

To warn the world of the catastrophe, Pitt must escape capture and death at the hands of a ruthless West African dictator and French industrialist, and undertake a long, perilous journey across the merciless Sahara…

Inca Gold by Clive Cussler

12. Inca Gold (1994)

A call for help from a stricken archaeological expedition brings Dirk Pitt to a sacred well, high in the Andes. There he confronts a band of ruthless art thieves, who plunder ancient sites for their precious artefacts.

But soon Dirk Pitt faces even graver danger, as he searches for a lost Spanish galleon and hunts for a fabulous hoard of Inca gold. And in a desperate race against time, Pitt must track down a sacred site – before the richest prize known to man is lost to the world forever.

Shock Wave by Clive Cussler

13. Shock Wave (1996)

A hundred and forty years after a British ship wrecks on the way to an Australian penal colony and the survivors discover diamonds on the tropical island where they wash up, Maeve Fletcher, one of their descendants, is stranded on an island in Antarctica with a party of passengers after their cruise ship seemingly abandons them.

Dirk Pitt, on an expedition to find the source of a deadly plague that is killing dolphins and seals in the Weddell Sea, finds Maeve and the passengers and rescues them from death. When Pitt later uncovers the cause of the plague, he discovers that Maeve’s father, Arthur Dorsett, and her two sisters are responsible because of their diamond-mining technology. A deadly race develops to stop Dorsett from continuing his murderous mining operations and to head off a disaster that will kill millions. Pitt’s struggle to foil Dorsett’s ruthless plan to destroy the market for diamonds and thus gain a monopoly of his own takes him from harrowing adventures off the west coast of Canada to being cast adrift in the Tasman Sea.

Flood Tide by Clive Cussler

14. Flood Tide (1997)

Tracking a notorious Chinese smuggler’s activities leads Dirk Pitt from Washington State to Louisiana, where his quarry is constructing a huge shipping port in the middle of nowhere. Why has he chosen this unlikely location?

The trail then leads to the race to find the site of the mysterious sinking of the ship that Chiang Kai-shek filled with treasure when he fled China in 1949, including the legendary boxes containing the bones of Peking Man that had vanished at the beginning of World War I. As Pitt prepares for a final showdown, he is faced with the most formidable foe he has ever encountered.

Atlantis Found by Clive Cussler

15. Atlantis Found (1999)

Dirk Pitt is on hand at a Colorado archaeological site where an ancient and mysterious artefact has been found – one that is perhaps linked to other strange objects turning up across the globe. And soon Pitt’s skills and ingenuity are desperately needed to rescue the team after a suspicious explosion seals them deep underground.

It quickly becomes clear that the artefacts carry a message: warning of global Armageddon. Yet a shadowy organisation called the Fourth Empire not only wants to stop others from heeding that warning, but is also actively seeking to accelerate the end it foretells. Now Pitt and NUMA must face this diabolical foe, who will stop at nothing to wipe out all life on earth …

Valhalla Rising by Clive Cussler

16. Valhalla Rising (2001)

When the luxury cruise lined Emerald Dolphin – powered by a revolutionary new propulsion system – becomes a raging inferno and sinks mysteriously, it is lucky that NUMA special projects director Dirk Pitt is on hand to rescue the passengers and investigate the tragedy.

Sifting through the undersea wreckage for signs of foul play, Pitt is unaware of powerful, dark forces player their hand against him. Forced to fight for his life – and those of friends and colleagues – against evermore ruthless enemies from a shadowy organisation, Pitt finds himself caught between the secrets of the past and the intrigues of the future. A future that will hold the world to ransom…

Trojan Odyssey by Clive Cussler

17. Trojan Odyssey (2003)

When a hurricane unexpectedly blows up off the coast of Nicaragua, a giant floating hotel lies in its path. With no escape for the helpless passengers and crew, it’s left to Dirk Pitt and NUMA to launch a rescue and save the day. But in the storm’s wake. Pitt and his team discover clues that point to an ancient mystery, with shocking implications for today.

As Pitt investigates further, he uncovers a plot by a mysterious billionaire called Specter to dramatically alter the Earth’s climate, leaving him in control of the only solution. With foes attempting to stop him on every side, Pitt is in a race against time to prevent global catastrophe…

Black Wind by Clive Cussler

18. Black Wind (2004)

In the dark, final days of World War Two, two submarines set out from Japan bearing a deadly virus destined for US cities. But neither boat was heard of again…

Present day: NUMA Special Projects Director Dirk Pitt rescues a team of scientists from a deadly cloud of poison gas in the North West Pacific. Discovering that this was no natural phenomenon, Pitt is quickly on the hunt for a pair of lost WWII submarines and their deadly cargo. But he soon learns that he’s not the only one searching for the virus: a sinister group of very able terrorists are aiming to relaunch the attack on the US some sixty years later. With time running out, only Dirk Pitt and the NUMA team stand between evil forces and a terrifying assault on America’s west coast.

Treasure of Khan by Clive Cussler

19. Treasure of Khan (2006)

Rescuing an oil survey team from a freak wave on Russia’s Lake Baikal is all in a day’s work for adventurers Dirk Pitt and partner Al Giordino. Yet when their ship is sabotaged and the survey team vanishes, Pitt is forced to get to the bottom of a mystery with far-reaching consequences.

Soon he’s on his way to Mongolia. There, a powerful and ruthless business tycoon holding an astonishing secret about Genghis Khan is hoping to emulate the legend’s greatest conquests – but on a global scale!

With the legacy of Khan and the lost treasures of Xanadu as the prize and the future security of the world at stake, Dirk Pitt for one isn’t going to stand idly by.

Arctic Drift by Clive Cussler

20. Arctic Drift (2008)

A potential breakthrough discovery to reverse global warming; a series of unexplained sudden deaths in British Colombia; a rash of international incidents between the United States and one of its closest allies that threatens to erupt into an actual shooting war.

NUMA director Dirk Pitt and his children, Dirk. Jr. and Summer, have reason to believe there’s a connection here somewhere, but they also know they have very little time to find it before events escalate out of control. Their only real clue might just be a mysterious silvery mineral traced to a long-ago expedition to find the fabled Northwest Passage. But no one survived from that doomed mission; captain and crew perished to a man and if Pitt and his colleague Al Giordino aren’t careful, the very same fate may await them.

Crescent Dawn by Clive Cussler

21. Crescent Dawn (2010)

Dirk Pitt is surveying in the Middle East when a stroke of luck reveals an Ottoman wreck with a very curious cargo. While investigating the find, he foils a night raid on Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace Museum. This puts Pitt at the centre of a race to acquire a series of legendary artefacts.

Meanwhile, the region is being pushed to the brink of war by a series of explosions across Turkey and Egypt. Finding that his search for the artefacts is linked to the attacks, Pitt must prevent a deranged brother and sister’s fanatical plans succeeding…

Poseidon's Arrow by Clive Cussler

22. Poseidon’s Arrow (2012)

In 1943 a submarine returning from a secret mission is attacked, its vital cargo believed lost.

Three quarters of a century later, NUMA director Dirk Pitt is asked to help locate a missing person: the scientist responsible for the design of the revolutionary Poseidon’s Arrow submarine. This craft is so advanced and dangerous that any government would kill to posses it – and not only has its designer disappeared, but so too have the plans.

But this is no simple search. It leads Pitt from Washington to the Panama jungle, draws in the full resources of NUMA, and slowly unravels a deadly conspiracy that seeks to bring the world to its knees- and only Pitt can prevent it.

Havana Storm by Clive Cussler

23. Havana Storm (2014)

While investigating a toxic outbreak in the Caribbean Sea that may ultimately threaten the United States, Pitt unwittingly becomes involved in something even more dangerous – a post-Castro power struggle for the control of Cuba.

Meanwhile, Pitt’s children, marine engineer Dirk and oceanographer Summer, are on an investigation of their own, chasing an Aztec stone that may reveal the whereabouts of a vast historical Aztec treasure. The problem is, that stone was believed to have been destroyed on the battleship Maine in Havana Harbor in 1898, which brings the pair both to Cuba as well – and squarely into harm’s way.

Pitt father, son and daughter have been in desperate situations before – but perhaps never quite as dire as the one facing them now.

Odessa Sea by Clive Cussler

24. Odessa Sea (2016)

On a NUMA mission to the Black Sea to locate the wreck of a lost Ottoman Empire ship, Pitt and his friend Al Giordino respond to an urgent Mayday from a nearby freighter.

But by the time they reach the ship there’s no one left alive – just dead bodies and the smell of sulphur in the air. When a massive blast from the stern suddenly scuttles the ship, Pitt and Giordino are lucky not to bed added to the death toll.

As they investigate the fate of the lost ship, they’re plunged deep into an extraordinary mystery and make a series of discoveries. And when connections emerge between a desperate attempt in 1917 to preserve the wealth and power of the Romanov empire, a Cold War bomber lost with a deadly cargo, modern-day nuclear smugglers and a brilliant engineer developing cutting-edge drone technology, Pitt is faced with the most dangerous challenge of his career. One that will threaten the lives of his family and friends.

Celtic Empire by Clive Cussler

25. Celtic Empire (2019)

When a rogue cargo freighter strikes an oil tanker in the Detroit River, the oil spill is the worst marine disaster in years. Dirk Pitt’s NUMA team lead the clean-up operation, with the help of new green tech firm, BioRem.

But when one of NUMA’s best divers dies suspiciously while working on the wreck, Pitt fears there’s more to BioRem than simply saving the environment.

Discovering a trail of unexplained deaths which appear to be linked to BioRem’s sites around the world, Pitt unravels a mystery from our past that could jeopardise mankind’s future. But someone is determined to make sure Pitt and his associates don’t survive to learn the truth…

The Devil's Sea by Dirk Cussler

26. The Devil’s Sea (2021)

Tibet, 1959: In the turmoil of the Communist takeover of the mountain kingdom, a Buddhist artefact of immense importance appears to have been lost to history. Until, sixty years later, clues to its survival emerge from the wreckage of a cargo plane discovered deep beneath the surface of the Philippine Sea…

NUMA Director Dirk Pitt and his old friend Al Giordino already have their hands full dealing with the recovery of a top secret hypersonic missile that went down in the Luzon Strait. Especially when it becomes clear that a rogue Chinese military team has its sights set on the same prize. And that, after making their own earth-shattering discovery about what lies below the waves, they’re prepared to go to any lengths to ensure that they possess it. Any lengths at all.

From the cold, dark depths of the Pacific Ocean to the vertiginous peaks of the Himalayas, only Pitt, his son and daughter, Summer and Dirk Jr, can unravel the mysteries that will preserve a religion, save a nation, and bring the world back from the brink of war.

Clive Cussler's The Corsican Shadow by Dirk Cussler

27. The Corsican Shadow

France, May 1940. As the German army blitzes Europe and Parisians flee their city, the chief curator of the Musee de l’Armee is ordered to take a mysterious piece of cargo out of the country. But when he learns his intended ship has been sunk, the fate of his cargo must rest on a decrepit steamer, sailing out under German fire. . .

Decades later, a diving expedition in the English Channel leads Director Dirk Pitt to a cache of uncut diamonds on a shipwreck. No sooner than they are discovered, the diamonds are stolen!
Pitt and the NUMA agency now find they must face a murderous cabal with far more destructive plans than mere theft. Vital water treatment facilities around the globe are being targeted – placing the world’s population in grave peril.

From the shadow of the Eiffel Tower to the islands of the Caribbean, only Dirk Pitt and his children, Summer and Dirk Jr., can locate the treasure that will save the world from catastrophe.

There you have it – Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt books in order! How many have you read? Let us know in the comments below…

Love Dirk Pitt? You’ll love these…


    I’ve already read six books, and I only have 21 books. They are amazing from the begining to end.
    I was readding two of this books in Spanish because my native language it´s not English, so now I’m readding in English as fast as I can but I really enjoy them
    Thanks for make me happy.

    I have read every one of them at least twice. They are great stories. They all still sit in my bookshelves to this day

    I started reading Clive’s books in 2005, I now have all of his books across the spectrum. Some are 1st editions. Was saddened when he passed away. I enjoy re-reading his books again and again.

    My dad turned me on to these books in the 90s. He passed in 1998, but reading these books somehow have kept me close to him in some way. Unfortunately never met Mr. Cussler. I’m happy his son is carrying on his amazing legacy.

    I have read so many of the Dirk Pitts series, which I totally love. I am sorry Mr. Cussler died. I hope his son continue the adventure. Mr. Bell not be bad.

    I have read all but 4 or 5, which I’m in the process of fixing. My dad was an avid reader and Mr. Cussler was one of his favorite authors. He and my dad, and myself have several things in common. My dad was a classic/antique car nut. As am I. My father was impressed with Mr. Cussler’s dedication to sticking as close to actual history as possible in a work of fiction. Dirk Pitt is like the spy master, also fictionalized with many movies made, of the underwater world. I think you can all figure out to whom I refer. Long story longer, since my dad introduced me to Mr. Cussler, via Vixon 03, and Raise the Titanic!, I’ve been hooked. Thus the reason I’ve read them out of order. Before e-books, if there was one of his novels on the shelf and I had not read it, I got it and read it. My plan is to start over and read them all again in order this time.
    Rest in peace Mr. Cussler! My condolences to your family. Please know that this wonderful, imaginative man, has brought many hours of entertainment and fascination to myself and I’m sure many, many more. He accomplished a great deal love and diplomacy with his stories.

    Mr cussler I love your books and am a lifetime fan. Keep writing, I will keep reading.

    I like his novels and read them passionately despite the fact that in my age not many fiction scenarios left that grips my attention.
    I forgive him cheap and, at the moments, foul smelling “patriotism “ (master American race that lead the world and is authorised by God to kill “terrorists”) .
    Rest in peace Big Boy.

    Got all his novels except the Issac Bell one’s which didn’t keep me entertained, He will be sorely missed and one of my favourite Authors, hopefully his son Dirk will keep my favourite heroes stories going.

    I have read them all. And love them all. I’ve also read all of the Oregon files in most of all other authors. Have decided to listen to all the dirt pit novels again on audible

    I am on Book 23 of the Dirk Pitt series, they are all digitally downloaded I find they are easier to read quickly.

    I’ve read all of them including all the other novels. I’m just hooked on them. Always re-reading them. They’re just brilliant.

    I’ve read all of them and the other novels as well brilliant books he’s a very good writer. Up there with Robert Ludlum and others.

    I have read every one of them starting with ” Raise the Titanic”that I bought at a garage sale in Paisley Ontario in 1978. It got me hooked and I have been following him ever since. I have just finished the last Dirk Pitt novel that I hadn’t read. It was “Treasure of Khan”and it still kept me up late every night until I finished it. I feel sad that there are no more Pitt novels but there are still quite a few left from some of his other series that are unread

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