Who would have guessed that even Clive Cussler would ride the Mayan Calendar wave of the early 2010s! At least that’s what it appeared he was doing by publishing The Mayan Secrets in 2013. Instead of taking his treasure-hunting couple, Sam and Remi Fargo, into the South American underbrush to pursue the truth about the end of the world, however, he has them accidentally fall upon some Mayan relics while serving as part of Guatemalan rescue party following a particularly destructive earthquake (which, as it turns out, was not a part of the end of the world).
After uncovering an ancient Mayan codex that bears the secrets of a thousand kings and their histories, the Fargos seek to do, as always, the right thing by keeping their search and findings above board through open communication with the local authorities as well as the educational and archaeological institutes. When their codex is stolen, though, by a rich, Indiana-Joan-wannabe bent on “finding” every lost city mentioned in the codex without ever acknowledging the stolen book, the Fargos must find a way to discredit her and let the truth come to light.
Their righteous pursuits take them around the world once more, before they embark on one of the most enlightening archaeological hunts of their lives. They face the requisite danger—including volcanoes and pitchfork-wielding grandmothers—and are never far from the next scrape, even when dining with tonight’s bottle of wine.
While not the most perilous plot of the Fargo Adventures, The Mayan Secrets had the pizzazz that had been missing in The Tombs, not because of what the authors added but because of what they removed. In The Tombs, Thomas Perry seemed to add a great deal of gristle between scenes that, while purporting to add life or realism to the story, really clogged it up and slowed it down. Thankfully, he increased the pace of this book by removing those little details, and I was able to enjoy the couple’s efforts and scares much more.
I’m looking forward to the next installment, The Eye of Heaven. Cussler moves over to co-author Russel Blake for this one, and I can only hope that he cut off Thomas Perry because he found that he was finally coming into his own.