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Vixen 03

(Dirk Pitt #5)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  12,030 ratings  ·  303 reviews
1954. Vixen 03 is down. The plane, bound for the Pacific carrying thirty-six Doomsday bombs — canisters armed with quick-death germs of unbelievable potency — vanishes. Vixen has in fact crashed into an ice-covered lake in Colorado.

1988. Dirk Pitt, who heroically raised the Titanic, discovers the wreckage of Vixen 03. But two deadly canisters are missing. They're in the h
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 25th 2006 by Bantam (first published January 1st 1978)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  12,030 ratings  ·  303 reviews

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John Shumway
Nov 06, 2009 rated it liked it
This is the same comment for all the Dirk Pitt books:
Great set of books, I had to stagger these books into my reading rotation since they are so similar.
Dirk Series Book in less then 50 words.
(introduction to bad guy, introduction to hot chick, introduction to Dirk, Dirk gets in impossible dangerous situations to stop the bad guy, Dirk wins, Dirk gets the hot chick.)
John McDermott
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read this in that there Eighties ! Enjoyed it at the time.
Dec 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I feel like a quick, action-packed read, with a big screen cinematic ending - can't go wrong with Dirk Pitt. #5 came out thirty-five years ago, but, they're still a kick-in-the-butt fun time of a read. ...more
Roopkumar Balachandran
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure
In early part of 1950's Dr.John Vetterly, a microbiologist, chemically created an artificial form of life that in turn was capable of producing a disease strain that was non detectable, unidentifiable bacteriological agent able to incapacitate a living thing within seconds of exposure and disrupt the vital body functions, causing death within three to five minutes it was named quick death shortly QD. Admiral Bass was given the task to dump the remaining 36 stainless steel canisters of QD in Rong ...more
Eli Hornyak
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good Dirk Pitt novel, I’m still hooked. Can’t wait until I start the next one.
Feb 05, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller, 2008
Vixen 03 flips back and forth between Dirk Pitt's discovery of a plane wreck in a Colorado lake and a civil war brewing in South Africa. The connection between the two is pretty clever, but unfortunately, the portions of the book that focus on the South African plot just drag. For a while, I forgot I was even reading a Dirk Pitt novel. Dirk's sections flew by in excitement, but the rest just did not mesh. After enjoying Raise the Titanic so much, I was surprised by how much of a step backwards ...more
Debra Johnson
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense, mystery, crime
Vixen 03 by Clive Cussler

Genres; Action/Adventure, Crime, Mystery, Suspense

4 Stars

It took awhile for me to find the copy of the one I read. I think I got it right.
I wish I still had my copies! But, alas, I have lost them through the many times I have moved. Through my own adventures, while worth it, caused me to lose those copies decades ago.
Al Giordino is still my favorite character in the Dirk Pitt series.
May 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another fun adventure in the Dirk Pitt series.
Following the events of the previous book, Pitt and he’s team are tasked with finding a military aircraft that disappeared 30 years ago.

The other half of the book features a civil war brewing in South Africa.

Compared to others in the series, this instalment is weaker. The fact that it referenced the previous story highlighted this.
The South Africa sections were interesting, but I was keen to get back to Pitt’s section of the book.

One for this that en
Mar 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: adventure, 2019-reads
A deadly biological weapon thought long-lost is suddenly out in the world and a South African-planned black-op terrorist attack on the United States meant to discredit an insurgency to white rule intertwine with only one man finding himself at the crux to stop them. The fifth book of the Dirk Pitt series, Vixen 03, by Clive Cussler finds the intrepid NUMA Special Projects Director racing to first solve a mystery and then racing to save the nation.

An Air Force transport plane takes off in a Janua
Sep 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Too long and repetitive but a good read nonetheless....Go with "Deep Six" or "Iceberg" or for that matter "Sahara", chock full of historical fact & fiction. For instance, did you know Abraham Lincoln was not assassinated?" I thought not, he was actually captured by Confederate forces and taken aboard a civil-war frigate to the Sahara desert....fact or fiction? ...more
Christian D.  Orr
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Cussler fans, thriller fans in general
Vintage Cussler at his best, that grabs your attention and holds it no matter how many times you read it, and in spite of how old and dated (especially the South Africa segments) the material is. When I say "vintage Cussler," I mean Clive (and Dirk Pitt) at his old-school violent, bloody, profane, sexually-explicit best, not the toned-down PG-rated material (though still highly enjoyable) material he's been writing since the early 1990s (starting with "Dragon"). ...more
Another of the early Dirk Pitt novels and this one did not disappoint even some of the content and events seem a bit outdated now. A biological weapon lost at the end of WW2 is rediscovered and some of the stock is missing. This ties into a terrorist 'v' government plot in South Africa.

The story was not bad overall but there was a big coincidence that took some believing and the characters were not that deep.

I'm not sure when this was written but history has turned out otherwise in a couple of
Kevin Findley
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, adventure
One word review: FUN!

I haven't read a Dirk Pitt book in quite a while. Back when he was at his most popular, it was Tom Clancy that sat on my shelves, Cussler was almost a side note. I enjoyed the book quite a bit, but realized that I couldn't remember too many of the characters other than Dirk within a few hours after finishing it. I guess that means it's not literature, but that's fine. I liked it, and you will too.

Find it! Buy it! Read it!
Shane Phillips
Chock full of 1970's race and sexist language. One of my favorites is when Dirk finds his lover waiting for him at his car. "Are you crazy? A luscious creature all alone in a Washington parking lot. It's a miracle you weren't assaulted and gang banged." Dirk is such a romantic. ...more
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
The earlier Dirk Pitt stories are not as polished as the later ones, for obvious reasons. Grittier, more graphic, more heavy with the do-gooder speeches. I'm enjoying revisiting the old Pitt, to better appreciate the new one. ...more
Mark Harrison
May 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Pretty decent story as a long lost plane laden with a deadly poison nerve agent leads Dirk Pitt into numerous potentially life threatening situations. Less of the awful sexism that spoilt the earlier books and quite a good, gripping plot. Definitely an upturn for this series.
Josh Rose
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
Properly mysterious and well paced. The only time it slows down and causes you to lose interest is when it gets into South African politics. Can't wait to get to the next one! ...more
I love the cover of the “original” copy of the paperback. It is mysterious and has a supernatural aura about it, which is ‘sadly’ misleading, as there is nothing supernatural that occurs in this book. I still remember being haunted by the cover when I saw it as a young child; it sat on my uncle’s bookshelf and always drew my attention (this book and the paperback cover for Raise the Titanic!). Here you have this sunken aircraft with its windshield missing and yet there is an eerie orange glow fr ...more
This was [and still is] an interesting, if dated book, in my opinion. My first acquaintance with this book was my uncle's bookshelf when I would spend the night at my grandparent's house - I was always fascinated by the covers of many of his paperbacks. This one was always eerie - the glowing cabin in an airplane at the bottom of a body of water. Always stood out to me. It still moves at fast pace and has all of the essential elements necessary for a Dirk Pitt novel to take place. It does have d ...more
Eden Thompson
From my book blog
Vixen 03 is a Dirk Pitt adventure novel by Clive Cussler. His action hero Pitt stars in over twenty of his fifty-plus novels and was introduced to many people in the fourth Pitt novel Raise The Titanic! in 1976. Cussler has several other character series on the go, written with other co-authors (meaning they are pumping at least one new novel every few months). The Pitt adventures always seem to follow the same blueprint, but always deliver as
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genre-thrillers
My second-favorite favorite 'Dirk Pitt' adventure after 'Raise the Titanic'. For some reason which eludes me, this chapter in the Pitt series is somehow not as talked-up as a few of the others; when in every category it ranks superior to all but his first. Of any Cussler title this one is surely the one you can go back to over and over.

Hey, I might not even re-read 'Raise the Titanic!' ever again, because that was truly such a singular, exalted, one-off experience. But in Vixen 03, what you hav
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
The storyline is not plausible in many ways, although the book starts with a good story. Many details in the book are technically implausible as well, as some of the actions were simply not possible (such as piloting a ship with a 22' draft up the Potomac).
Many or most of the weapons and aircraft mentioned were figments of Cussler's imagination, which also sucked some of the credibility from the book. The art on the front of the Bantam paperback is of a B-29 bomber, not a C-97 cargo plane as de
Barbara ★
Because of my love of the later Pitt novels, I grabbed this one without reading the premise. Boy what a mistake! This book was terrible. Heck I think Pitt appeared in only about 30% of it. Other than his time in bed with the congresswoman, Pitt actually plays a very small part of this book until the last 50 pages or so. I'm so disappointed as I usually love these books. I'll have to be more careful in choosing my books.

I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.
Greg Strandberg
I think this is my favorite Dirk Pitt novel.

It's one of the first we see his Congressional love interest, and we also get some good back story and glimpses of his hangar. But it's the gripping opening scenes and the tension with the lake that really sets it going.

Cussler really began to come into his own around this point, and it shows. I'll have to pick this one up again, and if you want to just sample one book by this guy, I'd say go with Vixen 03!
Apr 10, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another adventure series with wondrous escapes. Always a good non-thinking read. Interesting histories in Prefaces. Saw him at Murder by the Book party in Denver years ago. He was too busy to meet. Certainly has lots of silver hair.
Ryan Burt
Mar 24, 2009 rated it it was ok
I listened to this on Audio tape. Usually a big fan of Dirk Pitt. But he isn't even in this book for what seems like more then half of it. At one point I wasn't even sure it was the same book. The ending was good. ...more
Feb 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read this one twice so far. Great story!
Paulo Goulart
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aventura
Liked the structure, the parallel "stories" joining towards the end... And, as always, good action! ...more
Casey Carlisle
Misogynistic. Sexist. Discrimination. Transphobic. So many times I nearly threw up in my mouth. I figured ‘Iceberg’ as the only one of Clive Cussler’s early works as being problematic in this matter of insensitivity. But ‘Vixen 03’ is giving it a run for its money. Women are objectified just about every time they are in a scene. I hate to say it, but this was fairly typical of this James bond adventurer genre in the 70's. So I shouldn't be surprised. Thankfully Clive Cussler evolved as a writer ...more
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Vixen 03 was a surprisingly good listen. From the reviews, I expected something far worse. It's Pitt to the core, with crazy action scenes, ocean (more lake really) salvage, weird ships where they shouldn't be, and Pitt getting himself mixed up in situations he has no reason to be involved in. Oh, and a sprinkling of racism and misogyny. At least it's getting better?

Plotwise, the story of the doomed Vixen 03, it's discovery, and the involved salvage mission is the best part of the book. The fin
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Cussler began writing novels in 1965 and published his first work featuring his continuous series hero, Dirk Pitt, in 1973. His first non-fiction, The Sea Hunters, was released in 1996. The Board of Governors of the Maritime College, State University of New York, considered The Sea Hunters in lieu of a Ph.D. thesis and awarded Cussler a Doctor of Letters degree in May, 1997. It was the first time ...more

Other books in the series

Dirk Pitt (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • Pacific Vortex! (Dirk Pitt, #1)
  • The Mediterranean Caper (Dirk Pitt, #2)
  • Iceberg (Dirk Pitt, #3)
  • Raise the Titanic! (Dirk Pitt, #4)
  • Night Probe! (Dirk Pitt, #6)
  • Deep Six (Dirk Pitt, #7)
  • Cyclops (Dirk Pitt, #8)
  • Treasure (Dirk Pitt, #9)
  • Dragon (Dirk Pitt, #10)
  • Sahara (Dirk Pitt, #11)

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