For The Associated Press


By Clive Cussler and Thomas Perry


Clive Cussler’s latest in his series featuring the husband-and-wife team of archaeologists Sam and Reimi Fargo gets a kick-start with new co-writer Thomas Perry but still lacks a punch.

In “The Tombs,” a mysterious trail leads to what appears to be the ancient tomb of Attila the Hun along with all his priceless treasures. When Sam and Reimi arrive at the burial site, they’re shocked to find it empty. There’s no evidence of prior entry, and they quickly realize the tomb is the first of many sites. It soon becomes a race against ruthless enemies as they travel to various cities in Europe to uncover the next clue.

The ultimate prize will change history.

Sam and Reimi’s personal relationship will remind readers of a cross between Nick and Nora Charles of “The Thin Man” novel and movies and Jennifer and Jonathan Hart from the TV series “Hart to Hart.”

Perry has written more than 20 novels, including several in his acclaimed Jane Whitefield series and the Edgar Award-winning “The Butcher’s Boy.” However, writing a novel with Cussler seems to have taken away his edge. The adventure is exciting, but the narrative lacks any element of suspense. And countless scenes of people talking on the telephone become a running gag.

Overall, “The Tombs” is better than the last effort in the Fargo books, but the series is still the weakest in the Cussler adventures.

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