The Gray Ghost by Clive
Cussler and Robin Burcell take readers on a thrilling car
ride as they race to find a valuable antique car before the
bad guys find it. Amateur sleuths Sam and Remi Fargo, smart
and philanthropic self-made multimillionaires, find adventure
at every turn.
Burcell describes the two characters, “People have referred
to them as a modern Nick and Nora Charles from the “Thin
Man Series.” For me, I think they are more like the
couple that was in the “Hart to Hart” TV shows.
I think the Fargos are the vehicle for the plot. They are
able to be sleuths because of their background. Sam is a CIA
type who knows hand-to-hand combat, while Remi is a linguist
and an expert marksman. Together they are a force to be reckoned
The authors brilliantly explain the backstory through a journal,
that becomes almost a secondary character. The back and forth
between 1906 and the current time makes the story even more
riveting. A distant relative of theirs seeks their help in
finding a rare 1906 Rolls Royce prototype, The Gray Ghost
to clear his uncle’s name. In the course of their investigation,
they find that it might contain a rare treasure of money stolen
in a train robbery more than a century ago. Much to their
detriment, they find others are also looking for the car,
and are willing to do whatever it takes to recover the car
and the treasure. The body count mounts up as Sam and Remi
search for the auto while trying to avoid getting killed.
Because Clive Cussler is such a fan of antique cars Burcell
told of how the story came about, “He actually has a
museum in Colorado full of his collector cars. I saw him bid
on two different cars including the Ahrens-Fox fire-engine,
the one written about in this story. While watching him bidding
on it I thought it would be cool if we wrote it into the plot.
As I was doing the research the idea of writing a plot around
something that has been lost was formulated. We decided on
having the artifact a prototype to the Rolls Royce Silver
Ghost. This story takes real history, tweeks it, and has a
‘what if’ aspect: what if it is about a car that
never made it to the car show.”
Clive Cussler fans have fun spotting him in the story. It
should remind people of what Alfred Hitchcock did in his movies.
He will come in and help the protagonist with the investigation.
In this book, there are two references, one where his name
is mentioned outright and one with a cameo appearance where
readers have to figure out by the description.
This is a fun story. Besides the banter between the characters,
readers learn some interesting facts about cars. What the
authors have done is maintain a balance between what is interesting
with what is necessary for the story, creating an exciting
Reviews of other titles by this author
Hour, Mediterranean Caper, The Striker