I picked this book up quite a while ago. I'm not sure why. Maybe I recognized it from the movie, maybe on my sister's recommendation (she's addicted to Cussler's books), maybe due to the vague reference to Egypt. Who knows.
The premise of the story is that there is a strange plague-like disease spreading across the Sahara while at the same time a strange red tide is being aggravated by an unknown pollutant in the Niger River. A team of World Health Organization scientists are researching the plague while NUMA is tracking the contaminants. All of this collides with a deranged military leader and an evil French businessman and leads to a downed plane from the 1930's and a Confederate ironclad - both lost in the Sahara. It's a race to save the planet's inhabitants against impossible odds.
It took me over a month to read this book. This is almost unprecedented. I just couldn't get into the story. To me it felt like it was just dragging along. The details seemed excessive to the point of banality. I'm all for description, but I truly do not need trivial details about the danish ordered in a diner. At times the dialog seemed incredibly dry as well.
Having said all that, about two-thirds into the book I found myself really wanting to know what would happen next. Overall, it wasn't a bad book and I'll definitely give his other work a try before I write him off entirely.