Flood Tide was published by Simon and Schuster in 1997. (ISBN 0-684-80298-8). The villian is a greedy Chinese smuggler named Qin Shang: one whos merchandice is human beings sent as slave labor to America's underground menial-labor job force: garment districts, produce fields, and brothes. And Shang doesn't care who he hurts, nor how many he kills, on his quest for unlimited wealth. From a mountain lake full of dead bodies, to the Mississippi delta, the action is hot, full of danger and intrigue, and is classic Dirk Pitt (r).
Shang has a weakness, however: he lusts to find a ship that was filled with incomparable, priceless works of Chinese art, that went missing in 1949CE. To punish the evil Shang, Dirk Pitt (r) must find the lost ship and thus keep it out of the hands of his foe. Plus save countless lives from Shang's disasterous, dastardly plot along the Mississippi River.
On the Shy David Book Review Scale from one to six stars (six being best), I think this book deserves three stars. I judge the book against Cussler's previous books, and I find it comes out as average--- he has done much better work, such as Raise the Titanic! and Vixin 05. For someone unfamilure with Dirk Pitt (r), the reader may have a higher opinion. But I enjoyed the book alot: indeed, once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. I think you'll enjoy the book, too.