Pacific Vortex. Clive Cussler. Bantam Books. 1983.
The author introduction states that this is the first Dirk Pitt story. He says it was never before published, that he was reluctant to submit it because it did not have the intricate plots of later Pitt adventures. True, as I read, I saw it did not have as many sub-plots as other Pitt novels I have read. At 270 pages this edition, it is a moderately long book, even without a lot of intricate plotting. And in fact the book seems much shorter. It flows, it speeds along. Most of the sequences are enjoyable and well-paced, the characters that appear, even in cameo, are largely interesting and get interesting things to say and do.
I enjoyed this novel more than the other Pitt books I have read so far. The lack of many lengthy subplots with their extensive plotting actually helps the stories momentum and keeps Pitt himself in the thick of the action; In other Pitt novels he, Pitt, disappears for long stretches and at times seems like a minor character. In this one he is definitely the hero, and his actions drive the story forward.
The only major problem is an early scene in which Pitt enters the Admiralty office wearing bathing trunks. The anger and threats tossed around go way over the top. After that small stumble it's all good.