I started reading Clive Cussler‘s Dirk Pitt novels starting with Raise the Titanic back in high school. I realize now that, despite copious amounts of not-quite graphic sex and a splash of R-rated language, I was in the ideal age group at the time to appreciate Cussler’s writing. I grew up and the Dirk Pitt novels didn’t. To be fair, some of the earlier works to follow on the heals of his breakthrough hit, Raise the Titanic, such as Vixen 03 and Night Probe showed a real maturing of his style. By the mid-80’s, however, Cussler seemed to fall into the trap of trying to top himself with every novel and his stories became increasingly outlandish and began to smack of “Bond-lite”.
The novel Sahara fits into this later period of Cussler’s writing. I had stopped reading his books before this one was published, so I cannot directly comment on how closely the plot details stick to the novel. If I were to hazard a guess, I’d have to say, “not close at all.”