I found Clive Cussler & Dirk Pitt in a Reader’s Digest collection. They used to bring it out like that, 4-5 novels, shortened- abridged (I don’t know the word for that shortening process).
It was the Trojan Odyssey. After reading it, I had to go find the whole book, so I checked my school library first, and then my lending library, found many more Cussler books with Dirk Pitt adventures. Steadily Pitt became one of my fav characters to go back to, and read about. Gradually, I started buying the novels and expanding my collection of books.
Any fav characters and book series? We can compile a list ..