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The Chase (An Isaac Bell Adventure) Hardcover – November 6, 2007

407 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cussler takes a breather from his several ongoing series with this historical thriller set in the western states, circa 1906. The U.S. government hires the renowned Van Dorn Detective Agency and its equally renowned lead agent, Isaac Bell, to capture the bank robber known as the Butcher Bandit. The Butcher has gunned down 38 men and women and two children, leaving behind neither witnesses nor clues. Bell heads the manhunt and finally figures out the Butcher's true identity, which is when the real chase begins. Unfortunately, Cussler's style is patterned on the clunky dialogue (I pray you catch the murdering scum) and improbable characters of the period's dime novels, and his in-depth research makes his descriptions sound like advertising. Once San Francisco gets hit by the 1906 earthquake and the principals climb aboard a pair of fire-breathing locomotives, the novel cranks up a head of steam and some high-speed thrills. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Cussler is the author or coauthor of 33 books, including 19 Dirk Pitt novels and 7 NUMA Files books. This latest adventure involves the hulk of a steam locomotive that comes to the surface of a lake in Montana in 1950. It contains the bodies of three men who died 44 years before. Flash back to 1906 and a two-year crime spree out west. There's a series of bank robberies by an evil person who murders any witnesses. The government brings in a detective to solve the case, but soon the hunter becomes the hunted. As always, Cussler ties everything together in the end. The author's many fans probably know that at the start, but they will want to read the novel anyway. Cohen, George

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Product Details

  • Series: An Isaac Bell Adventure (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; 1st edition (November 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399154388
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399154386
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (407 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Clive Cussler began writing novels in 1965 and published his first work featuring his continuous series hero, Dirk Pitt(R), in 1973. His first non-fiction, The Sea Hunters, was released in 1996. The Board of Governors of the Maritime College, State University of New York, considered The Sea Hunters in lieu of a Ph.D. thesis and awarded Cussler a Doctor of Letters degree in May, 1997. It was the first time since the College was founded in 1874 that such a degree was bestowed.
Cussler is an internationally recognized authority on shipwrecks and the founder of the National Underwater and Marine Agency, (NUMA) a 501C3 non-profit organization (named after the fictional Federal agency in his novels) that dedicates itself to preserving American maritime and naval history. He and his crew of marine experts and NUMA volunteers have discovered more than 60 historically significant underwater wreck sites including the first submarine to sink a ship in battle, the Confederacy's Hunley, and its victim, the Union's Housatonic; the U-20, the U-boat that sank the Lusitania; the Cumberland, which was sunk by the famous ironclad, Merrimack; the renowned Confederate raider Florida; the Navy airship, Akron, the Republic of Texas Navy warship, Zavala, found under a parking lot in Galveston, and the Carpathia, which sank almost six years to-the-day after plucking Titanic's survivors from the sea.
In September, 1998, NUMA - which turns over all artifacts to state and Federal authorities, or donates them to museums and universities - launched its own web site for those wishing more information about maritime history or wishing to make donations to the organization.
In addition to being the Chairman of NUMA, Cussler is also a fellow in both the Explorers Club of New York and the Royal Geographic Society in London. He has been honored with the Lowell Thomas Award for outstanding underwater exploration.
Cussler's books have been published in more than 40 languages in more than 100 countries. His past international bestsellers include Pacific Vortex, Mediterranean Caper, Iceberg, Raise the Titanic, Vixen 03, Night Probe, Deep Six, Cyclops, Treasure, Dragon, Sahara, Inca Gold, Shock Wave, Flood Tide, Atlantis Found, Valhalla Rising, Trojan Odyssey, Black Wind, Treasure of Kahn and Arctic Drift (the last three with his son, Dirk Cussler) as well as The Chase; the nonfiction books The Sea Hunters, The Sea Hunters II and Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt (R) Revealed; the NUMA(R) Files novels Serpent, Blue Gold, Fire Ice, White Death, Lost City, Polar Shift, The Navigator and Medusa (written with Paul Kemprecos); and the Oregon Files novels Sacred Stone and Golden Buddha (written with Craig Dirgo) and Dark Watch, Skeleton Coast, Plague Ship and Corsair (written with Jack Du Brul).
Clive Cussler lives in Arizona.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Linda Bulger VINE VOICE on January 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I've always been a fan of Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt and NUMA Files adventures, and THE CHASE is the same kind of story. There's a larger-than-life hero who faces impossible challenges and is viciously injured but gets right up. There are fast cars, a discreet liaison with a beautiful woman, loyal associates, and big transportation (in this case trains rather than boats). Oh, and a sociopathic villain.

All that's to the good. Of course we also have writing from the Hardy Boys school of literature and fantastic plot elements. That's no surprise and if you're a fan, you just read around it. Here's an example of an overloaded sentence from the beginning of Chapter 15:

"Cromwell's chauffeur drove the 1906 Rolls-Royce Brougham, made by the London coach maker Barker, with its six-cylinder, thirty-horsepower engine, from the garage to the front of the palatial Nob Hill mansion Cromwell had designed himself and constructed from white marble blocks cut and hauled by railroad from a quarry in Colorado."

Hmmm ... anyone got a red pencil?

The hero is one Isaac Bell, an independently wealthy private detective. The villain is a bank robber-murderer known as "the Butcher Bandit." Bell, through hot detective work and breathtaking good luck, gets on the trail of the Bandit by page 168 (of 404). The rest of the book -- the better half -- involves a lot of fast driving, a locomotive race, some shooting and robbing, and the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Oh, and of course a satisfactory ending.

THE CHASE does have a structural device that kicks it up a notch. While the story takes place in 1906, the book opens and closes with a 1950 underwater salvage operation in a large Montana lake.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Chuck Catalano on November 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical since this was not another Dirk Pitt adventure which is what most know Clive Cussler for. Many times an author attempts to branch out and delivers something that is mediocre at best. That is not the case with The Chase!

This story had me captivated from the first page and I couldn't put it down until it was finished. It is one of the fastest reads that I have experienced with a Cussler novel.

There is a great story line with plenty of action and suspense. I would strongly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a stimulating read with great characters and suspenseful story. The primary character Isaac Bell is a real man with sharp intelligence, cunning intuition, athletic ability and tenacious spirit.

With out giving away too much about that book I will end with my thumbs up. I recommend to anyone who likes a great story written by a fantastic author. You won't be disappointed.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Fred Ratterree on November 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Only Clive Cussler could go from writing about NUMA and their exploits and turn out such a book as good as this. There is no Dirk or other players that you are familar with, but an outstanding new one with the name of Issac Bell. Hopefully Cussler will continue with his exploits in future books also. A well written book and one that keeps you from putting the book down except for bathroom breaks. Well done again. When is the next one??
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By J. Norburn on December 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Chase, as the title might suggest, is a fast paced action packed novel. The Chase tells the story of a conveniently wealthy PI in pursuit of a murderous bank robber in 1906. The novel delivers on a number of counts and overall is a pretty entertaining ride.

A few small complaints:

The ending lacks suspense because we know exactly what's going to happen. I kept turning pages, but in the end felt like I was going through the motions, waiting for the inevitable outcome. Even the epilouge 50 years later was painfully predictable.

The novel includes a commonly used gimmick which is to incorporate a famous historical event into the story. In this case Cussler uses the San Francisco earthquake. I'm generally not a fan of this sort of thing unless the event is central to the story and not just a plot device. In this case, Cussler uses the disaster as a plot device to provide a diversion for a bank robber's escape. While the use of the earthquake is not nearly as awkward and forced as Jeffery Archer's use of 9/11 in his abysmal novel False Impressions, it still feels out of place to me. The challenge is that in the face of such catastrophic disasters, the central plot of catching a bank robber (even a murderous one) pales in comparison to the devastation caused by the disaster.

Finally, I'm getting a little tired of independently wealthy crime fighters. Our hero in this novel works as a low paying PI but he is an extremely rich man. This allows him to solve a host of problems just by throwing money around. It's all a little too convenient for me.

My complaints are relatively minor though. All in all, this is an entertaining fast paced read that takes the reader back to a time when murders couldn't be solved in the lab or with computer data bases. The Chase isn't perfect, but it's good fun.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By John R. Linnell on November 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read most of the Dirk Pitt series and a few of Cussler's other efforts and have to admit that as time has gone on, I was tiring of his writing.

Not this one. This is a well done period piece which is absorbing, interesting, informative and fun. I loved the characters that he developed to tell this story of greed and cunning and I suspect that if you have liked his writing in the past, you will also.
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