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The Chase (An Isaac Bell Adventure) Hardcover – November 6, 2007
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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.
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
Top customer reviews
In 1906, the western United States was being terrorized by the "Butcher Bandit"; a ruthless bank robber who not only robbed banks, but murdered any witnesses to his crimes. He made his escape in an ornately designed railroad box car. Unable to crack the case, the U.S. Government hires the Van Dorn detective agency, along with its number one detective, Isaac Bell. Bell has faced many challenges in his career, but none like nabbing the Butcher Bandit.
From Arizona to California, Montana, Utah, and Nevada, Bell pursues the ruthless Bandit. He soon discovers that the Bandit is like no other criminal. Bell must soon learn to think like the Bandit in order to have any hopes of catching him. As the story progresses, Bell becomes involved with many characters, including the Bandit's own sister, and a lovely secretary named Marion, whom he falls head over heels in love with.
To make matters even worse, after tracking the Bandit to San Francisco, Bell is caught in the great San Francisco earthquake, which destroys the entire city and leaves thousands homeless. Despite this tragedy, Bell learns that the Bandit and his accomplice sister are trying to flee the United States for the safety of Canada. Acquiring a train of his own to chase the bandit, Bell sets off on a high-speed run to the Canadian border. Will he catch the Bandit in time?
I've become a big fan of Clive Cussler in the last year, and I've read several of his books, but I must say that "The Chase" is the best one I've read so far. The action starts with the first page and doesn't let up until the end. The characters are vivid and well-developed, especially the hero, Isaac Bell. Cussler's description of life in the west at the turn of the 20th century is very interesting, and he even includes a factual narrative about the San Francisco earthquake. It's easy to root for Isaac bell as he chases his arch nemesis across the west, and there are several run-ins between the two.
I give "The Chase" my highest recommendation. I hope Cussler keeps turning out great adventure stories as good as this one was.