“When you never give up, time is on your side.” (Chapter 50)
The sixth book Clive Cussler‘s the Isaac Bell series is a throwback, which is saying something, since all of Bell’s books take place at the turn of the 20th Century. In this politically charged book, Isaac Bell is just a young man, a detective just learning to step up and take a leading role in the Van Dorn Detective Agency, a kid just learning to wear a good mustache. As the young Bell seeks to unmask an unknown provocateur who seems hell-bent on starting a war between the Capitalists and Labor, he meets a beautiful young woman who’s something far more than she puts on. As it turns out, the entire novel is one giant flashback for the older, more mature Bell who by the end might have one last chance to set a whole world of hurt right.
This novel was not as gripping as other Bell novels, though I stuck with the story well enough and was glad I did. Always looking for another means of transport to destroy, this time Cussler places Bell at the helm of a steamship in what could have been The Battle of Pittsburgh. The villains are believable—a former detective gone rogue and Wall Street financier gone murderous—and we even get a look into the lives of Bell’s cohort detectives in their younger men’s clothes.
I’ve got just one more Isaac Bell book to read, The Bootlegger, before finishing my 60th Cussler novel. At that point, I’d like to go back to the beginning of the Dirk Pitt series and catch again those which I was never able to review. I realize that this is no way spend a life, but the trick is: audio books. With all the margin time I have while washing dishes and taking showers and jumping over to the store, there are plenty of pocket-minutes up for grabs in a day which I can easily fill with a quick return to the audio book on hand. I use the Smart Audio Book Android app and haven’t a single complaint.