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The Chase (Isaac Bell Series #1)

The Chase (Isaac Bell Series #1)

4.0 232
by Clive Cussler

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Clive cussler is back with a stand-alone novel that "cranks up a head of steam and some high speed thrills."(Publishers Weekly)

A no- nonsense detective is on the trail of the sharpest and deadliest criminal mind he has ever encountered: a serial robber who murders any and all witnesses in cold-blood.


Clive cussler is back with a stand-alone novel that "cranks up a head of steam and some high speed thrills."(Publishers Weekly)

A no- nonsense detective is on the trail of the sharpest and deadliest criminal mind he has ever encountered: a serial robber who murders any and all witnesses in cold-blood.

Editorial Reviews

In his latest action-packed thriller, veteran yarn spinner Clive Cussler slips back a century to unfurl the story of detective agency sleuth Isaac Bell and the notorious bank robber known as the Butcher Bandit. Bell's felonious quarry evades capture and identification by a simple method: He murders all the robbery victims and witnesses. With the count at 40 and climbing, the chase becomes urgent, even desperate, but protagonist Isaac, like his creator, always keeps his eyes on the prize. A carefully researched period thriller.
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 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Dirk Pitt takes a vacation and Cussler gives us Isaac Bell, a detective with the Van Dorn Agency operating in the early years of the 20th century. This New York Times best seller begins with a contemporary discovery of an old railroad engine in a Montana lake and then takes listeners back to a time when the West was in its last throes of being considered "wild." Isaac is on the trail of a murderous bank robber who has earned the nickname "The Butcher Bandit" because of his habit of killing everyone who might be a potential witness. After an abortive attempt to lure the robber to Telluride, CO, Isaac comes into possession of clues that leads him to believe that the robber might indeed be another banker and that he might reside in San Francisco. The tale is typical Cussler, and while his florid prose might be the literary equivalent of warm milk, he is dependable and presents a darn good adventure story with plenty of twists, bad guys, and breathtaking action. Scott Brick does his usual outstanding job of narrating, not in a monotonous recitation but in a slow, almost laconic manner that captures the listener's attention even when characters "hiss" and "snarl" and villains are referred to as "dastardly." Cussler fans will welcome the arrival of Isaac, the new hero on the block, even as they await the next Dirk Pitt novel. Recommended.
—Joseph L. Carlson

Kirkus Reviews
The smartest shamus on earth tracks the planet's cleverest lowlife in the latest to roll from the Cussler assembly line (Polar Shift, 2005, etc.). In 1906, they didn't come any nastier than the Butcher Bandit, who, when the book opens, has already racked up 38 kills, a goodly number of them women and children. He robs banks, murdering-remorselessly-any unfortunate who happens to be on the premises at the time. So adept at the work is he, we're told exhaustively, that he's commonly believed to be uncatchable. Which is why Isaac ("He always gets his man") Bell of the Van Dorn Detective Agency is assigned the case. But the Butcher Bandit is a slippery one indeed. Not only brilliant, audacious and cold-blooded beyond measure, he is also not the stuff of which bottom-feeders are usually made. For it turns out that the master criminal who has robbed banks all over the Southwest is actually a bank president himself. In San Francisco, the extremely solvent Cromwell Bank is a byword for respectability, its founder and chief executive a pillar of the community. That would be Jacob Cromwell, aka the much sought after Butcher Bandit. So how to explain Cromwell's deep, dark plunge into criminality? He loves the challenge, he says. There's also that new word, Bell explains to an understandably puzzled colleague, that psychology professionals are beginning to use: sociopath. At any rate, the game's afoot, the antagonists perfectly matched, with Cromwell convinced he can rob, kill and elude capture, and Bell promising not to rest "until I capture the man responsible for these hideous crimes."Thin characters, fat plot-holes, sluggish pacing and Cussler's signature clunky prose. First printing of 750,000

Product Details

Gale Group
Publication date:
Isaac Bell Series , #1
Edition description:
Large Print
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Clive Cussler is the author of more than fifty books in five bestselling series, including Dirk Pitt, NUMA Files, Oregon Files, Isaac Bell, and Fargo. His life nearly parallels that of his hero Dirk Pitt. Whether searching for lost aircraft or leading expeditions to find famous shipwrecks, he and his NUMA crew of volunteers have discovered more than seventy-five lost ships of historic significance, including the long-lost Confederate submarine Hunley, which was raised in 2000 with much press publicity. Like Pitt, Cussler collects classic automobiles. His collection features more than eighty examples of custom coachwork. Cussler lives in Arizona and Colorado.

Brief Biography

Phoenix, Arizona
Date of Birth:
July 15, 1931
Place of Birth:
Aurora, Illinois
Pasadena City College; Ph.D., Maritime College, State University of New York, 1997

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The Chase (Isaac Bell Series #1) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 232 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book very, very fast. I have read one book by this author and to be honest with you I got tired of the Superman image he gave the main characters. They could shot any weapon or drive any vehicle made by mankind. And the cars drive you nuts with the description of each one down to the last nut and bolt. But this book was not even close to that. It was most refreshing. He did tend to dwell on the car during the chase of the train but that was about it. The last 100 pages are really fast pace and exciting. After reading the book I went back and read the first chapter again and then it all fit into a nice tidy story. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fast pace read. I hope this author comes up with another of these early 20th century stories.
BookwormReflects More than 1 year ago
The Chase By Clive Cussler The chase certainly lives up to its name, in 1906 Isaac Bell sets off to capture and stop a man who is robbing banks and brutally murdering everyone who is present, the last body count is in the thirties. From the very beginning this novel is action packed until the very end leaving you waiting desperately for the next book. This was my first Clive Cussler novel; I had seen them at almost every book store I have ever been to so I, of course, recognized his name. I had not anticipated how wrapped up into this story I would become and I am now looking forward to finding more of his books to review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy looking back at history, at the time of the railroads, you will enjoy this, at times spell-binding mystery.
zoomiequilter More than 1 year ago
If you like historical mysteries then this book is for you. I could relate to the characters and the plot. The science fit the time period and made the story believable. I have already read the second book in the series "The Wrecker" and will read the others.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Chase by Clive Cussler should make a fan of his novels feel like they are finally back home. You can read the reviews where others disect this or that- but to sit back,open up this book-takes you back in time and still gives you a send of adventure that we know we will have with his novels- he doesn't let us down. I for one enjoyed the book-and thou spoiled on Dirk Pitt- this read made for an enjoyable afternoon. I'm always checking for his next book-does anyone know when that will be?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first Cussler book I've read since Inca Gold years and years ago. I was drawn in by the book's historic nature, and as someone who's fascinated by the railroad, that intrigued me even more. The characters are real, and easy to relate to. Soon, the story is moving as fast as the locomotives it describes. As well as the book sucked me in, though, I was let down by the ending, and hoped Cussler was going in a different direction. Still, it seems originally Cussler planned on this being just one story, and I'm glad he's now turned it into an Issac Bell series. The detective lives on.
Megalith More than 1 year ago
Clive Cussler moves out of the realm of modern-day action thrillers with The Chase, a detective story set in the American west in 1906. The Butcher Bandit, a vicious but clever bank robber has been hitting banks all over the west, leaving behind a significant body count, including women and children, and a dearth of clues. Isaac Bell, the top detective of the Van Dorn detective agency is hired to crack the case. The story begins in a manner different from the usual Cussler novel. Instead of the historical prologue that sets the stage for the story to come, we begin (and end) with a scene nearly fifty years after the events of the story, when a locomotive is salvaged from a Montana lake. The story unfolds at a rapid pace, with Bell quickly identifying the killer, but struggling to catch him in the act. The story includes much typical Cussler fare: bravado, gunfights, parties, beautiful women, a bit of intrigue, and a heavy dose helping of the author's love of all things mechanical. We get a turn-of-the-twentieth-century motorcycle, a race car, and railroad cars all described in loving detail. The culminating chase from which the book draws its title is worthy of Cussler's best work. The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 adds a twist to the plot, If you are a fan of Cussler's work, you won't find any negatives worth mentioning. Those who read more broadly will find Isaac Bell a little too perfect: rich, handsome, charismatic, brilliant, skilled, noble, and resourceful. The dialogue is a bit cheesy at times, but basically what you'd expect from a rip-roaring, old-fashioned adventure. There are a few minor historical inaccuracies, but nothing that jolts the reader out of the story. The glaring mistake is placing Montreal just north of Montana. If you can ignore that, you should be okay. Overall, The Chase provides an entertaining diversion from the NUMA novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first Clive Cussler book I've had a chance to read and I absolutely loved it. I found it fun and intriguing and hard to put down. I couldn't wait for a few free minutes during my day so I could read a page or two. It's very action packed and exciting. I found the characters to be fun with very different personalities. The author wrote this story so vividly, It was easy to picture each scene the author described. I also enjoyed the way the story twisted and turned and surprised me just when I thought I knew what would happen next. I intend to read many more books by this author. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a little dramatic and thrilling read.
Dog_Lover_of_Bloomington More than 1 year ago
WOW - From the first page - you are drawn in and following Isaac Bell as though you are his partner!!! I found the character building and story line fascinating and wonderfully detailed. It's hard to put down. Isaac Bell and the others from the Van Dorn Detectives are wonderful, the villains and crimes are intelligent and throughly thought out!! What a ride!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Clive Cussler's "The Chase" is destined to be a definite book of the month. At least in my opinion. The characters come together as a group that, under normal circumstances, would never meet the others. The pace of the story is enough that you could put this book down, but you would prefer to read the whole thing!
ARPhot More than 1 year ago
Clive Cussler's Polar Shift and The Treasure of Kahn were my intro to this author. Then I discovered this one. The first two were very different for me as I am a huge Stephen King fan and never thought I'd go for stories of this sort. The Chase intrigued me from the description inside the cover and from there I was hooked. The characters are exciting and the plot draws you through the story. I couldn't wait to pick it up and continue reading!
IsaacandBandit More than 1 year ago
The Chase takes place in the west during the early nineteen hundreds. Isaac Bell is a detective for Van Dorn Detective Agency, who is out to catch the notorious "Butcher Bandit". The Butcher Bandit is known to rob banks in the west, and to kill anyone that witnessed the robbing. He has been tracking down the Butcher Bandit, by going to every town that he robbed. This book is a wonderful book. I would say that it's another win for Cussler. I would recommend this book to 8th graders and up. This is a good book for people who like adventures, and action put together. This maybe a little hard to follow at times but any other time it's easy to follow.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was not as action packed as the NUMA, Oregon Files, or Kurt Austin series, but it was a good read. I was expecting the usual cliff-hanging action of a Clive Cussler book, but instead received a detailed history lesson. This book is a good read, but not his best.
insanepoet65 22 days ago
TITLE: The Chase (Isaac Bell series #1) AUTHOR: Clive Cussler GENRE: Historical Thriller PAGES: 464 Look at the cover. Glorious, isn’t it? A train, underwater, and just by the cover, I was hooked. I know, I know, do not judge a book by the cover, but I HAD to find out how it got there. I got my answer, along with being introduced to a new hero for Clive Cussler fan’s to embrace. Isaac Bell is an investigator for the Van Dorn Agency. If I was asked to sum him up, I would say think of an early 20th century James Bond. Along the line of his investigation in to “The Butcher Bandit”, a man who robs banks and then kills everyone in the bank, Bell comes across beautiful women and nifty toys, and a villain that psychologists have coined a new term for; sociopath. The pace is fast, the writing is tight, and you will want more after the last page is read. Fear not dear reader, there are nine more books in the series!
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Could not put it down!
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BBinSC More than 1 year ago
First was Dirk Pitt, then Kurt Austin....now Isaac Bell. Clive just gets better and better.