It is 1907, a year of financial panic and labor unrest. Train wrecks, fires, and explosions sabotage the Southern Pacific Railroad's Cascades express line and, desperate, the railroad hires the fabled Van Dorn Detective Agency. Van Dorn sends in his best man, and Bell quickly discovers that a mysterious saboteur haunts the hobo jungles of the West, a man known as the Wrecker, who recruits accomplices from the down-and-out to attack the railroad, and then kills them afterward. The Wrecker traverses the vast spaces of the American West as if he had wings, striking wherever he pleases, causing untold damage and loss of human life. Who is he? What does he want? Is he a striker? An anarchist? A revolutionary determined to displace the "privileged few"? A criminal mastermind engineering some as yet unexplained scheme?
Whoever he is, whatever his motives, the Wrecker knows how to create maximum havoc, and Bell senses that he is far from done - that, in fact, the Wrecker is building up to a grand act unlike anything he has committed before. If Bell doesn't stop him in time, more than a railroad could be at risk - it could be the future of the entire country.
Filled with intricate plotting and dazzling set pieces, The Wrecker is one of the most entertaining thrillers in years.
©2009 Clive Cussler; (P)2009 Penguin
If you ever wanted to learn about the railroad/trains, this is a good place to start. Research is great, tied into an interesting story. It's apparent the author wanted to get his teeth into a new character leaving the oceanic world for the railroad world while maintaining the hero .. Isaac Bell is very much like Dirk Pitt, just doesn't scuba dive. Very listenable.
Very surprising book from Mr. Cussler. No boats, no margaritas and no barely believable super heros escaping a submarine. I usually do not like period pieces, but this was amazing. Exciting and refreshing.
If I usually reread books then I would listen to this again. I enjoyed the story and Scott Brick is a fantastic narrator.
The Chase is the book that came before this one.
I have listened to The Chase and Scott Brick did an excellent job narrating that as well.
I'm an eternal optimist, follow a Buddhist philosophy, geek, learning Chinese, sports fanatic, like social networking & nuclear submarines
The two things i enjoyed the most about this Isaac Bell story is
1)the compelling characters, especially the black hat and the white hat main characters
2)the narration by Scott Brick. He sets the bar for others, i'm buying Clive Cussler stories as much for Mr.Brick's oratory skills as I am for the compelling storyline.
My favorite character was Isaac Bell, of course. The hero!
I enjoy detective series of books, especially Issac Bell, Alex Cross and Michael Haller. Biographies, most recently was Unbroken...
Top 5 out of over a 100 so far...
Issac Bell, just a great down to earth detective....
Yes.... except I have to work and sleep... so it took 3 sittings.
Cussler did an absolute great job in the writing and the next three books are almost as good.
Used to read classic lit for pleasure of well-written prose. Now, with MS, it's thrillers, courtroom/police dramas, and adventure to escape!
I listened to my first Isaac Bell story, "The Chase" out of order in the series and thoroughly enjoyed it. This persuaded me to go back to the beginning of the series and start from book one, which I also enjoyed. Now, having read, "The Wrecker" I am still entertained by this series.
Set just after the turn-of-the-century, I find the allusions to the lifestyle of that era interesting. In addition, although many people seem to have a problem with Scott Brick as a narrator, I find him to be a perfect narrator for these adventure-type novels. I would much rather listen to a narrator who puts the personality that he does into a story, as opposed to a reader who is more flat. For me, he brings his stories to life.
Having said this about the basic qualities of this series, I think "The Wrecker" has done the best job of allowing us to get to know Isaac Bell as a person, as well as a detective. His relationship with Marion continues, and their moments together are sweet and tender and it does bring out a side of Isaac that is softer and less robotic then the detective Isaac Bell.
Of course, listeners should know that all of this series is simple, mostly just for fun, and certainly not in the category of great literature. However, if you are looking for a book that is light, strictly entertaining, but still has some suspense and very likable characters, then you will probably like this series. Cussler does a fine job of keeping the facts and information true to the era, and even goes a little beyond by injecting details about the primary topic of each book.
For instance, in this book he does a great job of enlightening the listener with great information about the trains and locomotives of that time, the process of building a railroad right down to every piece of track and every bolt and tie. I suppose if one isn't interested in trains this could be tedious, but personally I found it added great realism to the story.
As a detective, Isaac is, once again, the brilliant, top-notch investigator upon which the series is based. This is one of the instances of which I was speaking where the book tends to be a little unrealistic… Isaac is a little too perfect. But then again, that's what this sort of book is about… having a hero for whom to cheer, and to know that he will always come out on top. These stories are the classic "the good guy always wins," so, once again, for a fun, lighthearted read it was very satisfying. In this story, as in the others, his villain, the Wrecker, is written with enough intelligence and sophistication that it does make the difficulty in thwarting him very realistic. Cussler does a great job of making him a worthy adversary for Isaac. This keeps the story believable and engaging for the listener, as we try to out-guess his next move to stay ahead of Isaac.
Without spoiling the plot I will add that the one thing I did not like about this particular story was the weapon that the Wrecker used which made him such a dangerous character. Personally, I thought it was downright ridiculous, and very unlikely for the era. However, this was a small negative in the overall believability of the story, and I would still recommend this book for someone who wants to simply have a fun adventure story that does not take itself too seriously.
Mother of 2 teens, alternate between reading for educational enrichment and pure pleasure. Like to run, bike, hike, and dance.
no, it wasn't THAT good. I only listen to books a second time if there is something integral to the story that I missed. I don't think I missed anything.
the Wrecker, unpredictable
good western, a little predictable
I drive allot and books help pass the long miles
I used to live in the area so I could see in my head where it took place great story
Of the few I have purchased its well worth it.
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