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Publisher's Summary

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.
©2007 Clive Cussler (P)2007 Penguin

Critic Reviews

"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....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." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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Excellent Opener to Cussler's Isaac Bell Series

One of Cussler's best written books. In this book, he introduces his new character named Isaac Bell, who is a detective for a large detective agency in the early 1900's.

The plot involves a highly successful bank robber who never leaves witnesses. Or at least he tries not to!

Excellent characters, plot, and adventure. Perhaps I learned a bit too much about railroads and communication via telegraph. But it's always such a pleasure to listen to Scott Brick's narration, I really didn't mind.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 12-07-15

Not Cussler's best

Clive Cussler has been writing and coauthoring historical thrillers for over 40 years and he has a large and faithful following or readers. 24 of his 60+ unabridged novels in English are available at Audible in audiobook format. Many are narrated by Scott Brick, my favorite narrator.

The Chase is Book 1 in the 8 novel Isaac Bell series. It is well worth listening to, but it is not a good as most Cussler novels. My advice is to start listening to Cussler with his Dirk Pitt novels seven of which are available in audiobook format.

36 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

It was hard to put down... those hours when I had to eat, sleep and go to work. It was intriguing and exciting from page one and I'm recommending it to some very finicky readers in my family.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jackie
  • San Antonio, TX, United States
  • 02-13-11

A new series for me

I love Clive Cussler but never ventured to try this series because I generally do not enjoy books set in the early 1900's, particularily in the Western US. Boy was I surprised. This book has all of the fast paced adventures of his other thrillers. I love Isaac Bell just as much as I love all of his other heros beginning with Dirk Pit. If you like the NUMA adventures, or the Oregon adventures you will love the Chase and Isaac Bell.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

My first and not my last by a long shot

This is my first Clive Cussler books - I know, where have I been. What a rush. So much action, great characters in just the right doses. Nothing is wasted in the story. Can't wait for my next one. Read Clive!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Terry
  • Nelson, British Columbia, Canada
  • 01-08-10

Great Historical Novel

Fast moving thriller. Starts and ends in the 1950s, with most the story taking place in 1906. Gives a great historical context of a detective chasing down a bank robber killer.

I tend to follow Scott Brick's books and this one did not disappoint. Just purchased The Wreck and looking forward to it.

21 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Ed
  • Saint Augustine, FL, United States
  • 03-17-11

Villains make this a good read

This is my first Clive Cussler novel and I'll probably give him another look. He certainly came up with an easy-to-dislike antagonist in the form of Cromwell. Apart from a grudging fondness for his sister, Cromwell seemed to be totally without redeeming value. Even his philanthropic work was performed for cover. Our hero, Isaac Bell, was a likable-enough character although the romance that blossomed with one of Cromwell's employees strained credibilty. Much of the story strained credibility but did so in a way that did not detract from a reader's ability to enjoy the listen. I did.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Chase

Good reading and not great but good. Worth your time and I could recommend it to all.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Interesting melodrama with fun historical touches.

The story line is wonderful, the people and places descriptions were colorful, I especially loved the wonderful historical bits as those bits completely entranced me. The narration, however nearly grated me into a turned off listener with his repetitive singsong redition. Only the story content urged me to finish the story. I will not be a willing listener to this narrator in the future.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A new favorite series

This is a great series. I can't wait to dig my claws ito the next book. The characters are excellent! I could totally see Dirk Pitt reading all about Issac Bell. :-)

5 of 6 people found this review helpful