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Publisher's Summary

Detective Isaac Bell returns, in the thrilling new adventure from the number-one New York Times best-selling author.

On the ocean liner Mauretania, two European scientists with a dramatic new invention are barely rescued from abduction by the Van Dorn Detective Agency's intrepid chief investigator, Isaac Bell. Unfortunately, they are not so lucky the second time. The thugs attack again - and this time, one of the scientists dies.

What are they holding that is so precious? Only something that will revolutionize business and popular culture - and perhaps something more. For war clouds are looming, and a ruthless espionage agent has spotted a priceless opportunity to give the Germans an edge. It is up to Isaac Bell to figure out who he is, what he is up to, and to stop him. But he may already be too late... and the future of the world may just hang in the balance.

©2012 Clive Cussler (P)2012 Penguin

What members say

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The Review: An Issac Bell Piece

After the intensity of 'The Wrecker' and the adventure of 'The Race' this installation had some big shoes to fill. It fell somewhat flat, speculation leads me to believe the publisher pressured the writers to expunge sections to keep the book shorter. If that is the case then shame on them. I feel the villain was not as well developed as he could have been something I have really enjoyed from this series. Don't get me wrong I still enjoyed this book, I mean if you read the last four books your certainly can't stop now. As always great period tech and very accurate history.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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A Good Beach Book

This is the perfect book to read while sipping your favorite libation on a hot beach. The plot moves well without requiring much from the reader, the narrator does a decent job, the characters fit into the plot but again, don't require emotional involvement from the reader.

The premise behind the plot is pretty weak. I found myself asking why Isaac Bell and the Dorn Agency were so worked up about the development of the first motion picture camera. Even when the reason is revealed, it doesn't yield the big AHA. That's why it's a good beach read -- it doesn't really matter.

The setting of the book on the Mauretania is perhaps the the most entertaining part of the whole book. The description of how the engines were fed by coal is detailed and paints a vivid picture of a hellish job in a nightmare environment.

I've listened to a lot of audiobooks narrated by Scott Brick, and have given him some scathing reviews. In this one, he succeeds in controlling his worst flaws as a reader. Every sentence doesn't end with an uptilt of his voice, making it sound like a question. His attempts at character accents are improved. He even tries to add emphasis rather than reading every sentence as if it's all of the same degree of gravitas.

All in all, this is light fare. It's mindlessly enjoyable and keeps the listener's interest. Don't look for anything more. If you're tired and looking for a filler before starting something more substantial, I recommend it.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Justin Scott with Clive Cussler delivers

Any additional comments?

It was pure genius to set the Isaac Bell mysteries at the beginning of the 20th century. The rate of change, and the energy and enthusiasm are infectious.
The romance between Isaac and Marion is uncomplicated, which is a nice change from most fiction.
If you are looking for nuance and dark, conflicted characters, you will be disappointed.

Otherwise, catch a plane, go for a walk or bike ride, put on your headphones, and enjoy.

P.S. Justin Scott's work in the Ben Abbott series is worth a look.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Another Excellent Issac Bell Novel

I really enjoyed this story. Issac Bell is one of my new favorite characters. I really enjoy the historical points smattered in here and there.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 02-27-16

(Very) mildly disappointed! Great novel!

With The Gangster, the 9th book in the Isaac Bell series, being released in 3 days, I'm trying to make it through the prior 8 novels before the release. The Thief is Book 5 in this wonderful historical thriller series. It appear to be set in the year 1912. Isaac Bell and Marion finally get married on a cruise ship crossing the Atlantic to New York.

The twin themes of the book are Germany's preparation for war and the transitioning of the motion picture industry from silent films to "talkies" which is being enabled by the invention of a device that allows for synchronization of sound with video. The inventors, a German professor and his star student, are aboard the cruise ship. Also aboard is the thief who is determined to steal the invention.

This is a complex novel with almost continuous action and suspense. The action begins on the Cunard Line's Mauretania, goes to New York then to DC, then to San Francisco, then back to New York and finally back to the Mauretania cruise ship. Marion plays a bigger role in The Thief than in prior books in the series.

A historical point: The Thief exposes Thomas Edison as more a thief of technology than as an inventor. That is historically accurate. Thus the title of the book could be referring to Edison as much as the German "acrobat" who is seeking to steal the motion picture technology.

My mild disappointment with The Thief is that the plot is a little too complex. The authors handle it well, but the listener must pay very close attention to avoid getting lost.

Scott Brick's narration is flawless.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Fine Background Research

Descriptions of society, interior design, street scenes, transportation, weapons and motion picture technology make it seem that the author lived then. This apparent authenticity puts the reader in the scene.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • USA Buyer
  • COLDWATER, MI, United States
  • 04-06-12

Super

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Well written book

What did you like best about this story?

Mystery and how Bell tracked down the villian

What does Scott Brick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Simply the best. Have enjoyed all his narrated books

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The ending

Any additional comments?

Great job by Clive

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Brett
  • ELMO, UT, United States
  • 01-23-13

Cussler does it again!

What did you love best about The Thief?

I always enjoy Clive Cussler books, especially when its read by Scott Brick. When Cussler writes with another author you can tell, but its a nice mix. The action and susspense are great, but this book had less banter and explaining of 100 year old machinesnes and more emotional and plot driven conflict. It works well, but I really wanted to know how some of the machines worked in this one. Over all it was another home run for the Isaac Bell series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Clive and Issac do it in style

I enjoyed this book as much as the others in the Bell series. However the impact of talking movies is a little far fetched when applying it to WWI. It was good reading.I enjoyed the way in which Cussler portrays life in that time period. As a instructor of Underwater Archaeology, I have students occasionally read Cussler's books for fun as well as some factual material
descriptions

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • B
  • Sanford, FL, United States
  • 11-29-12

A little disappointed

Where does The Thief rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

in the middle

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Thief?

The wedding of issac Bell

What does Scott Brick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Helps to feel as if you are watching the story from the inside, not just looking in.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No

Any additional comments?

I have really enjoyed this series, however this just did not hold my attention or hook me like the others. I enjoy the characters and the time frame so will continue to follow the series

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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