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The Wrecker [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Clive Cussler , Justin Scott
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 1 2009 Wheeler Hardcover
In The Chase, Clive Cussler introduced an electrifying new hero, the tall, lean, no-nonsense detective Isaac Bell, who, driven by his sense of justice, travels early-twentieth-century America pursuing thieves and killers...and sometimes criminals much worse. 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.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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About the Author

Clive Cussler grew up in Alhambra, California. He attended Pasadena City College for two years, then enlisted in the Air Force during the Korean War and served as an aircraft mechanic and flight engineer in the Military Air Transport Service. Upon discharge he became a copywriter and later creative director at two of the nation's leading ad agencies. He wrote and produced radio and television commercials in Hollywood that won numerous international honors including an award at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

Cussler began writing novels in 1965 and published his first work featuring his continuous series hero, Dirk Pitt, in 1973. His first non-fiction book, The Sea Hunters, was released in 1996. The Board of Governors of the Maritime College, State University of New York, considered The Sea Hunters in lieu of a Ph.D. thesis and awarded Cussler a Doctor of Letters degree in May, 1997. It was the first time since the College was founded in 1874 that such a degree was bestowed.

Cussler is an internationally recognized authority on shipwrecks and the founder of the National Underwater and Marine Agency, (NUMA) a 501C3 non-profit organization (named after the fictional Federal agency in his novels) that dedicates itself to preserving American maritime and naval history. He and his crew of marine experts and NUMA volunteers have discovered more than 60 historically significant underwater wreck sites including the first submarine to sink a ship in battle, the Confederacy's Hunley, and its victim, the Union's Housatonic; the U-20, the U-boat that sank the Lusitania; the Cumberland, which was sunk by the famous ironclad, Merrimack; the renowned Confederate raider Florida; the Navy airship, Akron, the Republic of Texas Navy warship, Zavala, found under a parking lot in Galveston, and the Carpathia, which sank almost six years to-the-day after plucking Titanic's survivors from the sea.

In September, 1998, NUMA - which turns over all artifacts to state and Federal authorities, or donates them to museums and universities - launched its own web site for those wishing more information about maritime history or wishing to make donations to the organization.

In addition to being the Chairman of NUMA, Cussler is also a fellow in both the Explorers Club of New York and the Royal Geographic Society in London. He has been honored with the Lowell Thomas Award for outstanding underwater exploration.

Cussler's books have been published in more than 40 languages in more than 100 countries and have a readership of more than 90 million avid fans. His past international bestsellers include Pacific Vortex, Mediterranean Caper, Iceberg, Raise the Titanic, Vixen 03, Night Probe, Deep Six, Cyclops, Treasure, Dragon, Sahara, Inca Gold, Shock Wave, The Sea Hunters (non-fiction), Flood Tide, and Clive Cussler Dirk Pitt Revealed. Cussler is also the author, with Paul Kemprecos, of a new Dirk Pitt spinoff series - The NUMA files.

Cussler has been married to his wife, Barbara Knight, for more than 44 years. They have three children, two grandchildren, and divide their time between the mountains of Colorado and the deserts of Arizona.

Clive Cussler is a collector of automobiles and, like his character Dirk Pitt, lives a life of adventure discovering and collecting things of historical significance. He has a record of finding over 60 shipwrecks and has lead expeditions to gold mines. Cussler is the author of many adventure novels which titles include Mediterranean Caper (1973), Night Probe (1981), Treasure (1988), Shock Wave (1996), and Atlantis Found (1999). Cussler is the Chairman of NUMA (National Underwater & Marine Agency), a non-profit group which he himself began. He is also a fellow of the Explorers Club, which awarded him the Lowell Thomas Award for outstanding underwater exploration, the Royal Geographical Society and the American Society of Oceanographers. He is married to Barbara Knight and they have three children. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Less of the Same Feb. 6 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm a big fan of Cussler and have been for many years. DESPITE his predictability and repetitive plots.

This book is so unlike Cussler and I will give the credit to Justin Scott. I loved this book. It was a refreshing change from Cussler's formulaic (but enjoyable) Dirk Pitt stories.

It was one of those books that kept me going until the end. I couldn't put it down and really needed to see what happened next. I plan to see what else Justin Scott has put out.

I haven't read the first book because I didn't know it existed. So it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the story. But I do plan to read it.

The book's not perfect, but close. The bad guy seems more like a supervillian with everything he can do. But this IS a Cussler novel. And as someone else mentioned, how does the hero NOT see who the bad guy is? But I can forgive these small details because of the strength of the rest.

Great story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Chase" and "The Wrecker" Feb. 15 2010
These were excellent stories told by a demanding Author.
Demanding in the fact that he really kept the reader busy not only with the story line but by the number of people that come an go through out the story but all end up being an integeral part of that story. Also the vastness of the scenes, all across America and also into Europe in the case of the Wrecker.
They both have historical facts interwoven through them which brings so much life to them, along with the fact that they are very fast moving stories. They were intriguing to me to the point that I could hardly put them down.
To make the most of them,and to keep them in chronilogical order they should be read in that order. The Chase first and then the Wrecker.
They are stories involving the Southern Pacific Railroad and the troubles that they endured in establishing themselves. They hired a Detective agency and the stories revolve around the main Detective.
I have enjoyed several other books by Clive Cussler but these two really did it for me as I am a life long TRAIN nut and modeler.
For an enjoyable and fast moving read you can't beat these two.
Thankyou Mr. Cussler, I had read "The Sacred Stone before these and I have now purchased "The Navigator" and "Polar Shift" to confirm my loyalty to you. I wish I would have found you years ago.
J. Callan
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4.0 out of 5 stars Second book in the series. Feb. 11 2010
I have read the first book and now this one and I think it's not as good as the first one but it's still a good read. If you enjoyed the new setting in which those stories take place ( Turn of the 20th century far west ), we are going back to the same place and it's a pleasant ride.

Has for the presentation of the product, I got the hardcover version and the quality of the book is good.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
So it was, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, "It is the king of Israel!" Therefore they surrounded him to attack; but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him, and God diverted them from him. -- 2 Chronicles 18:31

If you liked The Chase, you will probably like The Wrecker even better. They story has an even more diabolical and daring villain, and the plot is deliciously complex and rewarding to unravel. If you haven't read The Chase, read it first. You'll like The Wrecker better if you do.

It's 1907, the year after the great San Francisco earthquake (nicely featured in The Chase), and Isaac Bell has been charged with protecting the far-flung operations of the Southern Pacific Railroad, which is taking a desperate gamble to finish a new line through the mountains before winter and itchy financiers set in. The Wrecker moves at will and strikes everywhere, both planned and unplanned, to pull out the foundation under the railroad at a time when it is terribly exposed. On behalf of the Van Dorn Detective Agency and an army of railroad police, Bell is facing a losing battle. The Wrecker need only go where Bell and the detectives aren't, and he can do lots of damage . . . especially when he recruits allies among the disaffected, anarchists, disgruntled union men, and those who hire out to the highest bidder.

Clive Cussler and Justin Scott do an admirable job of setting up dangerous situations for Bell to defuse, each one more challenging than the last. The tension builds and builds, making the thriller aspect work quite well.

There's only one flaw in the ointment: Bell seems to be monumentally obtuse in not identifying who The Wrecker is. As a result, the story doesn't work quite as well as it might.

You'll have fun anyway. Enjoy!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  186 reviews
106 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back on the tracks Nov. 20 2009
By Marcus A. Lewis - Published on
The first posted review can be difficult to follow sometimes, but I think I'm safe here. All the salient plot points have already been covered for you so here are a few things I would like to add: Once you get past the fact that this novel, like the other previous ones, is not a Dirk Pitt adventure, you can open yourself up to enjoy it. We first met "Isaac" Bell in "The Chase" (11/07). He is a special agent that works for the Van Dorn Detective Agency (very similar to the Pinkertons). Cussler& Scott use the frame format of storytelling, taking the reader back in time to recount the story's events. Much like Watson in his adventures with Sherlock Holmes.

The action is fast paced as previously stated and the language is archaic at times, which makes it more of a period piece. I think this character will resonate with readers. I thoroughly enjoyed "The Wrecker." Give this dynamo a look.
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Cussler Success Nov. 23 2009
By Tired Turtle - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
We first met Isaac Bell in "The Chase" in an exciting historical thriller. Clive Cussler has another page turner hit with "The Wrecker." In the early years of the 20th Century the fastest and most "modern" method of travel was by rail and the fastest communication was via the telegraph. Clive Cussler sweeps us back to these times in which Isaac Bell must contend with a dangerous, greedy man, intent upon causing the destruction of the most successful railroad mogul of the era. If successful the evil doer will be able to take over the enterprise and become immensely wealthy and famous. He acts ruthlessly to keep his identity hidden. Isaac Bell, the Van Dorne Detective Agencies top agent is placed on the case and the contest is joined. Though the reader soon knows the identity of the killer/scoundrel Isaac and his fellow agents must overcome limitations of travel and information lag times to assemble enough facts to finally unmask the villain. (For older readers one is reminded of the Saturday Movie Serial as audience members yelled at the screen to warn the hero, as the bad guy lurked in the shadows and the unknowing hero fell into a diabolical trap.) The action is fast, furious and fun as you spend time in the early 1900's traveling the rails, fighting nature, hob nobbing with industry titans as well as rubbing elbows with scum of the earth out to do in the good guys. I highly recommend this novel. Cussler is at the top of his game and we Cussler fans benefit.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good things come to those who wait Nov. 24 2009
By Gnomes Rule - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The second book in the Isaac Bell proves that good things come to those who wait.

What we liked in the first Isaac Bell series are in this book plus more.

Isaac Bell is self-confident without being arrogant, intelligent and methodically. He isn't afraid to face a foe in a gunfight or to admit that he is in love with a beautiful woman even when a spectacular beautiful young woman who happens to be the daughter of the rich client is making a play for him.

I give the authors credit on how they had their character handle the situation. Bell was able to diffuse the situation quickly and firmly without being hurtful. No insulting their own character by letting him fall into the women's trap. The character is far too intelligent not to recognize what was happening.

When faced with a man who has caused large financial losses as well as a number of deaths, he gathers around him an army of investigators. Accountants, lawyers, experts in their field all needed to bring the villain to ground. All without letting his ego get in the way.

Secondary characters are interesting, intelligent and realistic. No inept sidekick thrown in to add what some authors consider humor.

Scenes are well thought out and there is a plenty of action that flows easily from one scene to the next. Technical and historical material and details are skillfully handled. You learn without having the material shoved down your throat or bogging down the flow of the story.

The book seamlessly blends fiction and real events into a fantastic action story.

One little comment concerning other reviews, they refer to the writing style as being stilted. I personally had no problems with the writing style. Since the story takes in the early 1900's, a more modern style would have been inappropriate.

My thanks go out to both Clive Cussler and Justin Scott for a terrific read. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
Scott Brick what can I say; when you have the best reader narrating your book, it's only better.

Lastly, for all of us who have ties to Jersey City, NJ we thank you.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Competence Dec 10 2009
By Stephen T. Hopkins - Published on
Competence. There's a certain comfort to the reliability that a reader can count on from any Clive Cussler novel: the hero is competent and will succeed by the end; the villain is evil and can be a worthy adversary; the action moves quickly and usually involves incredible feats by many characters. A new novel, The Wrecker, fits the formula well, and will entertain those readers who can overlook the doggedness of the formula. Protagonist Isaac Bell (reprised from the earlier novel, The Chase) is the son of a prominent New England banker who works as a private detective. In The Wrecker, Bell is hired by the head of the Southern Pacific Railroad following a number of events that destroyed rail lines and facilities. While readers know the identity of The Wrecker early on, it takes a while for Bell to put all the puzzle pieces together in a mad scramble across the country and back several times. Along the way, there's murder, deception, engineering feats, and loads of competence. Cussler fans will want more novels featuring Isaac Bell. Readers looking for a few hours of entertainment and who have a willingness to overlook the clumsiness of a formula novel, are likely to enjoy The Wrecker.

Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! was disappointed that I finished Nov. 30 2009
By Rita - Published on
this book flowed so well to me. I was surprised and kind of disappointed to get to the end so quick. I truly enjoyed reading this book. Much more believable than "Spartan Gold", which was a complete disappointment. Isaac Bell and his fellow detectives from the Van Dorn Detective Agency once again save the day. A few surprises along the way. Was a good book to visualize along with. Could almost see the steam coming from between the pages.
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