Detective Isaac Bell tracks a killer across the nation’s oilfields in this adventure in the #1 New York Times–bestselling historical series.
As Van Dorn private detective Isaac Bell strives to land a government contract to investigate John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil monopoly, the case takes a deadly turn. A sniper begins murdering opponents of Standard Oil, and soon the assassin—shooting with extraordinary accuracy at seemingly impossible long range—kills Bell’s best witness. Then the shooter detonates a terrible explosion that sets the victim’s independent refinery ablaze.
Bell summons his best detectives to hunt down the mysterious killer. But the murders—shootings, poisonings, staged accidents—have just begun as Bell tracks his phantom-like criminal adversary from the “oil fever” regions of Kansas and Texas to Washington, D.C., to the tycoons’ enclave of New York, to Russia’s war-torn Baku oil fields on the Caspian Sea, and back to America for a final, desperate confrontation. And this one will be the most explosive of all.
Isaac Bell locks horns with John D. Rockefeller in bestseller Cussler's uneven eighth adventure featuring the Van Dorn Agency detective (after 2014's The Bootlegger, also coauthored with Scott). In 1905, Rockefeller is buying up all the independent companies that stand in the way of Standard Oil's complete domination of the oil market, making sworn enemies out of many of the independents' owners, in particular revenge-driven Bill Matters. A fiendishly clever assassin, who's a superb sniper, has been killing the men who Matters has marked as his enemies. It's Bell's job to protect Rockefeller, help the U.S. government investigate Standard Oil for violating the Sherman Antitrust act, bring the mysterious assassin to justice, and keep himself alive in the process. An exciting trip to Russia and a whiz-bang ending compensate for the places where the action bogs down. A surprise epilogue set in 1940 will please series fans.
I always love a good Isaac Bell crime story. The Assassin was no different although I figured out the "who" early on. I just didn't have the "how". Fast paced to the end. Having grown up around the oil business I must admit some of the more technical details may have been glossed over to make an editor's deadline. For that reason I have to give this read 4 stars. On the other hand, 98% of the other readers out there would never know it.
It took a couple of chapters to really get the gist of the story. Only then does it become hard to put it down because you’ve got to find out what happens next.
Slow start but a fast Bugatti ending
I had a hard time getting inti the first part of this book but then it took off like a rocket. A great read that I recommend to all Cussler enthusiasts.