Detective Isaac Bell travels the early-twentieth-century American railways, driven by a sense of justice and a determination to stop a new mastermind reigning terror on a crucial express line in this #1 New York Times-bestselling series.
A year of financial panic and labor unrest, 1907 sees train wrecks, fires, and explosions sabotage the Southern Pacific Railroad’s Cascades express line. Desperate for help the railroad hires the fabled Van Dorn Detective Agency. Van Dorn’s best man, Isaac Bell, quickly discovers a mysterious saboteur haunting the hobo jungles of the West. Known only as the Wrecker, he recruits vulnerable 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.
Set in 1907, the rousing second thriller to feature detective Isaac Bell (after The Chase) from bestseller Cussler and Scott pits Bell against the Wrecker, who's been destroying trains and railroad facilities around the country for no apparent reason. These horrific incidents are wreaking havoc on the plans of Osgood Hennessy, the Southern Pacific Railroad's president, who's constructing the massive Cascade Canyon Bridge in Oregon. If the project isn't completed by winter, Hennessy's bankers will withdraw financing and his company will be destroyed. As in the first book, the purposefully stilted writing style takes a little getting used to, but there's plenty of excitement to be had in a world where massive, fire-breathing trains fly along at speeds of up to 120 mph. While the Wrecker's identity is revealed early on and there's never any doubt that Isaac will get his man, readers will find many thrills and much diabolical cleverness along the way.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It has lots of engineering concepts and is deep at times but makes sense. After I started it I could not put it down until I had finished it. If you like detective Issac Bell, I strongly recommend that you read this book.
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