The second book in a new Western series by Clive Cussler, “one of the greatest adventure novelists of our time” (imdb), The Wrecker represents the continuation of Cussler’s entry into the classic American genre of Wild West fiction. Who knows, maybe it will turn into his most popular series yet.
The main character of the of this new Clive Cussler series is a detective by the name of Isaac Bell, a fearless figure of physical prowess equaling James Bond who simultaneously possesses observational skills and powers of deduction rivaling Sherlock Holmes.
As luck would have it, Isaac Bell is an independently wealthy heir of a major American banking family, his detective work more of a passion and obsession than a job-for-money.
In The Wrecker, Isaac Bell gets hired to stop a saboteur targeting the Southern Pacific Railroad, threatening to financially “derail” the mega-corporation as they push to build a new and expensive cutoff track that will greatly decrease traveling time between the northern and southern portions of the American West Coast.
Reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes’ arch-nemesis Professor Moriarty, the villain known as The Wrecker is nearly as brilliant as Isaac Bell himself. Unbeknownst to all, until the end of the book, The Wrecker hides in plain sight, right within the innermost circles of his adversaries.
The agenda of the Wrecker is to seize control of the Southern Pacific Railroad through various dummy corporations he has put in place, which will help him capture the fallout from Southern Pacific’s impending bankruptcy. Not only that but it appears he plans to eventually to control the entire United States railroad system, the greatest source of billionaire wealth in America at the turn of the last century.
As a story taking place in the early 1900’s, this book also offers a perfect opportunity for avid car enthusiast Clive Cussler to present some classic automobiles from the era when the experimental variety of styles was the greatest because few standards had yet been established.
Featured in The Wrecker, we find the winner of the 1908 New York to Paris race, the 1907 Model 35 Thomas Flyer, as well as a Packard Grey Wolf, a turn of the century Rolls Royce, Isaac Bell’s Locomobile, and a Bugatti Type 41 Royale.
Clive Cussler is a man of many passions, one of the best known and most obvious being his love of the ocean, as evidenced by his countless action novels revolving in and around water. But the fact that he has chosen to live in Colorado, far from the any great body of water, suggests that he also loves the rugged, arid and mountainous landscapes of the American West.
The Wrecker gives a glimpse into this other side of Cussler, his love of the mountains and the still-not-entirely-tamed American West, a contagious passion that is likely to rub off on a whole new generation of Wild West enthusiasts and reinvigorate many old ones. The new Isaac Bell series may well be Clive Cussler’s best work yet.
Mrs. Hellman resides in Western North Carolina with her spouse and three children, working as a copywriter. She writes book review as a hobby. Visit her site to order The Wrecker, or the most recent Dirk Pitt adventure, Arctic Drift, Clive Cussler.