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The Thief (Isaac Bell #5)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  2,740 ratings  ·  212 reviews
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 tha...more
Hardcover, 408 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by Putnam Adult (first published February 22nd 2012)
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I always have a prejudicial concern when I find a book credited to two authors, one of whom is very well known and the other is (to me, at least) completely unknown. Despite that, I was happy to find a new book by Clive Cussler on the library’s “new book” shelf, because Clive Cussler is always good for a rollicking story. In this case, however, that concern was completely justified. I finished reading it for the simple reason that I have a compulsive to see how a story turns out. In this case, I...more
I have enjoyed this series up until this title. Unfortunately I felt this one was not up to scratch. My biggest concern was the main plotline. Without giving anything away, I didn't believe the stakes justified the ruthless bloodshed and international carnage for it's acquisition. Similarly I am not sure Isaac Bell makes good husband material. He certainly didn't spend any time with his new wife or behave any differently thereafter. It was almost like the authors had forgotten about the marriage...more
Cassandra Davis
Isaac Bell is actually one of my favorite Clive Cussler characters. I think that is why I am so disappointed in this latest installment.

Storyline: 5 stars. This was an interesting read with lots of historical insight into early movie making.

Characters: 3 stars Bell felt like the same old Bell, and I'd really like for him to at least pretend to mature through all of his experiences. I loved the ancillary character Pauline, but she's left to wither in the background.

Editing: 1 star. This book was...more
Doug Clark
I recently finished the fourth and fifth volumes of Isaac Bell’s adventures, The Race and The Thief, written by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott. Cussler is one of the premiere action-adventure/suspense/thriller writers we have. He started out writing about the escapades of Dirk Pitt and his sidekick, Al Giodino. Dirk was created to be an anti-Bond in response to Ian Fleming’s great spy. Pitt is a marine engineer, government agent and adventurer working for the National Underwater and Marine Agenc...more
Robin Carter
I have to admit from the start that of all the Cussler characters Bell is my least Fav, I read cussler to get away from reality with an over the top action novel. All of this leads me to finally get that i need to stop looking at Issac Bell in the same way as other Cussler books, you do need to put some thought into this book, its not a brain off thrill ride.
When i read the book with this in mind i found that i really enjoyed it and i think i will go back and reread the other Issac Bell b...more
I always enjoy clive cussler books they are full of adventure and keep you interested.Van Dorn detective Isaac Bell returns for his fifth adventure in "The Thief."
The author combines a trip on the steamship Mauritania from London to New York adding some excitement in between. In midst of the action the author has decided to marry Isaac to Marion. The main theme is the production of sound movie pictures. Two scientist aboard the Mauritania are escaping from the Keiser who has been sold on the id...more
The continuing adventures of Isaac Bell, a private dectective in the early 1900's. This book finds him on a steamer ship crossing the ocean from England to New York, and planning a last minute wedding to his fiance, Marion. Things are interupted a bit when he happens upon an attempted kidnapping. The kidnapping turns out to be much bigger than anyone expected, when it turns out the men almost kidnapped have developed the first working machine to make talking pictures. As Isaac and the rest of th...more
A wonderful adventure story with many surprising twists and turns along the way.
When two scientists are attacked on board the Mauretania Detective Isaac Bell of the Van Dorn agency intervenes and prevents a violent kidnap.
Flummoxed at first as to the reason why two gentlemen scientists are being pursued in this way Isaac probes furthers and discovers that Clyde Lynds and Beiderbecke are running scared from the might of the German Army and consulate as they are carrying vital blueprints and even...more
Ever since I started reading this series, I have approached Clive Cussler books as good escapist type of stories to entertain me during my daily commute to and from work. Something that is mind numbing and doesn't require me to think very much. I felt like in The Thief Cussler delivered exactly what I was looking for. I was a little disappointed in the villain in this installment though, as I didn't feel there was quite enough attention devoted to him, say like in The Chase or The Wrecker. I thi...more
David Erickson
This is the fifth novel in the Isaac Bell turn-of-the-century series and better edited than some of the later Dirk Pitt novels. That was refreshing.

Isaac is on the Mauretania bound for America when the bad guy, General Christian Semmler, disguised as a coal stoker, attempts to kidnap a pair of scientists, creators of an amazing invention that would revolutionize the fledgling movie industry. Isaac thwarts his plans, befriends the scientists and the tale shifts into high gear.

Spanning both coasts...more
Carol Ann
Like all Clive Cussler books, this is a fun read. I like the focus in each of the Isaac Bell books on an early twentieth century technology and how it developed. The premise was a little weak, but it was developed in such a fun way that it didn't matter.
I like this series, largely because of the historical setting. This one opens with a fast-paced sequence on the Mauretania in 1911, and then meanders along at a fairly stately pace (for a Cussler novel, anyway). It's not bad, exactly, but it never gets up to speed. The villain is uninteresting, and the stakes are silly. I won't give any significant plot points away, but if the authors expect us to take something like this seriously, there had better be a really good McGuffin at the heart of it....more
It’s the beginning of the 19th century and two European scientists have developed a new method of combining sound with pictures. In the early days of film, sound and image were recorded separately and usually were out of sync. This revolutionary invention could be worth a fortune and someone wants to get their hands on it through any means possible.

While traveling to America on the ocean liner Mauretania, the scientists are the victims of an attempted kidnapping. Only the intervention of another...more
Another fast-paced Isaac Bell adventure...these books are the punk steam equivalent of the Dirk Pitt books; they are full of adventure, conspiracies, and highly improbable events.

While the motivation and drive for this book is, in the final analysis, fairly lame, I greatly enjoyed it and read it in two sittings. I especially enjoy how the authors use the nascent technologies in the early 20th century to advance the plot. From early cars, to movie projectors, to telegrams, this series uses them v...more
We started listening to this audiobook back in November or thereabouts, and finished it this Mardi Gras evening. This is the fifth in the Isaac Bell series of books, and we thought it a very good one, full of explosions and gunfire and chases across land and sea.

It is 1910, and Isaac Bell, the lead detective for the Van Dorn agency, is sailing back to the United States aboard the liner Mauretania, escorting a prisoner being sent to New York. Bell’s fiancé, the beautiful actress Marian Morgan, is...more
Kevin Gunaratna
The Thief is an exceptionally excellent novel. The novel is about two European scientists with a dramatic new secret invention are barely rescued from abduction by the Van Dorn Detective Agency's intrepid chief investigator, Isaac Bell on the ocean liner Mauretania. Unfortunately, they are not so lucky the second time. The thugs attack again and this time one of the scientists dies. The thugs worked for Krieg Rustungswerk who operates with the Imperial German Army. The story goes on to the thril...more
Steven Brandt
I’ve been a big fan of Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt series for a few years now, but this was my first taste of Isaac Bell. Knowing absolutely nothing about the character I approached The Thief with an open mind. Sometimes I think it’s best to read a new book that way, no expectations.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Isaac Bell books are set in the early 20th century: somewhere around 1912 unless I miss my guess. I loved all the historical references that Cussler drops in, the most impor...more
Chris Lytle
The 5th instalment of Cussler's Isaac Bell series has all the usual ingredients that we've seen before: death defying duels, the latest transportation modes and gadgets of the day. Bell's ongoing romance takes a big leap forward but at the same time seems to take a back seat to the deluge of knuckle-bruising action. The technology focus this time around is the integration of sound and film - perhaps something easily overlooked but obviously important all the same. In fact I found Cussler's const...more
Clyde Lynds, the European inventor of a revolutionary new talking pictures machine, in this very early 1900's action novel, finds out he has not evaded his German pursuers after all as he heads to America aboard a very fast passenger ship. His attempted kidnapping at sea is thwarted by Isaac Bell, the well-known Chief Investigator for the Van Dorn Detective Agency who just happens to be returning on the same ship. The pursuers are both resourceful and relentless in chasing Mr. Lynds across Ameri...more
Rick Buckshnis
The Thief is the latest Isaac Bell contribution to the Cussler empire of stories. Cussler is such a pro at writing even though he has a secondary author. The research and knowledge of the time period is second to none. His use of old words such as dandified and deigns, phrases such as “On the Jump!” shows the research on using period communication. It has the feel of reading one of those dime store novels that were available back in the day. But……………..I was bored. Usually I cannot put down a Cus...more
Instead of me highlighting the short-comings of the last few entries in the Isaac Bell - Clive Cussler series, let me say this was a darn good yarn. I recommend it as light-hearted fun that even went as far as teaching me something (not all that hard to do, but unexpected in an adventure story). Namely, I was ignorant of the Edison Trust and the impact that made on the fledgling US film industry.

I actually look forward to the next installment... 3 Stars.

★ = Horrid waste of time
★★ = May be enjoya...more
C.H. Cobb
Umm . . . Naah! Skip this one. I usually like Cussler, but this book is forgettable - it's not Cussler's usual quality. I even had to convince myself to finish it - was getting flat-out bored with it. The main plot line is contrived and unlikely. The editing is poor. Some of the characters are pretty good. But overall, your time is more valuable than this book. Read something else.
Van Dorn detective Isaac Bell returns for his fifth adventure in "The Thief."
The author combines a trip on the steamship Mauritania from London to New York adding some excitement in between. In midst of the action the author has decided to marry Isaac to Marion. The main theme is the production of sound movie pictures. Two scientist aboard the Mauritania are escaping from the Keiser who has been sold on the idea that if Germany has the sound movies first they would be able to thru propaganda ma...more
I have been a faithful reader of Cussler for years. Truthfully, I was dismayed that Cussler started other series and Dirk Pitt seemed to be retired and no further adventures with Giordano and Sannecker would be forthcoming.

I needn't have feared. I have since read several of the Oregon Files novels and found this book in the Isaac Bell series.

I should have known, Cussler always delivers and always satisfies.

The Bell series is especially satisfying as it pits Bell, an intrepid private detective...more
Jacqueline Seewald
This is my first Isaac Bell novel. Both my husband and I enjoyed reading the book. Lots of action. An interesting villain, although a bit stereotypical. Isaac, the Van Dorn detective, is a worthy adversary and hero. We learn a bit about the early motion pictures industry as well.
Another good one in the Isaac Bell series. Maybe it's the coauthor, maybe it's because the setting - history rather than current times or slightly in the future. Whatever it is, 4 books in and the series is still rather good. The Thief is after a moving picture camera that promises to sync sound to the pictures. A big deal for the time and a great tool for propoganda in the hands of the German government. Maybe the success of the stories is that the villians can be historical and not read as ste...more
Angela Wilson
This audio book is my first Isaac Bell and I loved every minute of it! It wasn't hard to catch up in the middle of the series. Lots of action, a bit predictable in some places and complete surprises in others. If you want historical adventure, check this out!
Sandy Neal
Lots of action, daring rescues, attempts at capture and other manly stuff!

I read this book because a man who eats at Norma's Cafe and is an avid reader is aways reading and re-reading Clive Cussler books.

Not bad. Kind of like an action movie in print!
Chris Bauer
Long time Cussler fan of all his books. This one did not disappoint. The characters, setting, plot and pace are overall well done. Yes, he does have a formulaic method of writing his books, but it works. The antagonist in this one is quite distinct and crafty, a worthy foe of Issac Bell who normally rolls through the bad guys like ten pins.

I appreciate Cussler's willingness to kill off appealing secondary characters to increase tension and really get the reader's blood pressure up during climac...more
Ian Allan
I'm growing tired of this series. I've read all five of them. I thought The Chase was brilliant. Loved it. But now it's become kind of a cookie-cutter series. All the books are the same. You get the feeling you're reading something that's been done before. How much of these books are even written by Cliver Cussler. He's an older guy, and he's cranking out a lot of books. I don't know for sure, but I think it's the other guy -- Justin Scott -- who's doing the brunt of the work, with Cussler maybe...more
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Cussler began writing novels in 1965 and published his first work featuring his continuous series hero, Dirk Pitt, in 1973. His first non-fiction, 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...more
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