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The Thief (Isaac Bell #5)

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,058 Ratings  ·  270 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
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May 19, 2016 Mahlon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 5 in the Isaac Bell series, this time Isaac is sworn to protect an inventor and his machine which may change motion pictures forever, in the process, Isaac investigates a movie studio which may not be all it appears to be.

My only criticism of this Bell adventure is that the epilogue felt tacked on and completely unnecessary. Also The Thief is not really an appropriate title, there are others that would have fit the book better.
Mar 11, 2012 JBradford rated it did not like it
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
May 14, 2015 Frank rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the first three novels in the Isaac Bell series, especially The Wrecker, however, the last two have fallen somewhat short. In this outing, Bell is on the trail of a German ex-army officer nicknamed The Akrobat. Bell first encounters him on board The Mauretania while returning from Europe. The Akrobat is in the process of trying to kidnap two scientists and their new invention. But what is the invention and why is it so important to the Germans? This novel takes place sometime be ...more
Jun 03, 2014 David rated it it was ok
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
Mar 28, 2012 Cassandra Davis rated it liked it
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
Doug Clark
Jun 13, 2013 Doug Clark rated it liked it
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
May 04, 2012 Robin Carter rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
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
May 04, 2012 Lesley rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure
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
Eric Wright
Here's a book that history buffs who love detail about old ships, buildings, and inventions like the talking film projector will love. But those who enjoy a suspenseful plot will be annoyed by all the detail about the Mauretania, buildings, décor, etc. etc. All that stuff, while interesting in small doses slows down the story and frustrates me. A 2 for story and a 4 for background combine to rate at 3.
Apr 15, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it
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
Matt Tarasuk
Nov 01, 2014 Matt Tarasuk rated it it was amazing
Another excellent Isaac Bell novel, with early 20th century action, a villain to be reckoned with, and page turning speed.
I admit I enjoy the escape into the period, and the history and technology Cussler weaves into his stories.
Can't wait to read the next one.
May 18, 2014 Ria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 08, 2014 HBalikov rated it it was ok
This novel is co-authored by a Cussler minion, Justin Scott, and there is a lot that is interesting and accurate about it. It provides a window into the life of the well-to-do in the first decade of the 20th century. Among the treats are a detailed description of a trans-Atlantic steamship voyage; ditto, a trans-continental railroad journey; and, some of the ins and outs of the movie business before "talkies" became the big thing. Clive Cussler is known for getting these things right.

The hero du
Aug 27, 2014 Jeremy rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
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
Rachael Hewison
Aug 13, 2015 Rachael Hewison rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
I absolutely loved the first Isaac Bell book; it was thrilling, exciting and full of wonderful characters. I was unable to get a hold of the next couple of books in the series so I went straight for this one. I was sorely disappointed.

The main issue for me was the plot. I found it really quite dull. I didn't get the excitement or the drama and thought that a lot of people died for not very much. I got bored with the long descriptions of the talking movies and found the scenes on set very dull. T
David Erickson
Feb 02, 2014 David Erickson rated it it was amazing
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
Erwin Sloof
Apr 02, 2016 Erwin Sloof rated it liked it
Being a bit doubtfull about this book by the reviews. I finally did decide to read this book. The one star ratings I see seem quite harsh. Im not familiar with Clive Cussler as I writer and from the reviews Ive read it seems this series is not his best work and the cooperation with the other writer doesn't help the quality either.

Despite these things the book was enjoyable and was a nice read. The ending was a bit dissapointing and not really satisfactory. Not the best book ever but entertainin
Wayland Smith
Nov 15, 2014 Wayland Smith rated it liked it
This is another in Cussler's Isaac Bell series, a private detective in the early 1900s. In this one, Bell gets involved with international intrigue when he gets involved with two scientists working on a special project as war looms on the horizon. Bell faces a ruthless foreign spy who proves to be a smart and dangerous foe.

While the series is a decent action read, a big part of the appeal for me is the detail. Cussler and Scott did a lot of research for the era, and there are lots of little touc
Arvid Steyaert
Feb 13, 2015 Arvid Steyaert rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
JALO MAAT, Den Isaac Bew eeft zijn eigen leven gered met een nijptang en heeft den Aap in de schoorsteen van nen buut laten vallen .... ge moet er maar opkomen :)
Carol Ann
May 08, 2013 Carol Ann rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 15, 2014 Simon rated it it was ok
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
This seemed to be a lot to do about not much. It is hard to believe the Germans would go to this length for the stated objective. Isaac Bell seems to get surprised alot and does not appear to be very insight in this story. The change to a married man does not seem to affect him much and does not lend much to the story. The historical details were interesting and kept the story going. The descriptions are well worth reading, but the plot line leaves you shaking your head on why care this much.
Apr 27, 2012 Leslie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, audiobook
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
Mar 30, 2012 Alfredo rated it liked it
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
Feb 12, 2013 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, 2013
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
Kevin Gunaratna
Apr 13, 2012 Kevin Gunaratna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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 (Audiobook-Heaven)
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 impo
Chris Lytle
Jan 18, 2014 Chris Lytle rated it liked it
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
Dec 06, 2012 Rick rated it liked it
Shelves: adventure
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
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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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Other Books in the Series

Isaac Bell (9 books)
  • The Chase (Isaac Bell, #1)
  • The Wrecker (Isaac Bell, #2)
  • The Spy (Isaac Bell, #3)
  • The Race (Isaac Bell, #4)
  • The Striker (Issac Bell, #6)
  • The Bootlegger (Isaac Bell, #7)
  • The Assassin (Isaac Bell, #8)
  • The Gangster (Isaac Bell, #9)

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