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The Chase (Isaac Bell #1)

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  11,180 Ratings  ·  829 Reviews
For decades, Clive Cussler has been delighting readers with novels filled with suspense, action, and sheer audacity. Now he does it again, in one of the wildest, most entertaining historical thrillers in years.

April 1950: The rusting hulk of a steam locomotive rises from the deep waters of a Montana lake. Inside is all that remains of three men who died forty-four years be
Published (first published November 6th 2007)
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Jason Koivu
Aug 03, 2014 Jason Koivu rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
At times I wondered if The Chase were written for a child. Info dumps trash up dialogue so stilted it often felt like I was reading narrative. And oh my head, the unnecessary repetition..."I don't believe it," Bronson blurted in utter disbelief....Good lord almighty!

The real crime, however, is that it wasn't as exciting as I expected for all the praise Cussler has received. It's part mystery, suspense, thriller, action, romance, historical fiction and detective story - an overflowing melting pot
This was the first Clive Cussler book that I have read that was not about a NUMA adventure. This is the start of a series about a detective in the early 1900's and I did enjoy the history that was fit into the story, however, for me it was a little slow through the middle and I had a hard time relating to the main character. Not a bad story just not as interesting as his NUMA series.
Nov 23, 2008 Jenni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clive Cussler is a man who has an obvious love for cars, trains, and the possibilities of history. I say the possibilities becasue he always mixes fact and unknow to come up with new possibilities for history. In most books he has characters that live in the present but are effected by historical events. This book however does not follow his standard format. This book takes place before, during and a little after the great San Francisco earthquake back at the turn of the century. It is a race be ...more
May 13, 2016 Mahlon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first volume in Cussler's Isaac Bell series, Isaac is a young, cutting edge, tech savvy detective, based San Francisco at the turn of the 20th century. In this book he is on the trail of a diabolical serial bank robber known as The Butcher Bandit.

Sure, the dialouge can appear to be juvenile and formulaic at times, and sure the villains can be so over-the-top that they sometimes have an almost cartoonish feel, but honestly, it's a damn good formula! The bottom line is these books are
Neil Hanson
Jan 14, 2013 Neil Hanson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many years ago I was a Dirk Pitt fan, but I've fallen away from Cussler a bit as he seems to have evolved into someone who runs a stable of writers, and they're just generally not as good as the old ones. (Plus, I have to admit I get a little tired of seeing Cussler's political leanings highlighted.)

My son suggested The Chase to me, and I have to say that I think Cussler has a good one here with this author. (Again, I have no idea how much of this Cussler actually writes, so I just assume it's a
Sep 09, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably my favorite Clive Cusstler book so far, it takes place at the turn of the century, back when automobiles were few and far between and people got to their destinations via the rail road. Isaac Bell, a detective, is bound and determined to catch the "butcher bandit" who had been robbing banks and murdering people all over the West, but disappearing without a trace. A fun and clean adventure, that was not only exciting, but gave you a unique view into life during 1906. I really liked it.
Nov 22, 2008 Scott rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
First time reader of the Cussler books, of which there are many. While I did finish the book, and wasn't completely turned off by this book, his writing is really pretty horrid. Excerpt, "Little did they know that one of them would not be alive tomorrow". I could go on, and on....on.

For an airport book it did do the trick.
May 16, 2011 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun mystery. I listened to the audio version and it was well done. read by Scott Brick. The story is about a string of robberies all over the country in 1906. The robber leaves NO trace and has stumped all detectives. Finally Issac Bell is hired and he starts finding clues. It was fun to hear about what life was like in the 1906. They happen to be in San Francisco during the great quake. I had quite an appreciation for what it was like to experience the quake and the limited technolog ...more
Keri ♠
My first Clive Cussler, but I have to say I was interested in reading a Cussler book after having watched the movie Sahara--and eventually, I'd like to read that book just to see all the differences between movie and book.

From the get go, I was hooked since this was historical fiction. I tried not to read much description about the book so I could be surprised. I really enjoyed it all the way through. I read through some reviews after finishing, and one point that I could see that was made was
This is my first experience with Clive Cussler and I enjoyed very much. A nice, well-paced historical thriller with car chases, train chases, bank robberies, all good stuff. I especially found the bit about the San Francisco earthquake interesting as I had read a book about those events last year and it reminded me of that excellent story. Isaac Bell is an interesting character, son of a rich banker who has chosen to fight crime and now chases a bank robber/ murderer for the Van Dorn Detective a ...more
Mark Boyd
Aug 23, 2015 Mark Boyd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clive Cussler, what can you say? Cussler is a master artist that can paint such a descriptive picture on the canvas of imagination that you are immediately brought into the story. In The Chase, the protagonist is a swarthy, wealthy, man's man. Dirk Pitt? Kurt Austin? No, it's Issac Bell with the
Van Dorn Detective Agency, on the heels of the Butcher Bandit. Set in the early 1900's, Cussler's research of that era is flawless, even down to describing the Underwood typewriter a secretary is using.
Apr 10, 2012 Jerome rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense, thriller
This is the first book in Clive Cussler's new Isaac Bell series, but the second that I've read. It's another solid character for him, but moves away from the sea and to trains as the travel mode of choice. It appears from the first two books of the series that he introduced a new plot format, wherein the story takes place for the most part in the early years of the 20th century, with foreshadowing in the introduction, and then the ending itself, taking place toward the middle of the century. I'm ...more
Feb 04, 2009 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been a lover of Clive Cussler's books for a long time. I have gotten used to his characters from Dirk Pitt to Kurt Austin to the members of the Oregon. When I heard this book was coming out and it didn't have any of his usual characters that I am used to I was kind of skeptical about whether or not it would be as good or great as his others.I have to say I was wrong. This book was, as tony the tiger would say, gggggggggggggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaatttttttttttttt ...more
Jan 02, 2011 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first of the Isaac Bell novels, the reader is introduced to a new era for Cussler - the end of the Wild, Wild West, when railroads brought civilization to the frontier.

The Butcher Bandit has been declared a ghost by local police across multiple states. He comes in, robs banks, shoots all witnesses, and disappears before anyone realizes he's been there. No one knows what he looks like, no one knows how he gets in and out of town, and no one knows where he will strike next. Can Van Dorn Detec
Sep 11, 2009 David rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
As a disclaimer, I'd like to note that I love my husband and he recommended this book, as he's read all of Cussler's books and loves them.

Clive - dude - you have enough money to hire a really good editor, then do what he or she says. It's not a threat to your omnipotence. Really, it isn't. Do you fix your toilet yourself, or do you hire a plumber? Yes, you probably COULD fix your own toilet, but you WILL hire a plumber, because all he does is toilets. This is why you should hire an ed
Harker US Library
Jul 07, 2013 Harker US Library rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A historical thriller set in 1906, The Chase follows the efforts of master detective Isaac Bell to capture and arrest the Butcher Bandit, a notorious bank robber who cold heartedly murders any witnesses to his crimes. Eventually, as the detective draws closer to his quarry, Bell’s own life is endangered as the outlaw turns his attention to his pursuer. A true page-turner, this novel is difficult to put down; each chapter brings new peril to the protagonist and his assistants. In addition, the au ...more
Apr 24, 2015 Lu rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Purtroppo Il Cacciatore, The Chase titolo originale e primo romanzo della serie Isaac Bell, è stato una enorme delusione. Trama che oscilla tra l'inconcludente, il debole ed il banale. Banali anche i personaggi, che non ispirano alcuna simpatia.
Questa lettura è stata una totale perdita di tempo.
Hajarath Prasad Abburu
4.5/5 Actually :)

Thank you Mumma aka Sri Vidya for this paisa vasool thriller ^_^ Loved it so much!!
Marts  (Thinker)
Cussler takes us on a historical adventure, as per usual he is really really descriptive but despite that he captures your interest and you mentally experience the action and adventure throughout it all...
A good plot, and as a geographer I rather appreciated the 1906 San Francisco earthquake tie-in he did a great job with the inclusion of the related historical and geographical elements...
Jun 22, 2015 Msjodi777 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, 2015
An excellent book. Good conquers evil, great "chase" scenes. A little long, but since it is the first in a series, I guess he had to set up all the characters. <><
Apr 20, 2016 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clive-cussler
this book and series will always be a five star rating to me. if you don't know Clive Cussler is one of 2 all time favorites authors that I love to read. This is the first in the Isaac Bell Detective Series . There are so far 8 books in the series. this was a reread for me and I 'm glade I picked it to read because I missed reading about Isaac Bell and the case he worked on. I love all four of his other series which are Dirk Pitt Adventures, Kurt Austin Adventures {NUMA Files}, Oregon Files Adve ...more
Adam Wilson
Jul 02, 2011 Adam Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As of July 2011, The Chase is my favorite Clive Cussler read. It is a historical thriller which may sound boring but it is anything but. I loved going back to the early 1900s and reading about a cool guy like Isaac Bell trying to track down the, for lack of a better title, Butcher Bandit. I honestly think that the historical part made it so enjoyable for me. Also, the book is actually chilling at parts when some of the robberies are brutally described. And, it is one of those books where Bell, t ...more
Kara Jorges
Dec 19, 2012 Kara Jorges rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clive Cussler couldn’t retire from writing for long, thank goodness, and having handed Dirk Pitt over to his son, he has decided to do something a little new. Given his obvious penchant for the more elegant way of life 100 years ago, it is unsurprising he chose to set this story in 1906.

The hero of this novel is Isaac Bell, a detective for the Van Dorn Agency who always gets his man. Isaac is the wealthy son of a banker who chose the excitement of being a detective instead, but still enjoys the
I'd actually like to give it 2.5 stars. I listened to it as an audiobook. This is the first book in a new (to me) series by Mr. Cussler.I like Clive Cussler work. I like the Numa books (both the ones featuring Dirk Pitt & Al Giordino and those featuring Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala) and The Oregon files books (love Juan Cabrillo!). I guess it says something when, by the end of the book, I still can't figure out whether I actually like this new main character, Isaac Bell. The story does have an ...more
Apr 23, 2009 Kent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was unlike his others in that it didn't involve the typical characters he uses and is considered historical fiction rather than adventure. I liked it.

The story is set in the early 1900's, 1906 to be precise. Isaac Bell, the legendary detective with the Van Dorn agency (think Pinkerton) has been assigned to capture the "Butcher Bandit," a bank robber who kills all the witnesses to his crimes. Bell tracks and follows the bandit across Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California. When
Oct 07, 2009 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, audiobooks
On our travels through the American West, we began listening to this unabridged audiobook as we drove south from Provo, Utah, and finished listening as we drove east from Albuquerque to Tucumcari. We found this appropriate for a thriller that ranges all over the West. (We enjoyed the book, and my special thanks go out to our friend Anita who works with us at the casino for lending this audiobook to us.)

In 1950 a locomotive is raised from the deep, dark depths of a Northern Montana lake, where it
Jorgen Schäfer
Feb 22, 2013 Jorgen Schäfer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
In the adventure novel series Isaac Bell Adventures by Clive Cussler, the handsome detective Isaac Bell solves crimes at the beginning of the 20th century. Isaac is a banker’s son with great wealth, but prefers the thrill of detective work. His family’s wealth does help, though. Together with his sharp mind, he has become the top agent of the Van Dorn private investigation agency.

Adventure novels. A strikingly smart, handsome, good and friendly protagonist. A smart, corrupt, evil and cruel antag
If I’d not been assigned to read this for my "Master Class" workshop for professional fiction writers, it is unlikely that I would have picked it up, because it is not my favorite genre. However, of all the genres in the reading assignment thus far, it has been my favorite.

Cussler’s writing is refreshingly clean from vulgarity, which makes the reading much more enjoyable.

It is fairly well-written. His voice is very utilitarian – not overly flowery – just tells the facts in almost a “down-home” m
Nov 28, 2007 Annie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thriller lovers
Wow!!! I just couldn't read this book fast enough!

From Publishers Weekly
Cussler takes a breather from his several ongoing series with this historical thriller set in the western states, circa 1906. The U.S. government hires the renowned Van Dorn Detective Agency and its equally renowned lead agent, Isaac Bell, to capture the bank robber known as the Butcher Bandit. The Butcher has gunned down 38 men and women and two children, leaving behind neither witnesses nor clues. Bell heads the manhunt a
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2016 Reading Chal...: The Chase by Clive Cussler 1 11 Feb 03, 2015 03:12PM  
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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
More about Clive Cussler...

Other Books in the Series

Isaac Bell (10 books)
  • The Wrecker (Isaac Bell, #2)
  • The Spy (Isaac Bell, #3)
  • The Race (Isaac Bell, #4)
  • The Thief (Isaac Bell, #5)
  • The Striker (Issac Bell, #6)
  • The Bootlegger (Isaac Bell, #7)
  • The Assassin (Isaac Bell, #8)
  • The Gangster (Isaac Bell, #9)
  • The Cutthroat (Isaac Bell #10)

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