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The Spy (Isaac Bell #3)

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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  4,982 ratings  ·  331 reviews
It is 1908, and the dark clouds of World War I are beginning to gather. A naval arms race of epic proportions is under way, and the world's powers will stop at nothing to develop the best warships and, simultaneously, use deadly force to halt the development of other nations' navies. When several of America's leaders in naval technology are murdered, Isaac Bell (The Chase; ...more
Hardcover, 436 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by G.P.Putnam's Sons
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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David
The Isaac Bell series is sort fun, but the author gets bogged down running this early 20th century private detective back and forth across the country on trains. While I love trains, at times the description of the first class dining car menus and the gambling entertainment becomes monotonous and tedious to me.

I had several other problems with this one:

1) A Private detective agency would not spend all the time and resources to investigate a matter that they are not going to get paid for. One lo
...more
Jeannie Mancini
Espionage in Old New York

In the late 1800s a New York gangster nicknamed Eyes O’Shay, running from trouble, jumps on board a ship and is rescued by an old wealthy jeweler and brought to Germany as a son and apprentice to learn the gem trade. Years later in 1908, he arrives back to the Gangs of New York in disguise as Herr Riker the diamond jeweler, but in secret he is a German Spy out to confiscate the U.S. Navy's latest plans for a new and improved dreadnought battleship to aid his adopted coun
...more
Giovanni Gelati
Gotta love Saturdays for many reasons. One of them is the opportunity to read a novel like this at the beach or by the pool. The Spy is the third installment in the Isaac Bell saga. Clive Cussler has another winning series here. The period piece is an excellent summer read. The other titles in the series, in case you have missed them are The Chase & The Wrecker. I think there is a pattern in the titles here, The followed by one more word. I enjoy the simplicity.
The novel is set around 1908 a
...more
Lisa
Another fun and exciting book by Clive Cussler. The third in the series, it continues the story of Isaac Bell, the detective. It takes place in 1909, and he is trying to solve the murder of a man who designed guns for the Navy's newest dreadnaught ships. The further into the case he gets, the more he realizes that it is not just a murder he is trying to solve, but that there is a spy at the root of all the chaos.

I enjoyed the book, and I love how Cussler writes his books - exciting and suspensef
...more
Johnny
The Spy is part Wild, Wild West, part H. G. Wells, part The Avenger pulp novels, and part Industrial Age James Bond. This collaboration of Isaac Bell and Clive Cussler is essentially Tom Clancy meets Arthur Conan Doyle’s Professor Challenger in the era just prior to the Washington Naval Treaty. Indeed, the title of the book was generated by the spying and espionage which was rampant in real-life during this period.
To be sure, portions of this novel simply rely too heavily on coincidence. That be
...more
Mark Muckerman
Why, oh why do I keep going back and touching that same stove to see if it still burns me? Three words: Bargain Book Bin.

Because I find Cussler's collaborative efforts to be huge and consistent disappointments, I've lowered my satisfaction threshhold dramatically for these books. Sadly, my expectations are now being met.

Of his collaborations, I find the Isaac Bell stories to be the least painful to read, and for $5.40 in hardcover I risked taking another nap on that bed of nails.

Story: decent.
...more
Kristen
This is the third installment of the Isaac Bell series. Set in 1908, this time, Isaac Bell is looking for a spy, who's killing people and targeting people, when someone murdered Arthur Langner. It sets him off to find out who's who and who's telling the truth, coast to coast on a variety of naval ships. There's a lot of drama and action sequences to the very end, when it's up to Bell to apprehend the bad guys, and save the day. Another great action adventure/historical fiction mix for a enjoyabl ...more
Charlene Nelson
Mar 05, 2015 Charlene Nelson rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Clive Cussler fans
Shelves: finished
I loved this the third book with Isaac Bell. Once again Clive Cussler has woven a wonderful, thrilling and jaw dropping story. I was kept on the edge of my seat and with all the twist and turns didn't until three-quarters the way through knew who the spy was. All the characters are very intriguing and the only people you can count on to be who they say they are, is the Van Dorns, Isaac Bell, Marion Morgan and a few other characters. You know that Isaac will find the spy but all the different pla ...more
Ron Smoak
This was my first read of Cussler's early 1900's detective series. The plot had a few surprising turns that kept me reading further. As a staunch reader of all of Cussler's other books, The Spy was a fresh view into a story about detectives and spys prior to the First World War. A great read!
Dafunk
After a naval engineer apparently commits suicide, Van Dorn Detective Agency puts detective Isaac Bell on the case. The engineer’s daughter believes that her father was murdered instead. Unsuspecting Bell is about to stumble upon a vast, international plot to cripple the U.S’s naval fleets and it’s prototypes. A string of murders all relate to one prototype under construction; Hull 44. This mastermind plot of destruction sends Isaac traveling across the country in order to find the true crimina ...more
Janice
Nefarious villains have infiltrated sacred American grounds and assassinated a brilliant weapons designer and made it look like suicide. Of course, no one suspects anything. The daughter has to bring her suspicions to the Van Dorn detective agency where their top investigator Issac Bell believes her.

Here we begin to see why Bell is the wonder kid. He believes, he has incredible luck, he's prepared for any emergency, he can go without food, water, sleep. He's just too good to be true, plus he has
...more
Teo Hoppe
Can there be any doubt that turning the inimitable private detective Isaac Bell into a spy chaser is going to be good for this series? I think The Spy rings the bell in making for a more entertaining story than merely tracking down brainy, greedy thieves as occurred in The Chase and The Wrecker. I especially enjoyed a deeper sense of the international diplomatic and naval tensions in the pre-World War I era. The references to developing technology are also very interesting, even if they concern ...more
Jean-marcel
I don't always demand much from "action" stories. I'm a big fan of lots of old pulp writers and particularly the blood and thunder zeal of Robert E. howard and people like him. All I ask for really is some good writing. This book does not deliver, although I must say that the fact that Cussler is operating in a historical setting seems to temper some of his excesses and I had a slightly better time with this one than I did with any of his other books I've come across.

What surprised me though esp
...more
Kathryn

The Spy by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott (audiobook, abridged)
Posted on November 15, 2012 by Kathryn Edit

The-Spy by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott (audiobook)

I listened to this abridged audiobook on a trip back and forth to New Orleans yesterday; and it was a very good book to listen to, being the third of a series of five action detective novels set in the first decade of the 20th century in America.

It is 1908, and the Great White Fleet of 16 American battleships is on its circumnavigation of
...more
David Erickson
Jul 19, 2013 David Erickson rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Cussler fans
Recommended to David by: no one
In 1908 America's greatest naval gun designer dies in an apparent suicide. The Navy covers it up as the killer does a nearly flawless job of setting the scene and motivation. His daughter, a lady of society, doesn't buy it and ask the Van Doren Agency to take a look. In the course of the investigation other men important to America's battle ship development die in apparent accidents.

It becomes clear to Isaac Bell that this is no coincidence and there is a much larger conspiracy at work that incl
...more
Linda
This book might be worth 4 stars. I think it depends on your expectations or what you are comparing it to. If you are comparing it to all the books in the universe, well, it isn't even worth 3 stars. If you are reading it with the expectation of fun, fluff, adventure, non-sense, then, it, certainly, deserves 3 stars, maybe even 4. The Spy delivers adventure silliness, but it isn't great. Cussler gives you a very descriptive look at New York City at the turn of the century, the plot is interestin ...more
Chris Lytle
The 3rd instalment of Cussler's Isaac Bell series takes the previous cat & mouse game to a new and international level. This transportation themed detective tale keeps locomotives and early automobiles in the picture but dives fully into the naval world of Dreadnaught technologies. And best of all is the revolving door of bad guys - a cast of local toughs and devious spies from America's potential allies and enemies.

While Cussler provides stoic and reliable heroes, it is his villains that tr
...more
Dan
This is my first experience with Isaac Bell as the protagonist in Cussler's novels, but I believe he is intriguing enough that I would continue through the series. Unlike The Chairman in the Oregon Files, however, Bell isn't really all that intriguing or distinguished on his own to make me all that interested in him personally. I could have slapped any physical description, any other name, any other history on the guy and the story would have been the same to me.

Perhaps more intriguing (and some
...more
Michael Shore
Having been one of my favorite authors of adventure since what seems like forever, i had recently started to wonder about Cussler. So many books with so many Co-authors had me thinking his quality had diluted to the point i would not be buying his books anymore. So i skipped the first few in this series, and doh! that was a mistake.

This is exactly the kind of book i like from Cussler although it is different from his previous style. It is about one story but it captures a time period that is fa
...more
Marcia
This is a very fast-paced story with Isaac Bell, the detective. The story centers around sabotage to the US Navy's shipyards just before WWI. Bell finally identifies the spy and the spy's last objective, the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The epilogue fast-forwards to WWI & finds Bell himself spy for US against the German U-boat shipyard. The characters are credible, and the plot has several twists that keep the reader's interest.
Richard
I found this book quite boring towards the end. I had already read the first two in this series and enjoyed them both, but this just seemed to drag on. I found the new characters quite wooden and the old characters, such as Bell and his fiancée, just too good to be true. They are just too good and clever to be true. I suppose we want our heroes to be likeable but I was routing for the villains to kill them off. Not his best.
Ralph
Clive Cussler, who became world famous by writing near future action novels starring Dirk Pitt, now sallies into the past, introducing Isaac Bell, a detective in the early 20th Century who knows how to use his fists as much as his brain. Bell is every much the Man of Action we have come to expect from Cussler, but in addition to the unswerving moral compass which Pitt has, Bell is also operating in a moral society, at least in conventions if not so much in observation. This book has all the stre ...more
Tara
I let my kids pick any book from the library shelves for me, and this is what they picked. I liked the historical aspect of it. I didn't know much about the naval race at the turn of the century before. it was fascinating. the action was pretty good, too. it had me going from the first page, but the ending wasn't really satisfying, and in the end, it still isn't a book I'd pick up on my own. still glad to try new things, though.
Cecelia Hightower
Oct 14, 2012 Cecelia Hightower added it
Shelves: bill
The time period of this book is 1908 and the world is headed towards the Great War to end all wars (World War l). The setting is at the New York Navy dock yards with the un-timely deaths of engineers and innovative designers due to suicides, unrelated accidents, and unfortunate incidents. The hero, who is independently wealthy, handsome, and very debonair, works for the Van Dorn Detective Agency as his contribution to the betterment and safety of his country. Lots of sexy women, super-hero men, ...more
Daryl Buchmann
This book took me a long time to read. There were a lot of characters to keep track of. I loved the story line and I really enjoy the main character. I ended up finishing it as an audio book on a road trip and enjoyed it. Though I had to write down the characters to keep track of them all. Gave up after a while and just followed the main idea.
Susan
The Spy was the second book that I have read by Cussler and the second Isaac Bell adventure that I have read. I enjoyed this book just as much as I did the first. The Spy starts out with a bang and the action never stops. This time Bell finds himself facing a worthy opponent with a network of spies like Bell's network of Van Dorn's. Bell is hired to look into the suicide of a gun designer by his daughter, and what looked like a simple case turns into an espionage case that has Bell trying to out ...more
Jesi
Having read and enjoyed The Chase, and seeing as The Spy was on sale at Audible, I decided to pick this one up. I'm glad that I did. The writing is closer to the "carefree" style of Dirk Pitt adventures than the Oregon Files are, which makes them (for me) much more enjoyable. While the characters aren't really plausible, I don't really *read* Cussler books for plausible characters; I read them for fun, action packed adventures - and this delivered that in spades. The plot wasn't complicated, to ...more
Rylan Delong
I liked this book but i thought that too much things were happening at one time. There was two different peoples views that switched back and forth between chapters which made it confusing. Otherwise i liked it cause it was interesting, and it kept me wanting to read more and more.
Kevin Kazokas
This book started a bit slow but delivered in the end with a comfortable and quickening pace that made it an enjoyable summer read. Light fare here, but intelligently written. The plot left some loose ends, particularly involving the ancillary characters. Perhaps those will get tied together in upcoming installments, or more likely, the authors couldn't creatively jam those details into the 528 pages of all-Bell, all the time and simply sacrificed. I suppose I can live without knowing or caring ...more
Tim Corke
A great read by Cussler and one of the best I've read. Set in pre-WW1 USA, 'Spy' follows the private Van Dorn detective agency and Isaac Bell's adventure into discovering a series of mysterious deaths of key individuals involved with the US Navy's dreadnought project.

Twists and turns aplenty, 'Spy' provides a thrilling read that appears to be well researched and documented with references to Roosevelt, Fred Astaire and a number of other key facts that add to the realism of the novel.

Beautifully
...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
More about Clive Cussler...

Other Books in the Series

Isaac Bell (8 books)
  • The Chase (Isaac Bell, #1)
  • The Wrecker (Isaac Bell, #2)
  • 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)
Sahara (Dirk Pitt, #11) Inca Gold (Dirk Pitt, #12) Atlantis Found (Dirk Pitt, #15) Raise the Titanic! (Dirk Pitt, #4) Valhalla Rising (Dirk Pitt, #16)

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