Competence. There’s a certain comfort to the reliability that a reader can count on from any Clive Cussler novel: the hero is competent and will succeed by the end; the villain is evil and can be a worthy adversary; the action moves quickly and usually involves incredible feats by many characters. A new novel, The Wrecker, fits the formula well, and will entertain those readers who can overlook the doggedness of the formula. Protagonist Isaac Bell (reprised from the earlier novel, The Chase) is the son of a prominent New England banker who works as a private detective. In The Wrecker, Bell is hired by the head of the Southern Pacific Railroad following a number of events that destroyed rail lines and facilities. While readers know the identity of The Wrecker early on, it takes a while for Bell to put all the puzzle pieces together in a mad scramble across the country and back several times. Along the way, there’s murder, deception, engineering feats, and loads of competence. Cussler fans will want more novels featuring Isaac Bell. Readers looking for a few hours of entertainment and who have a willingness to overlook the clumsiness of a formula novel, are likely to enjoy The Wrecker.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
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