The Chase
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Product Description

"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 before. But it is not the engine or its grisly contents that interest the people watching nearby. It is what is about to come next . . . 1906: For two years, the western states of America have been suffering an extraordinary crime spree: a string of bank robberies by a single man who cold-bloodedly murders any and all witnesses and then vanishes without a trace. Fed up by the depredations of the "Butcher Bandit," the U.S. government brings in the best man they can find-a tall, lean, no-nonsense detective named Isaac Bell, who has caught thieves and killers coast to coast. But Bell has never had a challenge like this one. From Arizona to Colorado to the streets of San Francisco during its calamitous earthquake and fire, he pursues what is quickly becoming clear to him is the sharpest criminal mind he has ever encountered, and the woman who seems to hold the key to the bandit's identity. Using science, deduction, and intuition, Bell repeatedly draws near only to grasp at thin air, but at least he knows his pursuit is having an effect. Because his quarry is getting angry now, and has turned the chase back on him. The hunter has become the hunted. And soon it will take all of Isaac Bell's skills not merely to prevail . . . but to survive. Filled with intricate plotting, dazzling signature set pieces, and not one but two extraordinary villains, this is the work of a master writing at the height of his powers."

Customer Reviews:

  • Worst writer in captivity
    This is the worst-written novel I have ever read. There is some merit to the plot and bit to the characterizations, but it is painful to read. My first, and last, Cussler....more info
  • A fun read
    Well written and researched, what I call a "fun read" - hard to put down, since it flows so well.

    I do have one gripe - and this has to do with the various backgrounds given to the main characters - they vary from part to part in the book.
    In the paperback Berkley Nov. 2008 edition on page 107 it says "Marion was 21 when she finished college and came to work for Cromwell as a teller, and she had risen to manager." but on page 204 she is described as going to the "city's first secretarial school" and "working up from an office typist to his personal secretary." and then on page 331 she says "I was in the first graduating class of Sanford University. My degree was in law" Ooops!

    As for our hero Isaac Bell, on page 202 the author has him "going to Yale University" but on page 330 he is "Harvard, Phi Beta Kappa."

    For some reason these types of errors really bother me in such a well written and enjoyable book. Doesn't anybody EDIT any more?? ...more info
  • A new track
    Cussler has taken a new track with this book, in that the story stays primarily in the past. As always, a good story I could not put down. I enjoyed the new format. ...more info
  • Isaac gained 10 lbs. from page 22 to page 157
    Just finished THE CHASE last night and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Have been a big Dirk Pitt fan for a long time. As I was reading I saw that Isaac Bell's weight was 175 on page 22 (incidentally, this was Dirk Pitt's weight in FLOOD TIDE) and then Isaac is described as 185 pounds (Dirk Pitt's normal weight in most books) as he was fighting the 250 pound professional boxer named Red. It got past the editors somehow. They should of had a proofreader who is familiar with the Dirk Pitt Adventures. Still,a fun book. Isaac Bell is basically a 30 year-old, blond, mustachioed version of Dirk Pitt. I recommend this book for Cussler fans and also for people who have not read any of his novels before. Good job, Dr. Cussler. Roger...more info
  • Cussler rates #1 - again!
    Clive Cussler is my favorite author. The Chase is right up there with the best of them, even though it is not a NUMA theme. Get over it, it's still great!...more info
  • Old dog learns new tricks
    I am very happy to write this review. I have read all 33 novels by Clusser. The early Pitt and Oregon novels are his best ones. However lately his books have been tired and sound like repeats of the book before. In short, I said in a recent review that it might be time to stop. Then I read THE CHASE. I expected some over the top hero and of course lots and lots of ocean. What I got was a Serial killer/bank robber catch me if you can novel. The killer, the Butcher Bandit, is a very well develope villian. The robberies are well thought out. The hero is a little stiff, but he seemed to fit the time period,1906, in his actions. There are two things about this novel that let you know that Clusser wrote it. The dialoge is pure Pitt, heavy handed. The second thing is annoying habit Clusser has of sticking his name in his novels. This time it is almost painlessly quick. The 1906 earth quake scenes are terrific and detailed. The train chase is one that I would love to see done as a movie. This novel gives me hope that Clusser will have more of these one shot stories to tell. So give more Oregan stories and more of these types of stories and let Pit/Austin relax and drift away....more info
  • The best chase scenes are not in cars
    Ace detective Isaac Bell goes after the heartless Butcher Bandit in this great yarn by Clive Cussler. You can find plot synopses in other reviews. I just wanted to comment on the chase scene that concludes Bell's pursuit of the bandit. Typical movie chase scenes take place in cars, and sometimes involve trucks or motorcycles. However, the best chase scenes I know of involve none of these devices. The best one I had read prior to this novel is the one in chapter 17 of Zane Grey's Riders of the Purple Sage, which takes place on horseback. It is dramatic and riveting. However, Cussler gives Grey a run for his money, so to speak, in the great chase near the end of this novel. It involves two trains and two groups of men (and one woman, the bandit's sister and accomplice). They set out from San Francisco on the day of the great earthquake in 1906 and proceed at breakneck speed over the rail lines of the West. The passion of the men after the criminal is palpable. The tale involves moral courage and determination as much as the physical strength of the train's engine and the men who run it. Very well worth the read!...more info
  • The Chase
    Clive Cussler's "The Chase" is one of his best books to date. It moves quickly and is a great read!...more info
  • A change but excellent thriller
    I have been a long fan of the Dirk series so I was a little skeptical of this sideline. Wow, I could not drop this book. My wife has never cared for his books but I told her this one was different. She read it and was hooked as well. Highly recommend this book as it is not only suspenseful but sends you in to a time we often forget....more info
  • Not so good
    I wish Clive Cussler would stick to Dirk Pitt style novels, western type ones are not his style. I found this book way past boring. I greatly look foward to all C.Cussler novels and have read them all at least 4 times. This one will never be on my re-read list....more info
  • Its Ok, Not Great
    I would have enjoyed this book if another author had written it. This book was good but not what I have come to expect of Clive Cussler....more info
  • A Great Escape!
    Don't look for Dirk Pitt in this book, although Cussler makes a cameo appearance. Like all Cussler books, it includes a salvage involving "treasure" and is very, very loosely based on history. Of course, there is a love interest : a beautiful, tough, brilliant woman with a handsome, fearless, kind, intelligent, wonderful man. It's exciting, fun, imaginative, and totally unrealistic. I loved it!...more info
  • Excellent departure for Cussler
    I really enjoyed this novel by Clive Cussler. Although the novel opens with a dredging scene at a lake most all the remaining action takes place on dry land. The book is very well written and moves along at a fast pace. A very enjoyable read. ...more info
  • Wild! Fun!! Exciting! Enjoy the Chase!!!
    Like all Cussler books that I have read this book is a little cheesy but in a very good way. This majority of this book is set in the early 1900s where a very cleaver killer is on the loose robbing banks and killing all witnesses. Only one man can capture this man, the Dirk Pitt of the early 1900s Isaac Bell.

    While this book is a little cheesy and the main hero is way too perfect that's what makes it fun as well. The chase for the notorious "Butcher Bandit" is a lot of fun. The book is very exciting, well detailed, well paced with great characters.

    It's a good quick fun read for everyone. I highly enjoy and would recomend it to anyone who wants to escapse to the early 1900s and enjoy a good chase. ...more info
  • keeps getting no better
    I've tried Cussler in the past without success. I've found his writing stilted and plodding, his characterizations unidimensional and sexist, and his inability to construct a narrative without resorting to cliche to be incredibly irritating. I was reluctant to pick him up again and only did so because a friend assured me that this Pitt-less book was far superior to anything Cussler had written recently.


    How this man continues to be published is beyond me. I don't mind obsessive ruminations on locomotives and car designs and horsepower per se (though they add nothing to the narrative). What I mind is poor writing. What I *really* mind is paying an obscenely high price for poor writing and a writer who clearly makes a mint churning out drek.

    If I could give this book zip stars, I would. Save your money and your mind. This book is neither thrilling nor well-written. It is, merely, a chore.
    ...more info
  • The Wait is Over
    I gave up on Cussler three years ago, got tired of reading about
    the comedy tean of Pitt and his sidekick. Having nothing to read,
    and after reading some of this book's reviews, I decided to give
    Cussler another chance, and was rewarded with this fast paced read.
    I hope Pitt is put to rest, and we have more of Bell....more info
  • A fun excursion through the turn of the twentieth century
    Clive Cussler is a great storyteller and The Chase is a fun book. This is not a Dirk Pitt novel, but it is a Cussler novel with all his trademark attributes: salvage of a sunken derelict, a traditional heroic protagonist, fast vintage cars, and myriad details that show extensive research. The main part of the book takes place in 1906 and Cussler does an exceptional job of describing the technology of the day and daily life. Like all of his novels, the end is telegraphed in the prologue, but the fun is finding out how events resulted in the sinking of a fortune. The story pace lives up to its title and it moves with the assurance of a master.

    Cussler obliviously had fun being unleashed from Pitt, but he didn't veer too far, and his fans will not be disappointed.
    [...]...more info
    Clive Cussler (my favorite author) has done it again with "The Chase". What a fantastic story teller he is and this time without his heroes from his previous stories. My only disappointment with the book is it did not feature Dirk Pitt, my favorite of his characters.

    Set in the early 1900"s the story has bank robberies, murders, love and romance and an incredible train chase. Once the chase started, I could not put the book down and I know you won't be able too either. He could possibly have a new main character - Isaac Bell, a no-nonsense detective in his hands. I for one would love to read another Isaac Bell adventure.

    "The Chase" is a must read for all Cussler fans!
    ...more info
  • The Chase
    I am not especially a Clive Cussler fan, but I LOVED this book. It is a story of bank robberies in the early 20th century and of the detective who finally solves them. The scenes in San Francisco during the earthquake are unbelievably real. Try also The Fraud by author J. Lance Erikson. Another page turner....more info
  • It's not Charles Dickens but it's a heckuva fun ride
    Anyone who has ever read a Clive Cussler novel knows what to expect:

    1) A rugged, unconventionally handsome protagonist who is independently wealthy, invincible and irresistible to the ladies
    2) One or two beautiful women who, even after one brief meeting, can't stop thinking about the rugged, unconventionally handsome protagonist
    3) A devious, cold-hearted villain
    4) Cool old cars
    5) Clunky dialogue
    6) Unbelievable situations
    7) Rip-roaring adventure stories that you can't put down

    "The Chase" does not disappoint. It deviates from Cussler's normal Dirk Pitt/NUMA adventures but, as expected, includes all of these attributes.

    "The Chase" is a bank-robbery thriller set in 1906. The authorities are stumped by a string of violent bank robberies across the Western United States in which the robber kills everyone inside (earning himself the nickname of "The Butcher Bandit"), and disappears without a trace.

    After two years of fruitless investigations, the U.S. government decides to bring in "the best man it can find - a tall, lean, no-nonsense detective named Dirk Pitt, I mean, Isaac Bell". Bell then begins a relentless pursuit of "The Butcher Bandit" across multiple Western states that culminates in a wild locomotive chase after the coincidental timing of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. (Can you say deus-ex-machina?)

    I really enjoy Cussler's books and this was no exception. It's important to realize that Cussler's strengths aren't in creating three-dimensional character studies or high-brow literature. He excels at writing adventure stories that are a lot of fun to read. This book kept me up late for several nights as I frantically tried to find a good place to stop.

    If you're looking for an entertaining read, "The Chase" will probably fit the bill. If you're looking for the second coming of James Joyce, you might want to look elsewhere.

    Michael Mihalik is the author of Debt is Slavery: and 9 Other Things I Wish My Dad Had Taught Me About Money. Learn how to gain control of your finances, pay off your debt, and create financial security!...more info
  • An amazing adventure
    In 1950 the remains of a steam locomotive rises from a Montana lake containing three people who died over forty years earlier - and in 1906 a string of two-year bank robberies by a single man who murders all witnesses then vanishes becomes connected to the event. Detective Isaac Bell has long pursued this maniac across state lines --and his use of science and intuition will bring him to an impossible conclusion in an amazing adventure audio listen which springs to life under the voice of Richard Ferrone.

    Diane C. Donovan
    California Bookwatch...more info
  • A step outside the box for Clive Cussler
    The Chase is very different from the usual Clive Cussler story. The story is set in the early 1900's and is about trains, which is why I chose it in the first place. Even though the reader gets a peek at the ending thanks to flash back, suspense abounds and Cussler cleverly leads the reader along the merry chase between the bandit and the law man tracking him. Fade back into time and enjoy!...more info
  • Cussler at his best
    Great book and has great characters and enough linkage to actual history to make it a great read....more info
  • GIft for fan of Clive Cussler
    Bought this book for my husband - a big Clive Cussler fan. It was the latest (he's read almost all the others.) Cussler's usual plot - still a good adventure read. ...more info
    Having read every one of Clive Cussler's books, variations of the Dirk Pitt and Numa Files were getting stale. This was a great change of venue, a refreshing change of characters, and a wonderful page-turner. I look forward his next book with eager anticipation. Where's he going to take us next? ...more info
  • Another Cussler Thread
    Clive Cussler seems to be cementing his legacy by ensuring the continuation of his heroes through the introduction of younger co-authors. Nonetheless, this plot and action are pure Cussler; enjoyable in every way. It even has a car chase with our hero racing the villain's train from San Francisco to LA in a 'motor car' down what will become, some day, the Pacific Coast Highway. However, this story line, with its new hero, new time line and new set of challenges appears to be stand alone. Perhaps the author simply wanted to try his hand at a post-Victorian detective story. We'll have to wait and see. A great read!...more info
  • Cussler does it again--a new story with new characters
    A thoroughly enjoyable new story about a psychopathic bank robber, his wild sister, and a determined detective, Isaac Bell.

    Action, heroes, romance, villains, intrigue, and chases. Hard to put down. Hope your write another one like this.
    ...more info
  • A fun excursion through the turn of the twentieth century
    Clive Cussler is a great storyteller and The Chase is a fun book. This is not a Dirk Pitt novel, but it is a Cussler novel with all his trademark attributes: salvage of a sunken derelict, a traditional heroic protagonist, fast vintage cars, and myriad details that show extensive research. The main part of the book takes place in 1906 and Cussler does an exceptional job of describing the technology of the day and daily life. Like all of his novels, the end is telegraphed in the prologue, but the fun is finding out how events resulted in the sinking of a fortune. The story pace lives up to its title and it moves with the assurance of a master.

    Cussler obliviously had fun being unleashed from Pitt, but he didn't veer too far, and his fans will not be disappointed.
    [...]...more info
  • A Refreshed Clive Cussler
    Cussler has seemingly become reinvigorated, and has produced a great tale of action and adventure. Cussler certainly knows how to create an admirable hero, and does not fail us here. This tale of historical fiction is interesting and fast paced. It tells of the early histories of railroads, and San Francisco. If you enjoyed the early Dirk Pitt novels(because the latest Pitt novels have been such a bore with his children involved), then you will find this book a pleasurable read. ...more info
  • Non-stop entertainment
    While a departure from Cussler's norm, I found this to be a very energetic book, with a plot that had just the right pace. The characters were well fleshed out and Cussler's details were educational in places as well. I will confess that he went on about the protagonist's car in more detail that I needed, but that is a small minus in the midst of many plusses....more info
  • What? No Ocean?
    Even though there is no ocean in this book, there is a lake. (Have to stay close to the comfort zone somehow!!) This is a fast paced and enjoyable read. It is nice to get a way from Dirk and the crew sometimes and just get the storyteller in Clive going....more info
  • The Chase
    I loved this book. Clive has outdone himself. I hope he writes more of this kind of mystery. The research that he did for authenticity of the times was outstanding. ...more info
  • Fabulous!!!
    You can read all of the other reviews and salivate to your heart's content, buttttt, this is the most exciting, interesting, and the BEST novel Clive Cussler has ever written....more info
  • First-time Cussler reader....
    I had wanted to pick this book up last year when it first came out, but never got around to it, even after a dozen plane rides and train rides. Finally, come January I was able to pick this up and give it a good read. For a first-time reader of a Cussler novel, I was impressed. However, upon completion of the book, and after given the novel a few days to sink in, I found that, although I could suspend my disbelief upon reading it, there were just too many moments where I would remark "are you kidding?" upon reading.

    In other reviews I've read, there have been a numerous number of complaints about inconsistencies, like character names, descriptions, dates, etc. However, I found it easy to condone those sort of flubs when certain plot points rely on deus ex machina, or rather, just a good ton of luck. The story revolves around a Van Dorn detective hell-bent on apprehending the mysterious Butcher Bandit, who robs banks and then seems to magically disappear, leaving behind no traces and no witnesses.

    Our protagonist is Isaac Bell, a detective, and also, apparently, the best at everything he has ever done, ever. I'm not saying he isn't likable, but the way Cussler writes him out, it is as if the man has no flaws. Bell is the James Bond of this westernize world of the 1900's. He can woo any woman (and he knows it), he has an endless supply of money, he owns one of the fastest cars in the world, and he can even play poker and win (or feign to lose) without looking at the cards. He can do no wrong. Every character should have an Achilles Heel...otherwise he's just *too* perfect for me to relate to. Oh, and did I mention how many "Look, there's my dad's plane, I used to practice in it when I was a kid"-moments there are?

    In fact, because everything seems laid out so well for the main character I actually found myself cheering on the villain in the end.

    As I stated earlier, a lot of the plot seems to rely on sure luck. In many instances where the trail could have turned up cold, there is a single character who just happens to remember a small insignificant detail. I'd hate to spoil it for you fine people, but when Bell ultimately learns where the antagonist of the story is going, you'll probably feel really cheated.

    Cussler has clearly done his homework regarding the time period, although in other reviews certain details are not true. But regardless, I can suspend my disbelief long enough to actually create this as a back-reality. I'm no historian, but I was intrigued by certain details...although from time to time the story seems to get pushed behind on the smallest details of oil lamps, locomotive bearings, and automobile upholstery. Other times the story seems to get stuck in moments that are not relevant to the story.

    A perfect example, which has nothing to do with the plot, Bell, literally running down the streets of San Fran, actually stops to ask a stranger about someone who looks familiar. Not relevant by any means, nor significant that we need to know the name and profession of the stranger or the familiar-looking someone.

    Act one of the book starts out well, act two sort of chugs along, like an engine short on steam, but act three, literally, the CHASE, that same locomotive picks up and begins to roar into life. The actual chasing of the villain is, once again, too perfectly convenient, as is the final climax of the piece, which I believe would look great if ever made into a motion picture. Although, I'm not so sure the rest of the film would hold up.

    In the end, The Chase is a fun book that allows you to really turn your mind off and read for fun. You needn't remember everything, as most, if not all, exposition comes about through dialogue. At certain points you will probably feel cheated, that there wasn't enough conflict, and that things were too easy. All things considered an under $15 price tag is worth it.

    So stoke the boiler and clear the track and get ready for an exciting-but-imperfect journey. Just don't leave the rest of your train behind....more info
  • Superb!
    Again, this Cussler guy is awesome. I wished he had written more of these historical suspense thrillers. Although I love all his stuff. Super story, fast-paced plot that keeps the pages zipping by, and a smooth writing style like warm butter. ...more info