“He heard footsteps. Then labored breathing. The hobo
limped into the trees. He saw Bell, plunged a hand into his coat, and whipped out a knife in a blur of starlight on steel. Run? Thought Bell. Not and turn his back on the knife. He grabbed the heavy satchel to block the knife, and formed a fist.”
My first – but definitely not my last — foray into Cusslers’ works, The Gangster, is a well constructed presentation of the early nineteen-hundreds New York world of the wealthy, the poor; exploited immigrant workers and old school family; gangs and victims; the murderous and the law keepers.
It revolves around the ever-growing enterprise of Branco driving his way up from labourer on the run to the top of the criminal killing chain. His scheming is well spread, well executed, all the while working in secret. His final goal? Well, let me just say…someone as high as you could get in 1906 US.
In his way are the city police and the highly respected Van Dorn Detective Agency, whose top agent Isaac Bell had met Branco years earlier when involved in high jinks while at Yale.
Fast paced, the scene shifts turn the tale to something as close to an action movie as any novel can get, while the Prologue allows new readers such as me (or am I the only one?) an effective introduction to both characters.
This is Cussler’s ninth in the Isaac Bell series, co-authored with Justin Scott (as have been all but the first). I would have appreciated seeing the credits for the art work prefacing sections of the book; they are a perfect “match” to the style and setting.
Published by Michael Joseph imprint of Penguin Random house NZ,
US Release date: March 1st.
NZ Release is scheduled for April
Reviewed for distributors Booksellers NZ
For earlier titles in the Isaac Bell series, visit the author’ official site…