Written by Clive Cussler & Justin Scott, staged around the race to invent talking movies, a.k.a., “talkies”, and set against the backdrop of the months leading up to the United States’ entry into World War I, The Thief is the 5th installment in Clive Cussler’s “Isaac Bell” series which spans several decades in the early 1900s. My husband and I listened to the audio book version of The Thief while on a road trip. It lasted us to our destination, and almost all the way back, a round trip of about 1,300 miles. This is a photo of our copy of the audiobook version of The Thief.
With many new inventions around the turn of the 20th century, there was a race to produce a successful prototype and get the first patent. While crossing the Atlantic on the luxury liner, “Mauretania” with their new invention, two European scientists are protected by the VanDorn Detective Agency’s famous detective, Isaac Bell, from German agents who plan to steal their coveted new machine. The first attack is unsuccessful. The second time the German agents attack, one of the inventors is killed.
The Germans, who want to produce anti-American wartime propaganda, steal the plans, and try to kill the inventor who previously escaped them. Even Thomas Edison tries to hire the surviving inventor, with the hope of taking credit for the invention. There is a lot of violence set against espionage and intrigue. If you like adventure stories and mysteries, you will love The Thief.
Cussler’s yarns never disappoint, and always have plot twists and turns that keep us guessing. Of course, we knew Isaac would win in the end — he always does, but finding out how he achieves this is always great fun.