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.
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"Unfortunately, Cussler's style is patterned on the clunky dialogue (I pray you catch the murdering scum) and improbable characters of the period's dime novels, and his in-depth research makes his descriptions sound like advertising." - Publishers Weekly.
"As always, Cussler ties everything together in the end. The author's many fans probably know that at the start, but they will want to read the novel anyway." - Booklist.
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Clive Cussler grew up in Alhambra, California. He attended Pasadena City College for two years, then enlisted in the Air Force during the Korean War and served as an aircraft mechanic and flight engineer in the Military Air Transport Service. Upon discharge he became a copywriter and later creative director at two of the nation's leading ad agencies. He wrote and produced radio and television commercials in Hollywood that won numerous international honors including an award at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
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 ...
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