The Assassin

Clive Cussler and Justin Scott. Putnam, $28.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-399-17175-8

Isaac Bell locks horns with John D. Rockefeller in bestseller Cussler’s uneven eighth adventure featuring the Van Dorn Agency detective (after 2014’s The Bootlegger, also coauthored with Scott). In 1905, Rockefeller is buying up all the independent companies that stand in the way of Standard Oil’s complete domination of the oil market, making sworn enemies out of many of the independents’ owners, in particular revenge-driven Bill Matters. A fiendishly clever assassin, who’s a superb sniper, has been killing the men who Matters has marked as his enemies. It’s Bell’s job to protect Rockefeller, help the U.S. government investigate Standard Oil for violating the Sherman Antitrust act, bring the mysterious assassin to justice, and keep himself alive in the process. An exciting trip to Russia and a whiz-bang ending compensate for the places where the action bogs down. A surprise epilogue set in 1940 will please series fans. [em]Agent: Peter Lampack, Peter Lampack Agency. (Mar.) [/em]