cover image The Striker: An Isaac Bell Adventure

The Striker: An Isaac Bell Adventure

Clive Cussler and Justin Scott. Putnam, $27.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-399-16177-3

Bestseller Cussler and Scott explore the origins of their series hero in the exciting sixth Isaac Bell adventure (after 2012’s The Thief). In 1902, Bell’s employer, the Van Dorn Agency, dispatches the private detective to West Virginia, where he’s to go undercover as a coal miner and ferret out the identities of saboteurs looking to do damage to the Gleason Consolidated Coal & Coke Company on behalf of a union outraged by the ultrahazardous working conditions. When a train accident leads to fatalities, the Pinkertons finger union organizer Jim Higgins as the person responsible. Bell is baffled as to how the chain that connected the lead coal car to the engine could have been fractured in plain view of hundreds of workers without anyone, including himself, seeing anything. The action flows swiftly, and the authors do a good job depicting the work conditions and the class warfare of the time. Agent: Peter Lampack, Peter Lampack Agency. (Mar.)