cover image The Titanic Secret: An Isaac Bell Adventure

The Titanic Secret: An Isaac Bell Adventure

Clive Cussler and Jack Du Brul. Putnam, $29 (400p) ISBN 978-0-7352-1726-3

In the prologue of the engrossing 11th Isaac Bell adventure from bestseller Cussler and Du Brul (after 2017’s The Cutthroat), a lawyer from a firm possessing a secret report written decades earlier by detective Isaac Bell gives the report to Dirk Pitt, the director of the National Underwater and Marine Agency (and the hero of another Cussler series), in present-day New York City. The report concerns Bell’s investigation into the mining of a secret ore called byzanium and the effort to smuggle it aboard the Titanic. Pitt is the report’s recipient because of his efforts to salvage the Titanic (see Cussler’s 1976 novel, Raise the Titanic!). The report constitutes the main narrative, which opens in 1911 with Bell in Colorado investigating a series of robberies when he’s asked to look into the death of nine workers in a flooded mine. Bell’s search for answers takes him to Iceland, where he teams with Ragnar Fyrie, the skipper of a whaler. Bell and Fyrie travel to the Arctic to pick up a thousand pounds of high-grade byzanium. Along the way, Bell battles a French company, the Société des Mines, and its chief thug while conducting a rescue that’s as deadly as the ore they seek. The novel concludes with a touching epilogue and postscript set in the present that hints at the possibility of more to come on the mystery of byzanium. Cussler fans won’t want to miss this one. Agent: Peter Lampack, Peter Lampack Agency. (Sept.)