Sunday, March 25, 2012

Book Review: The Chase by Clive Cussler

The Chase (Isaac Bell, #1)The Chase by Clive Cussler
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’ve enjoyed many of the Dirk Pitt novels by Clive Cussler.  Sahara is one of my favorite books.  The premise for this book - private investigator at the turn of the 20th century, new fangled gadgets (for that time), and a bad guy to catch are all good.  And, with Clive Cussler as the author how could it not be good.  Well, it wasn’t.  Good that it is.  It was disappointing and somewhat boring.  Yes, boring.  Not something I’d expect from this author at all.

First off, the name of the bandit, the Butcher Bandit, just never seemed right.  From the start we know who the bad guy is.  Not unusual (Columbo didn’t all the time).  However, the character development wasn’t there.  Basically we’re told the bad guy is well, a bad guy.   We’re told the main character, Isaac Bell, is a handsome dude who comes from money.  He has friendships with other detectives.  But, you never really see it.  The writing is probably sixth grade level at best.  As mentioned by a previous poster, there is too much detail from everything from the typewriter used by a secretary to the cars to the motorcycles to the guns.  Everything is described with a name and/or a brand. There is a scene where Bell is starting one of his cars and it goes on for paragraphs.  Paragraphs.  And, most people won’t have a clue what most of the detail means unless they are super familiar with cars as they were in the early 1900’s.

Have I mentioned the “romance?”  Yeah, there’s also a girl to be got.  Again, not well done.  High school level at best.  He does manage to make you want to root for the couple, but for the most part it just isn’t there.

I made it through half of the book, then skimmed through the earthquake and “the chase” and then read the wrap up at the end.

I gave it two stars because while it was boring, it wasn’t necessarily dreadful.  It should have been better.  In fact, I wondered if Clive Cussler actually wrote this book as I believe future books in this series have a co-author.  Doesn’t really matter as I won’t be reading any other books in this series.  I’d recommend this only to die hard Clive Cussler fans and even then it comes with a warning as this isn’t Dirk Pitt or even close.

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