A Book Spy Review: ‘The Cutthroat’ By Clive Cussler

Clive Cussler The Cutthroat.jpgPrivate Detective Isaac Bell takes on his most dangerous adversary yet in Clive Cussler’s The Cutthroat.

Set in 1911, Bell is hired by William Pape, a wealthy businessman whose daughter went missing. Bell finds the missing eighteen-year-old rather quickly, but unfortunately, she was dead by the time he located her.

Someone brutally murdered Anna Pape, who’d left her father’s home to travel to New York where she dreamed of becoming an actress and enjoying life in the big city. Bell’s job was done the moment he found Anna’s body, but he doesn’t stop there. Instead, he sets out to find the girl’s killer, not realizing at the time what, exactly, he was getting himself into.

Though Pape’s money ran out, Bell stays on the case and makes a startling discovery. Anna was one of many blonde, teenage-something-year-olds who’d been murdered in Manhatten. And each girl, it turned out, was killed the same way. Realizing this was far beyond just a coincidence, Bell sets his sights on taking down the serial killer terrorizing New York.

As his team from the Van Dorn Detective Agency compiles any relevant information that might be connected to the serial killer, who is dubbed “Cutthroat” for his throat-slashing tendencies, they uncover a trail of bodies that stretches far beyond just Manhatten. That breadcrumb leads to the revelation that the killer’s trail of victims seems to coincide with the schedule of a traveling theater that has toured everywhere from London to Los Angeles and, of course, New York.

While Bell and his team search for the Cutthroat killer, readers may recognize the villain by another name… Jack the Ripper!

Other historical figures make cameos, and, as always, Cussler (who teamed with Justin Scott for the ninth time to co-author this year’s novel) writes in plenty of automobiles and gadgets along the way.

While Dirk Pitt is still Clive Cussler’s most popular character, Isaac Bell isn’t far behind. This series, with the exception of last year’s offering, has been spectacular from start to finish. This time around, though, Cussler packs more action, intrigue, and suspense than ever before, topping it off with a fascinating villain worthy of squaring off with Bell.

There’s a lot of moving parts to this novel, but it all comes together nicely and, while certain chapters get a little wordy, the pacing is surprisingly fast. Bell entertains readers by shooting, fighting, and stabbing (though it should be noted that nothing is too graphic) his way through the most dangerous case of his career.

After a rare misstep with last year’s The Gangster, which fell short of the quality readers have come to expect from Cussler, the veteran author rights the ship with The Cutthroat, a dazzling historical adventure novel that Isaac Bell fans will enjoy from beginning to end.

Book Details

Authors: Clive Cussler and Justin Scott
Series:  Isaac Bell #10
Pages: 416 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 039957560X
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: March 14, 2017 (Order Now!)

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  • Ed JP

    Just finished it. Very well crafted to say the least. A play on a legendary villain with a twist of action and faded early America. A real treat for the visual mind. Highly recommend.