Cover Image: The Saboteurs

The Saboteurs

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Member Reviews

The latest Isaac Bell adventure has our intrepid detective involved with an assassination attempt that leads into an involved investigation of efforts to sabotage the under construction Panama Canal. A thoroughly enjoyable easy read that holds your attention and has plenty of action from start to finish.
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Another great addition to the Isaac Bell series.  Fast paced historical thriller - an assassination attempt on a California Senator, terrorists trying to stop construction of the Panama Canal.  Couldn't put it down - great job 
Mr. Du Brul!
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Unimpressed. I think that is the best way I could describe this book. When I read my first Isaac Bell novel, I loved it. The adventure, action, excitement was great. I just didn't feel it on this novel and I don't know why! There was a ton of excitement and adventure but nothing that really made me not want to put the book down. I think in general, I have just become more impressed with the other Cussler series of late and those have been so enjoyable this was less so. I am wondering if the fact that it is less modern and the technology is old makes it less enjoyable (compared to the Oregon series with their state of the art tech). I should say, I gave it 3 stars still, which means it wasn't a flop, just not the best. 

Thanks to NetGalley, Putnam's Sons, Jack Du Brul, and the late Clive Cussler for providing me with an advanced reading copy.
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I am so happy that Isaac Bell's series is continuing.  This story is historically detailed and has amazing action.  I enjoy the smaller details, such as the description of an ambulance being specified as a motor ambulance.  It has you experiencing the changing times of motor vehicles and horse drawn vehicles still sharing space on the roads and the characters living through the rapid industrial changes.  

The storyline is great too.  Everything you expect from an Isaac Bell adventure. I was happy to see Marion Bell playing a more prominent role than she has in past stories as well.   

I have learned more about early Panamanian history and the huge undertaking that it was to build the Panama Canal than I ever remember reading in school, or anywhere else.  An added pleasure is having Teddy Roosevelt make brief appearances in the story.  I have always thought he was an extremely interesting person to learn anything about. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Putnum (Penguin Group), for the chance to enjoy this adventurous e-ARC experience.
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I’m a new fan of Isaac and Marion Bell, and I’ll do my best to catch up with the previous adventures.

For me, Isaac Bell shows a very modern vibe, almost as a present-day man trapped in the past, especially because of his respect and high concept of women in particular, or his proclivity to embrace new technological skills like driving cars, flying planes, and preferring semi-automatics over revolvers. The attention to detail is magnificent. As a reader you can’t skim over it because the most insignificant detail becomes an important clue later.

Overall impressed with the tale.
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I rarely if ever give a novel I'm reading a nickname. But I do have one for The Saboteurs, the new release from the late Clive Cussler and Jack DuBrul. I call it my Tom and Tom book. At the conclusion of this review, I will explain my reasoning for the nickname.
The Saboteurs is a detailed account of attempts by various groups to delay the construction and opening of the "Magnificent Engineering Masterpiece, the Panama Canal."
In Buenos Aires, German envoy Otto Dreissner explains the impact the Canal opening will have on Argentina to the Foreign Minister of Argentina, The Kaiser is aware of the meeting.
In San Diego, the life of Senator William Dennismore is threatened when multiple gunmen interrupt a dinner with the aim of stopping Dennismores support of the Canal. Fortunately, Isaac Bell, lead detective of the VanDorn Detective agency, was at the dinner. Though outmanned and lacking weapons, Bell is able to save the members of the Senators party. 
Next comes a series of auto chases - yes 1913 auto chases - as the assassins attempt to eliminate Bell. Again, knowledge and skill save Bell.
But of course, all is not over. Bell has to steal a boat and speed off. Where are the assassins? Right behind him. Again, Bell overcomes all the obstacles. In fact, he lures the assassins into a trap that results in their capture by the US Navy.
These events lead to Isaac being sent to Panama to investigate the connection between the Senators attack, the numerous destructive "accidents" around the Canal and foreign intervention in Panama.
In Panama, Isaac receives a tour of the Canal with detailed explanation of its construction and the machinery needed to build it. It is an awesome build.
As he tries to determine who is sabotaging the Canal construction, Bell experiences train wrecks, monstrous mud slides, bombs, dam breaks and flooding, arson, sniper attacks, and plane crashes. Only his mental acuity, physical ability and commitment save him.
The one bright note at this time is the arrival of Marion Bell, Isaacs beautiful blond, movie-producer wife.
 If you have read other action novels, you will know that one of two things will happen. Well one does. Ultimately all is resolved and we know that the Canal gets built.
The book demands your attention. There are about 70 characters and an ample number of exploits. Combine the two and you have a good read. 
And now - why is this a Tom and Tom novel. The Toms are Tom Clancy and Tom Cruise. There are enough detailed descriptions of trains, canal construction, dirigibles, and guns to call this book ala Tom Clancy, "The Hunt for the Panama Canal." There are enough daring exploits like jumping from planes, fighting off gunmen that the book could be called "Mission Impossible: Panama."
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Thanks to NetGally for my digital ARC for this book, in exchange for my honest opinion.

This was a GREAT book. This felt more like an authentic Cussler than the last one in the series, if that makes sense. As usual, it has the great blend of mystery, history, technology, espionage and thrills. I absolutely adore Marion. She's just a tough-as-nails lady who is brilliant, beautiful, fierce and determined. I love her relationship with Isaac. This was a great adventure spanning from America to the Panama Canal, and I really liked the history steeped into this plot. Cussler always does a splendid job of painting the scene for the reader, and I was having a time trying to picture the scope of some of the places he was describing, so I kept looking it up online! It was incredible to "see" the canal coming to life throughout the story. It's one of the few books I've read that feature the building of the Canal and don't paint it to some glorious, white-washed event. It tackles the tricky history surrounding it. I particularly appreciated at different points in the story where Bell could've been a "typical" white man and take advantage of the locals and he didn't-he did the right thing, and I just really adore the character and book even more for that. And of COURSE there's a terrifying, dizzying battle and of COURSE Marion and Isaac are just in sync about everything. All around, a fabulous romp and it leaves me saying "PLEASE DON'T END THE SERIES!"
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Another enjoyable read from Clive Cussler and his collaborators.  I enjoyed the historical setting  (the building of the Panama Canal).  It was a bit of a history lesson.  Having been through the Canal twice, the visual imagery brought back fond memories.  Reading this book might encourage some to try and visit the Canal.  As expected, the story was somewhat formulaic.  I read these books expecting that and look for the unique aspects, often the historical context and bit of true history.  That is the plus side.  I appreciate the strong and intelligent female characters.  This is so unlike many "action" books written for a largely male audience.  The one thing that gets in the way of my full enjoyment of the writing is the overly long and detailed chase and "battle" scenes.  They serve to make me skim those sections. I expect a core of the readership would find them a plus.  I do not and I still read Cussler's books as they come out.  I am most attracted to the NUMA books with the scuba and underwater scenes and details.
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Isaac Bell,famous detective with the  Van Dorn Detective Agency, foils an attempted assassination on a beloved Senator from California and while investigating the incident finds a group of terrorist from Panama that have an agenda to somehow stop the construction of the Panama Canal. Bell and his wife , Marion, travel to the site of the canal and are quickly involved in a bombing, equipment failures and kidnapping all aimed at slowing the completion of the canal.  Isaac must find who is responsible for these attacks. This sets him on a journey of twists and turns and danger at every turn to find the source and stop them before they not only destroy the canal but also perpetrate another assassination attempt this time on Teddy Roosevelt, potential 3rd time candidate for President of the United States.This is a great read!!!
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