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I haven't read a Clive Cussler book for a some time. I was a great fan of the early Dirk Pitt books but gave up reading them when they started to become a bit formulaic and repetitive. Cussler is now in his 80's and similarly to other ageing authors he has moved to co-authorship to maintain his output. This book in the Isaac Bell series is co-authored with Justin Scott and I would imagine that Scott has done most of the work.
What started to be a detective story about Prohibition and bootlegging in the 1920's got really serious when Isaac Bell’s boss and lifelong friend Joseph Van Dorn is shot and nearly killed in a high-speed chase of a bootlegging vessel. Things get even more serious when a witness to the shooting is executed in a manner normally used by the Russian secret police. Bell soon realises that as well as chasing the bootleggers he is up against communist saboteurs with a much larger agenda.
I think I would have enjoyed a no holds barred 1920's gangster/detective book more than this pretty strange twist in the plot. All in all compared to the exciting and very different early Dirk Pitt books, this was more like a B grade movie that would now only run on pay TV.