by Clive Cussler & Justin Scott
Early 20th-century industrialization is pushing the military organizations of Germany, Great Britain, Japan and the United States toward stronger steel, higher-powered explosives and faster ships. War is coming, and there are spies everywhere. The United States Navy has taken great pains to keep its researchers separated into various different facilities, each with plenty of security.
But someone is methodically picking off the top scientists anyway, using a variety of methods, each designed to look accidental. Everyone is baffled, and the daughter of one man is absolutely, resolutely convinced that her father did not commit suicide. Her determination leads her to the Van Dorn Detective Agency; she wants them to prove that her father was murdered. Clues are almost nonexistent, and chief Investigator Isaac Bell is simply going through the motions, until he witnesses a bar brawl that changes his mind completely.
Thus begins a mystery that forces a domestic organization to learn how to investigate a global threat. At every turn, Joe Van Dorn tries to tell Isaac that hunting spies is not their job, but Bell is adamant that a criminal is a criminal, regardless of nationality or motivation. The leads take Bell and his operatives deep into the seedy underground of 1908 New York City as they battle gangsters and foreign nationals in their pursuit of the One Spy.
Rated: High. Although the foul language is limited to a half-dozen mild and moderate terms, the almost overwhelming number of their uses pushed it over the limit for me.