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It is 1906, and in New York City, the Italian crime group known as the Black Hand is on a spree: kidnapping, extortion, arson. Detective Isaac Bell of the Van Dorn Agency is hired to form a special Black Hand Squad, but the gangsters appear to be everywhere - so much so that Bell begins to wonder if there are imitators, criminals using the name for the terror effect. And then the murders begin, each one of a man more powerful than the last, and, as Bell discovers to his dismay, the ultimate target may be the most powerful man of all.
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By Wayne on 03-02-16
Great new release in the Isaac Bell series!
The Gangster is a superb mystery/suspense/thriller novel with an emphasis on mystery. It is set in the New York City area in 1906 and although it is Book 9 in the series there is only one novel in the series is set earlier; the books in the series are set in the years 1902 through 1921 inclusive,
In The Gangster the Van Dorn Detective Agency is hired to take down an Italian crime group that calls itself Black Hand. The secretive crime group is involved in almost every imaginable type of crime. Their methods of communicating internally while the leader remains anonymous are extremely creative.
Isaac Bell is not yet lead detective so Joseph Van Dorn leads the effort while Isaac Bell does most of the brain work and gets most of the action. Most of the suspense comes near the end of the novel as the leader of Black Hand seeks to kill a VERY high level target.
In my opinion although The Gangster deserves five stars it is not the best book in the series. Scott Brick's narration is flawless.
Detective thrillers take a back seat only to espionage thrillers on my preference list. Given a choice between listening to The Gangster and the recently released Back Blast, the Court Gentry/Gray Man espionage thriller novel by Mark Greaney, Back Blast is the easy winner. Fortunately I can listen to both on the days of their release.
One of the fun parts of listening to the Isaac Bell series is comparing technology and the value of money today with approximately 100 years ago. For example, 100 years ago transportation was very slow compared to today. Another example is that in 1916 four cents had the same buying power as one dollar today.
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