Van Dorn private detective Isaac Bell is investigating John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil monopoly, when a sniper begins murdering opponents of Standard Oil, and it doesn’t stop there. The murders --- shootings, poisonings, staged accidents --- have just begun as Bell tracks his phantom-like criminal adversary across the U.S., to Russia’s war-torn Baku oil fields on the Caspian Sea, and back to America for a final, desperate confrontation. And this one will be the most explosive of all.
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. As Bell discovers, to his dismay, the ultimate target may be the most powerful man of all.
When Isaac Bell’s boss and lifelong friend, Joseph Van Dorn, is shot and nearly killed leading the high-speed chase of a rum-running vessel, Bell swears to him that he will hunt down the lawbreakers. When a witness to Van Dorn’s shooting is executed in a ruthlessly efficient manner invented by the Russian secret police, it becomes clear that these are no ordinary criminals. Bell is up against a team of Bolshevik assassins and saboteurs intent on overthrowing the U.S. government of the United States.
It is 1902, and a bright, inexperienced young man named Isaac Bell has an urgent message for his boss. Hired to hunt for radical unionist saboteurs in the coal mines, he is witness to a terrible accident that makes him think that something else is going on. Given exactly one week to prove his case, Bell quickly finds himself pitted against two of the most ruthless opponents he has ever known.
On the ocean liner Mauretania, two European scientists with a dramatic new invention are barely rescued from abduction by the Van Dorn Detective Agency's intrepid chief investigator, Isaac Bell. Unfortunately, they are not so lucky the second time. What are they holding that is so precious? Only something that will revolutionize business and popular culture --- and perhaps something more.
It is 1910, and newspaper publisher Preston Whiteway is offering $50,000 for the first daring aviator to cross America in less than 50 days. He is even sponsoring one of the prime candidates --- an intrepid woman named Josephine Frost --- and that's where Detective Isaac Bell, chief investigator for the Van Dorn Detective Agency, comes in.