In 1902, the volcano Mt. PelĂ©e erupts on the island of Martinique, wiping out an entire city of thirty thousandâ€”and sinking a ship carrying a German scientist on the verge of an astonishing breakthrough. More than a century later, Juan Cabrillo will have to deal with that scientistâ€™s legacy.
— Suspense Magazine
As Van Dorn private detective Isaac Bell strives to land a government contract to investigate John D. Rockefellerâ€™s Standard Oil monopoly, the case takes a deadly turn. A sniper begins murdering opponents of Standard Oil, and soon the assassinâ€”shooting with extraordinary accuracy at seemingly impossible long rangeâ€”kills Bellâ€™s best witness, a brave and likable man. Then the shooter detonates a terrible explosion that sets the victimâ€™s independent refinery ablaze.
Bell summons his best detectives to scour the site of the crime for evidence. Who is the assassin and for whom did he kill? But the murdersâ€”shootings, poisonings, staged accidents—have just begun as Bell tracks his phantom-like criminal adversary from the â€śoil feverâ€ť regions of Kansas and Texas to Washington, D.C., to the tycoonsâ€™ enclave of New York, to Russiaâ€™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.
— Kirkus Reviews