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The Mysterious Case of Rudolf Diesel

Genius, Power, and Deception on the Eve of World War I

Read by Scott Brick

About The Book

This instant New York Times bestselling “dynamic detective story” (The New York Times) reveals the hidden history Rudolf Diesel, one of the world’s greatest inventors, and his mysterious disappearance on the eve of World War I.

September 29, 1913: the steamship Dresden is halfway between Belgium and England. On board is one of the most famous men in the world, Rudolf Diesel, whose new internal combustion engine is on the verge of revolutionizing global industry forever. But Diesel never arrives at his destination. He vanishes during the night and headlines around the world wonder if it was an accident, suicide, or murder.

After rising from an impoverished European childhood, Diesel had become a multi-millionaire with his powerful engine that does not require expensive petroleum-based fuel. In doing so, he became not only an international celebrity but also the enemy of two extremely powerful men: Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and John D. Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil and the richest man in the world.

The Kaiser wanted the engine to power a fleet of submarines that would finally allow him to challenge Great Britain’s Royal Navy. But Diesel had intended for his engine to be used for the betterment of the world.

Now, New York Times bestselling author Douglas Brunt reopens the case and provides an “absolutely riveting” (Chris Bohjalian, #1 New York Times bestselling author) new conclusion about Diesel’s fate. Brunt’s book is “equal parts Walter Isaacson and Sherlock Holmes, [and] yanks back the curtain on the greatest caper of the 20th century in this riveting history” (Jay Winik, New York Times bestselling author).

About The Author

Jesse Dittmar

Douglas Brunt is the New York Times bestselling author of The Mysterious Case of Rudolf Diesel and host of the top-rated SiriusXM author podcast Dedicated with Doug Brunt. A Philadelphia native, he lives in Connecticut with his wife and three children. Visit for more information.

About The Reader

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (September 19, 2023)
  • Runtime: 12 hours and 41 minutes
  • ISBN13: 9781797164052

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Raves and Reviews

"Narrator Scott Brick brings energy and emotion to his reading of novelist Brunt’s (Trophy Son) nonfiction debut, positing a surprising explanation for Diesel’s disappearance. Brick ably conveys the wealth of historical details and previously unknown information while adding a note of intrigue and momentum to the mystery."

– Joanna M. Burkhardt, Library Journal

"Scott Brick narrates this biography of Rudolf Diesel magnificently...his intonation, pacing, and understated inflection are all excellent, making this a captivating production."

– AudioFile Magazine

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