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Friday 8 December 2017

‘The Chemist’ by Stephenie Meyer

Published by Sphere,
18 July 2017.
ISBN: 978-0-7515-7004-5 (PB)

In this, the author’s adult action thriller, we meet Alex, (one of her many aliases) skilled in the gruesome art of medical torture for a scary, nameless and dark arm of the US government.   Now a fugitive forever on the run from her former employers attempts to eliminate her when they deem her a liability, one day she opens an email from her ex handler that guarantees her safe passage provided she undertakes one last assignment for the agency.

Alex, portrayed as a resourceful, analytical and likeable heroine, seizes the chance of freedom and sets out to entrap her victim. What she doesn’t bargain for is that she will become romantically involved, that the baddies morph into goodies and together with some amazingly talented canines they form themselves into a formidable fighting team.

The author has broken the mould and successfully transitioned from her paranormal YA Twilight saga to a gritty, tautly plotted piece of writing.  Although the first few chapters are slow, it’s worth persevering as the pace does rev up and there follows a long, tense game of hide and seek.  

The dialogue flows naturally and is amusing on occasion; the description of rural USA is absorbing; the characters are convincing and the subject matter unique.  The ending is unexpectedly ingenious and a real treat.
Reviewer: Serena Fairfax

Stephenie Meyer graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English Literature. Her debut novel Twilight and the sequels New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn are all international bestsellers. In 2008 she published  The Host, her first novel for adults which has sold none million copies.  She lives with her husband and three sons in Arizona

 Serena Fairfax spent her childhood in India, qualified as a lawyer in England and practised in London for many years. She began writing by contributing feature articles to legal periodicals   then turned her hand to fiction. Having published nine novels all, bar one, hardwired with a romantic theme, she has also written short stories and accounts of her explorations off the beaten track that feature on her blog. A tenth, distinctly unromantic, novel is a work in progress. Thrillers, crime and mystery narratives, collecting old masks and singing are a few of her favourite things.

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