Format: Hardcover, 512 ages
Release Date: November 8, 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
In this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life.
She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.
Now, she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.
When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.
Resolving to meet the threat head on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life, but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.
Eight years after the release of The Host, author Stephenie Meyer returns with The Chemist. The story follows a brilliant woman named Dr. Juliana Fortis. Fortis worked for a secret government agency doing enhanced interrogations until they decided she was a liability and tried to kill her. For three years, Juliana, aka Alex, has lived under the motto just in case. She lived a life of constant vigilance, and there is no such thing as being over prepared. She has bolt holes stocked with supplies all over the place, and she may have become a bit bloodthirsty in trying to stay alive.
After being contacted by her former handler, Alex chooses to take one last job hoping that she can stop running, and stop worrying whether or not the next time she is caught unaware, would be her last. Her target is Daniel Nebecker Beach. Daniel is a teacher, volleyball coach, history buff, and divorcee who the government claims is leading a secret life. A secret life that could lead to the deaths of millions of innocents if he isn't stopped. Alex is the best in her field. So good, in fact, that the government has its own nickname for her. (PS - She is named The Chemist, and Oleander in this book.)
But, what happens when an innocent man's life is put in her hands? What happens when Alex learns that nothing is at it seems, and it may be just another attempt to remove her permanently from exposing secrets? Even though Alex is the best at retrieving information from various subjects she's encountered over the years, what happens when Alex meets someone so ridiculously kind, that there is no way he can be a terrorist? Alex, Daniel, and his brother Kevin will have to wade through conspiracies, government hit men, and their own trust in each other in order to survive.
Have to admit I liked this story much, much more than I did the Host. I liked the lead character who goes by so many different names, but Alex is the one she uses the most. I liked her because she was the real deal, not some scrub who is propped up to be something she's not. Kind of lost me for awhile when there was a huge lull in action, and instead a focus on her romantic endeavor. Remove about 100 pages, and this book would have been a solid read. Really loved the dogs (Einstein, Lola) and Valentine that were introduced. Will say that Alex is a bit on the cold side, but after everything she's been through, I dare anyone to believe they could be all sunshine and lollipops.