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The Alchemist's Secret

Ben Hope, Book 1
Narrated by: Will Rycroft
Series: Ben Hope, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (116 ratings)

Non-member price: $20.28

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Publisher's Summary

The number one best seller. 

Ben Hope lives on the edge. A former élite member of the SAS, Ben is tortured by a tragedy from his past and now devotes his life to finding kidnapped children. 

When Ben is recruited to locate an ancient manuscript which could save a dying child, he embarks on the deadliest quest of his life. 

The document is alleged to contain the formula for the elixir of life, discovered by the brilliant alchemist Fulcanelli decades before. But it soon becomes apparent that others are hunting this most precious of treasures - for far more evil ends. 

When the secrets of alchemy hidden within the pages remain impenetrable, Ben teams up with beautiful American scientist Dr Roberta Ryder to crack the code. It seems that everyone - from the Nazis during WW2 and powerful Catholic organisation Gladius Domini - wants to unearth the secrets of immortality. 

The trail leads Ben and Roberta from Paris to the ancient Cathar strongholds of the Languedoc, where an astonishing secret has lain hidden for centuries....

©2014 Scott Mariani (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"Fans of Dan Brown will love this thrilling adventure." (Closer)

"Establishes Scott Mariani as an author to watch." (M. J. Rose, international best-selling author of The Reincarnationist)

"Packed with dark intrigue, danger around every corner, bullets flying, sexual tension, and an endless assault of nasty villains bent on stopping ex-SAS Ben Hope...everything a thriller should be and more." (Joe Moore, international best-selling coauthor of The Grail Conspiracy)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Dan Beige

Tried to be a Dan Brown, but missed.

Might have been interesting plot if not for the frustrating personalities of the characters. Most of them were striving for an entry in the Darwin Awards. And if, at first you don't succeed, try again, and again, and again...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • GED
  • 19-06-2019

Good book

Nice plot, well written... A nice book to have read to oneself on a winters day.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Entertaining

So very predictable. I was laughing most of the time as I knew exactly what was coming. I enjoy laughing and I enjoyed the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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very entertaining

I really enjoyed this. A gripping, fast paced story that kept me wanting more. very entertaining.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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new Dan Brown

very Di Vinci code without the architecture. Well paced story with a solid wrapped conclusion

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Good

For some parts I couldn't stop listening but other parts I needed motivation. Maybe the end took too long? Yes I'll listen to second book.

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Corny with annoying accents

The premise of the story around alchemy is definitely interesting, but so many of the plot points were tacky or lazy (people luckily getting there just in the nick of time, a 'strange coincidence' that is so obviously is not a coincidence but still having to wait for the supposedly intelligent characters to realise). Unfortunately, this coupled with the accents, particularly the narrator taking on the female American character, and it made for cringe-worthy listening.

I would avoid.

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Inane, illogical, idiotic

I have no idea how this book got published. It is literal trash. It’s a compendium of the most basic cliches and tropes imaginable. If this book were a colour it would be beige... dull, lifeless, boring beige. The performance was pretty good considering what he had to work with

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This is no Dan Brown!

I was excited to find a new series - especially as I enjoy the Dan Brown novels. However, this was disappointing. The story was average, the main character Ben Hope is OK, but his 'love interest' was annoying and the progression of their relationship was a bit ridiculous. I made myself listen to the end, but did not make me want to listen to any more of the same author's work.

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Enjoyable

When I first started listening to this book I felt it was familiar then it came to me, this was very much a Dan Brown story but still enjoyable.

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  • Peter
  • 27-01-2015

Very Entertaining

This book is a mix between The Da Vinci code and Jack Reacher, it was very good easy listening, with some interesting ideas and a good amount of action. I look forward to more Ben Hope novels..

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Salter
  • 19-06-2018

Compelling Storyline...

Very much enjoyed my first Scott Mariani book. It flowed in a similar fashion to Dan Brown and also reminded me of some of the Cotton Malone series, by Steve Berry.
Ben Hope is a troubled ex SAS soldier. He's now focused himself on finding missing children. In this particular instance, he's been tasked with finding a journal containing details of the elixir of life, which is hoped can help a young girl with a terminal illness. There's many more out to find it too, and Ben soon realises that his task is much more difficult than he expected.
Great storyline, interesting characters and first class narration from Will Rycroft. I'll definitely be picking up more of this series.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • soxvixen
  • 28-03-2016

Brilliant

Have loved Scott's work for a long time. Having it read to you takes it to a new level.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Gary
  • 20-08-2015

Good easy listen.

Good easy listening. Looking forward to more Ben Hope adventures. If you enjoy Dan Brown you will like this

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • MikeP
  • 17-06-2016

Thrilling adventure

This is the first Ben Hope story I've read. It will not be the last. The narration was brilliantly done, and I liked all the characters in the story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anne
  • 30-05-2016

Great read

One of those can't put down books or can't stop listening should I say. Loved it

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Lee
  • 23-05-2016

Fantastic listen

This is a fantastic listen, worth the money and time, I have enjoyed every moment.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Louis Cowdroy
  • 29-06-2019

excellent story and storytelling

loved it, well written, gripping storyline and just down to earth magic. well worth reading, well listening too .

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • mollyeyre
  • 14-06-2019

What a good surprise

I really wasn’t sure about this book, I don't know why, maybe because I was not familiar with the author. However, I really enjoyed it, good strong characters, yet there was also a build up of tension that made me feel edgy.

The story was good, I did actually semi guess the twist at the end, but it was none the less enjoyable for all that.

I will be looking for more books by Mr Mariani and also the narrator was good too.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Happy Customer
  • 06-06-2019

loved it.<br />

Loved it.
I was looking for a new author similar in style to Kyle Mills, David Baldacci, Chris Ryan and so many others I could mention, and boy have I found one.

I am so looking forward to working my way through the whole Ben Hope series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful