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  • The Alchemist's Secret

  • Ben Hope, Book 1
  • By: Scott Mariani
  • Narrated by: Will Rycroft
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (777 ratings)

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The Alchemist's Secret cover art

The Alchemist's Secret

By: Scott Mariani
Narrated by: Will Rycroft
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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....

©2007 Scott Mariani (P)2007 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 listeners say about The Alchemist's Secret

Average customer ratings
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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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..

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26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Dan Brown by a high schooler

If it were not for the fact I had bought this book with good money I would not have wasted my time seeing it through to the end.

As a concept its is no more unlikely than those of Dan Browns novels and my criticism is not the premise. But as many vampire novels appeared at the height of the Twilight series. So this appears during the high of the Robert Langdon series and shortly following the first film.
Mariani has an incessant need to over explain every action or point out the significance of a piece of speech. Where subtext would allow the reader to follow in the steps of the protagonist, unearthing the clues and piecing them together as the book processes. In place of this the author draws unnecessary attention to aspects or has a character repeat or add further emphasis to something said; causing the reader to realise that this tid-bit will be shoe-horned into the story at a later time.
With dialogue so stunted it feels like its like you are shuffling through the pages and littering of pointless of swear words throughout, seemingly as an after thought and just make the text even more stop-start.

The lacklustre attempts by Mariani to build plot almost stopped my reading and I couldn’t for very long without becoming tired off it. It simply was not a good read.

Not for those who enjoy a good puzzle or someone looking to read a novel similar to Dan Brown’s and generally not for anyone who wants a decent read.

Avoiding this Author in future, reader wasn't awful but all characters sounded the same if there were from the same regions of the world.

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23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Diabolical

This book is so poorly plotted and written it has made me question the authenticity of audible reviews for the first time after over 500 books purchased here. I didn’t expect high literary art but the cliches, the utterly improbable, infuriating dialogue, repeated use of the word “esoteric” which another reviewer has mentioned and the general nonsense made me think this was an ill-advised self-published book or a (mediocre) classroom assignment. It made me want to kick things. Returning after suffering one hour of listening. Save yourself the pain.

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13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • AB
  • 19-06-18

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.

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10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

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

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I threw my TomTom out the window......

......because it failed to impress me with its ability, if I could have done this with this book without the loss of my iPhone I'd have gladly done so.

After listening to R.C Bray for countless hours this narrator has much to live u to especially with a storyline as predictable as a John and Jane book.

I'll be avoiding both writer and reader from now on and advise you likewise.

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Esoteric

This writer drove me nuts with the frequent use of the word he must have just found out what it means. The narrator's American accent could use some work , badly.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good easy listen.

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

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

what a load of tosh

for reasons I can't really understand, probably because I paid for it, I struggled through to chapter 50, what a load of tosh, just a load of clichés hobbled together very disappointed.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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4 people found this helpful