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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 June 2014
Ben Hope is back. And, following the revelations of The Armada Legacy and The Sacred Sword, he is not the man he once was. This would seem, then, the perfect point to tell you to stop reading if you do not not want to know what has gone before. The Nemesis Program might work perfectly well as a standalone thriller but Ben Hope carries with him more baggage than an airport luggage reclaim conveyor belt. This is the ninth book, after all. Warnings given, I shall crack on.

Everything has changed for Ben. He is about to marry Brooke and is learning hard how to be a father to his newly discovered son. His gun is retired, now his focus is on continuing his college education and becoming the churchman he always wanted to be. But, with just three days left before his marriage to Brooke in the Cathedral at Christ Church, Oxford, a face from Ben's past turns up in the form of old flame Dr Roberta Ryder. Roberta's friend Claudine has been murdered in Paris, expanding foam poured into her lungs by a serial killer known as `the handyman'. But, before she died, a terrified Claudine, frightened for her life, sent a letter to Roberta. It provided a clue to a device that governments might kill for and that everyone should fear. Claudine was no more killed by `the handyman' than Ben Hope is a man made to marry. As the killers hunt for Roberta, Ben finds himself with no choice but to help her. With the future of the world at stake, it would be impossible to do otherwise. But when Ben goes on the run, or on the hunt, he leaves a trail of destruction in his wake - broken hearts just as much as broken bodies.

I am a huge fan of the Ben Hope series of thrillers and have read each and every one as soon as they've become available. The Nemesis Program is the ninth in the series and marks a bit of a change. After a string of high quality novels, I was disappointed by the seventh - The Sacred Sword - but the next - The Armada Legacy - felt to me like a welcome return to basics for Ben Hope. He had a clearly defined mission and the novel focused on it entirely and the result was a taut, exciting action thriller. Its only failing was, perhaps, the lack of mystery. But in The Nemesis Program that mystery is back.

The Nemesis Program combines exciting action with the further development of Ben Hope. What this man puts himself through on an almost daily basis is mindblowing and yet Scott Mariani manages to keep him not only believable but also likeable. He has more bad habits than many (the hard drinking may be a little more under control but the smoking certainly isn't) but more than anything else he wants to do the right thing. Ben is a killer, I doubt he'd argue with that, but he's up against the worst of villains, their victims often close to Ben. What adds an edge to The Nemesis Program is that Ben is trying to move away from this life, he's trying to settle down and have a family. He wants to be a man of God! But is he made for that kind of life? I think the villains we meet here would think not.

The action plot here is thoroughly entertaining and pageturning, especially during the second half of the book. I enjoyed the twists and extremes. The baddies are suitably nasty as are some of the deaths. As always, the thrills are expertly written. But so, too, is the character of Ben Hope and after all these books I find it hard to think of another thriller hero I enjoy spending time with as much.

As mentioned before, The Nemesis Program can be read as a standalone thriller but, if you've not read this series, give yourself a treat and start at the beginning with The Alchemist's Legacy. It is so good to see that after nine books this is a series that looks stronger than ever.
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on 3 July 2014
I have long been a fan of Scott Mariani and Ben Hope and on this occasion Mariani has surpassed himself. I'm regard myself as a fairly quick reader but I cleared this book in just two days; it would have been quicker if I didn't have to go to bed! The subject matter, a weapon of such destructive force, seems implausible at first but as the story progresses it becomes more convincing particularly with the idea of secret organisations within already secret organisations.
For those who have yet to meet Ben Hope, beware he is highly addictive and I can only recommend Scott Mariani and Ben Hope
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on 26 June 2014
We have waited too long for another Ben Hope story, but once again it has lived up to expectations. Scott has an amazing wealth of ideas and I now have to patiently wait for the next one. Please hurry!!!
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on 31 July 2014
We find Ben on the short run up to his wedding day, getting to know his unexpected son and about to pick up his abandoned theological studies. As things seem to be going according to plan, Roberta arrives on the scene in a panic and begging for help. With Brooke's ultimatum ringing in his ears, Ben departs to save the world once again. Mariani blends fact with fiction in his usual seamless manner, leaving the reader with the uneasy feeling that Tesla's machines might well have been created - by whom? After the car chases, gun battles and marvelous escapes Ben and his mates are adrift but alive, awaiting rescue. Does Brooke forgive him? Will Roberta reappear to confuse him further? Is Ben really going to be ordained?
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on 15 October 2015
The best action packed novels around – by a long way! (don`t worry, no plot spoilers in my reviews)
Those of you who have read any of my reviews will know that I am addicted to high-octane, action-packed thrillers and in this genre I have loyally supported authors like Lee Child, David Baldacci, John Grisham, Simon Kernick, James Craig, Matt Hilton and the like for a long time.
Earlier this year, I was in the local library and picked up a paperback by somebody I had never actually heard of before, Scott Mariani. On reading that, I was immediately hooked and sought out ALL his Ben Hope books straight away, then read them in order!
Put simply, the main character Ben Hope is one tough cookie, but still flawed enough to retain interest. He is an ex-SAS major AND an ex-theology student and each novel (although following each other chronologically) can be read as a `stand alone` yarn.
In each book he is usually trying to save the world from a major disaster or catastrophe like bio-terrorism, nuclear war or the like. There are fights, shoot-outs, car chases, dashes across the world, double crosses, twists and turns , characters who aren`t exactly what they seemed at first, impossible deadlines to meet and the like.
The pace is really fast and he is wounded and captured, tortured, but astonishingly (just) comes through. There are also sub-plots concerning his love life and his self-doubts. But the overall theme is one of action, action, and more action, and I found myself desperate to turn the page to see what would happen next!
This series is a `must read` for anybody who likes this genre and wants to see one man doing his best to try and fight against the forces of evil. You may not, however, like the books if you think there is too much fighting or if you think his body with all the battering it takes (physically in fights, as well as his fondness for single malt whisky and Gauloises) wouldn`t realistically be able to be fit enough to do all it does, but personally I think these books are just AMAZING reads and recommend them all to you!
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on 27 July 2014
Yet another fabulous read from Scott Mariani. Just when you thought all was going well for Ben Hope, someone else comes along to scatter his plans and lead him off round the world to save it from a major disaster. Battling not only the mad but powerful men who could start a chain of world destruction, but also his own guilt at upsetting the lives of those he loves, Ben Hope has to make some very hard choices. And this time, some of the people from his military past are risking their lives too. Isn't it about time Mr Mariani let Ben Hope settle down? Well, for purely selfish reasons, I hope not. I'm enjoying these stories too much.
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on 13 June 2014
Just finished the latest Ben Hope after waiting for what seemed a lifetime for it to be released. I won't bother with plot details as most people will have gathered that from the blurb and other reviews but will concentrate on 'Is it any good?'.
Overall I enjoyed the book and don't regret parting with my cash. The plot was not so far fetched that I found it unbelievable and once going ripped along which is what most readers are after. The body count is typically high and the amount of destruction trailing in Ben's wake is as usual.
However, there are a few issues with the book that whilst didn't spoil my enjoyment did rankle. I thought the book was slow to get going but in its defence once it did the pace was fast. My second issue is a problem with many books of this genre and one already mentioned in another review and is to do with Ben's invincibility. I appreciate that we want to see Ben in tight spots and escape from them but if people wanted him dead and have him at gunpoint why don't they just shoot him rather than setup a seemingly impossible situation to escape from. My last issue is with some over the top generalisations Mr Mariani put in which add nothing to the book. The main one was about the youth of today being obese and playing video games rather than being in the park but others concern the government not allowing OAPs to buy tear gas and French people being surprised that people can speak French. If I really wanted to read stuff like this I would have bought the 'Daily Mail' rather than this book.
Overall would I recommend it? If you have read the other books then yes. If you haven't read the others then starting at the beginning and by the time you reach this instalment you won't care about the negatives.
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on 13 July 2014
To be fair, I've loved the Ben Hope series from the start, however, the last 2 have differed in that I felt they were rushed, were completely implausible, (even for Ben Hope ! ) and didn't enjoy them. I gave it a last shot with The Nemesis Program ............ and he's back !!!!!!! Loved every single page, the style of writing, the detail to plot, history, geography, technical knowledge and romantic tension. Thank you so much Scott, you've got it right and I will twiddle thumbs until the next one :-D Fantastic !!
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on 5 June 2016
This is another great adventure for Ben Hope. A friend in need interrupts wedding plans and before, he can say ‘I do’, he flies off to Paris, Sweden, Indonesia, and The U.S. to help save the world again. This time we have Tesla’s research into vibration and resonance of particles fictionally developed by Mariani to excite matter to the extent that earthquakes and tsunami’s can be created. The science fiction makes an exciting plot and a very enjoyable escapist read.
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on 21 June 2014
As usual, this book has unexpected twists and turns, pulling in characters from past books of the series. The story line is fast moving and keeps the reader totally immersed in the quest.

Another excellent read, where the ex S A S Major, is confronted with almost unbelievable evil and has to act and draw on his S A S training, to save the human race. A conspiracy theory at it's best.
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