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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 10 August 2011
I bought this Kindle version by chance after downloading the Kindle app on my iPad. To be honest the reason I got it was that it was very cheap and I wanted to test out to see if the app worked!

As there was nothing on TV I decided to read a few pages - AND WAS GRIPPED! I could not put the book down and even though it got into the early hours and I had work the next day, I kept trying to take in more and more pages, each one keeping me on the edge of my seat.

The background to the story is captivating and much is baseed on hisorical fact but with a good dose of mystery and intrigue. The main character (Ben Hope, an ex SAS Major) is very likeable and the array of characters he comes into contact with range from interesting to ruthlessly sadistic! I also loved the way his investigation takes him through different countries and settings.

It annoys me when people dismiss this book as a mock up of the De Vinci Code. Why other authors cannot take a similar line and make it their own is beyond me. I for one could not get stuck into the De Vinci Code, however, The Alchemists Secret seduces you from the word go. i thoroughly enjoyed it and will be reading the rest of the Ben Hope series in the next few weeks.
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on 12 March 2008
I've just finished reading this - if you enjoy the DVC type yarns, you'll really enjoy this!! Better - in my opinion - than, say, "The Templar Legacy" by Steve Berry (and I thought that was good!!)
There's plenty of fast-flowing action, believable characters, mystery, deciphering of old manuscripts, codes, artefacts, murder, plots, torture, historical interest, slowly kindling romance, etc.,etc..
I've never read a book as quickly as this, as I found it so intriguing, exciting, and enjoyable that I didn't want to put it down!
I would highly recommend this.
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on 11 April 2008
This is another story with a seek the treasure in Rennes-le-Chateau, but is well written and entertaining, but not as gripping as Dan Brown or Kate Mosse novel. In this book the hero Ben accepts a contract to find the Fulcanelli manuscript, which is believed to contain the formula for the elixor of life. His hunt attracts the unwelcome attention of Gladius Domini, a catholic organisation, whose leader seeks the same gaol. Ben and his accomplice Dr Roberta Ryder and Gladius Domini leave a bloody trail across France, with the story reaching it's climax at an ancient Cathar temple close to Rennes-le-chateau. There are notes at the back of book informing the reader about the facts behind the story. A good read.
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on 24 November 2011
Plot and characters count for me in the appreciation of a good book, as does a gripping storyline. I found all of these things in The Alchemist's Secret. I found the middle portions of the book in particular very well done, which is a rarity, since it's precisely here that most prose lines stop to catch their breath before mustering their energies for a run toward the finish. I would have liked to see a bit more verve at the end of the book, which seemed just a touch flat, though I'm possibly being somewhat harsh here. This is a book, though, that I'm putting on my "read again" list, which I assure you is a short one. Consider this book a solid recommendation.
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on 10 September 2011
I don't read this kind of book normally, not a girlie thing........... I thought !!! Got it because it sounded half interesting and cost 49p ! Best 49p I've ever spent. Couldn't put the book down, devoured every word and learned quite a lot. I downloaded the next 5 of the series within 5 mins of buying this one.
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on 16 February 2011
Have just read this having stumbled across a Mariani book being sold in one of the £2 a book shops. Really enjoyed that (Heretic's Treasue) and have since read the rest. This is the best of the bunch. Fast paced but without spoiling the intrigue and lots of interesting characters. Actually had to stay up until 1.30pm to finish it - haven't done that for a while. Would really recommend this guy to anyone who likes escapist thrillers/quest type books - have tried quite a few of the genre and Mariani is up with the best.
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on 26 May 2016
This is one of those books that grabs you from the word go and impossible to put down! I had never heard of Scott Mariani but having since read the reviews of his books felt compelled to read the Ben Hope series, and am glad I did! The main character Ben is like James Bond with a touch of Jason Bourne who works on his own, and prefers to do so due to personal issues. The story itself was a good plot and very plausible and keeps the reader guessing along the way as it how it is going to pan out. It was a very interesting read about Alchemy and the power it holds. You couldn't but like Ben and feel for him when you read about his past and how it is used within the story. I can't wait to read the next one in the series and would recommend it to anyone who likes a good thriller with a touch of espionage. Enjoy!
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on 30 April 2007
Once you have begun reading The Fulcanelli Manuscript, it is impossible to do anything else other than finish it! It is a 'read in a day' kind of book, causing you to feel all extremes of resentment towards other activities which prevent you from reading it!

It is an intelligent thriller, fast paced, action packed and full to the brim with historical secrets and scientific fascinations. Scott Mariani captivates his reader from the outset, refusing to let go or give anything away until the very end! The description of the locations and the character's relationship with their surroundings makes this novel appear cinematic. You live the danger and intensity, becoming as hooked on the book as Ben was on saving Ruth!

I strongly recommend The Fulcanelli Manuscript. It is truly addictive and I wait with great anticipation for Ben Hope to be brought to life again by this wonderful author!
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on 30 July 2012
I was totally captivated with this novel. Ben Hope's character is built up very successfully in the opening chapters as well as the plot and I became very engrossed in it. I'm not a fan of violence and killing for the sake of it and found it occurred in the novel when it was necessary to build the tension and I felt it was carefully described to imply more than was actually written. I couldn't predict the ending as I was reading through the book but felt each chapter built towards it very neatly.
I could see this novel quite easily made into a film and have already downloaded and read the next novel in series.
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on 17 January 2016
I've previously read books from the 'Ben Hope' series by Scott Mariani but made the mistake of not starting from the beginning, here in Book 1. Now having a Kindle means I can access all of the series and have started here with book one, not previously read and am now on book 3. At less than £2 a copy it makes sense! This book introduces you to Ben Hope, an ex-SAS soldier and theologian. going on to a very 'can't put it down' story. If you like adventure stories that are well put together and above all BELIEVABLE then start here and give the series a go. You won't be disappointed!
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