Review: The Nemesis Program by Scott Mariani (5/5)

Friday 6 June 2014


While secretly researching the bizarre discoveries of Serbian scientist Nikola Tesla many years earlier, physicist Claudine Pommier becomes the victim of a remorseless and cruel murderer who breaks into her Parisian apartment. Is he just a serial killer, or is there more to her death than the Paris cops believe?


Maverick American biologist Dr Roberta Ryder receives a mysterious letter from her friend Claudine and travels to Paris to see her, only to learn of her shocking death. Before she knows it, Roberta becomes the target of ruthless men with a deadly agenda that only the letter can unmask. She’s alone and vulnerable. But she knows someone – the only someone – who can help her.


Ben Hope, ex-SAS soldier and Roberta’s old flame, now trying to retire to a life of peace with his fiancĂ©e Brooke, suddenly finds his life turned upside down by Roberta’s sudden arrival in England. She needs his help; he can’t turn her down. In a frantic race to Paris and halfway around the world, Ben and Roberta battle to uncover the mystery of Claudine’s research, with the killers just half a step behind. In the process they uncover a global conspiracy that will claim the lives of millions of people . . . unless Ben can stop it.

I'm writing this review minutes after finishing the book and my heart is still beating furiously. I feel like I've just been part of a movie, in book form! When I was asked if I'd like to review this book on my blog I was a bit apprehensive, it's book nine in a series. I was assured however it could be read as a standalone. Even so, despite the book being new to me, it's book nine to everyone else and I was wondering if Scott could write a book as good as the reviews for his previous books have been. Well, if this book is anything to go by I am getting my hands on his previous work ASAP!

I have wanted to get back into this genre of books for a long time after a bad experience with a certain author put me off them. I find with books like this it's almost impossible to discuss the plot beyond what the blurb tells us, which in this case is quite a lot! I was gripped from the off and the book started as it meant to go on! No sooner had I been introduced to Ben than he was getting shot at in a park. Mariani doesn't spend ages going over previous plots but tells us enough about Ben for new readers to understand him. After eight books he is battered, bruised and tired and settling down to become a Priest and get married to Brooke. Then into his life comes an ex in the form of Roberta who is seeking his help into why her friend was murdered in her Paris apartment.

I sometimes think the plots in these sorts of books are too clever for me, but this one wasn't hard to keep track of at all. And in fact the actual idea behind it wasn't hard to imagine and it's pretty scary to think that something like this could happen in real life. Brooke is less than happy about Ben jetting off around the world and she basically tells him not to bother coming back. Once Ben off for Paris the action did not let up and it was one hell of a roller coaster ride straight to the end of the book. The last 200 pages especially I could hear my heart beating through my chest. Mariani certainly knows how to keep a reader hooked and how to tell a brilliant story.

The death toll is high and the action scenes are fantastic, real heart in your mouth stuff. Just when you think things can't get any worse for Ben and Roberta, they obviously do and I enjoyed every minute of it. Incredibly well researched and brilliantly written this is one of the best thrillers I have read in a long time. Despite a ton of review books I'm definitely going to be picking up another Ben Hope thriller very soon and devouring it in a day as I did with this. Any recommendations on which one are welcome!

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