Cover Image: Mercy's Chase

Mercy's Chase

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FBI agent Salem Wiley is a tough cookie who was raised by an even tougher cookie. In this book 2 of a series, Salem needs to solve a decades-old mystery involving Stonehenge, secret codes, and underground societies.

I never knew who to trust in this book (I mean, neither did Salem!), and that kept me on the edge of my seat. Even when Salem thought she knew someone… e.g. Agent Lucan Stone… she had no guarantee that her government partners, family members, or colleagues had her back.

I loved the adventure and the suspense, I totally missed a fabulous clue about who the bad guy was, and I got to be a fly on the wall watching conspiracy theories and patriarchal politics intersect. Plus, Salem Wiley pretty much had me by the arm, bringing me from one point of interest to another, giving me the sightseeing tour of a lifetime. Really a fun ride.
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Salem Wiley lands her dream job as an FBI cryptanalyst and moves from her Minnesota home to London, England to join an elite team.  Then Mercy Mayfair, the child Salem saves in the first book in the series (Salem's Cipher), is kidnapped by the Order.  With the help of the enigmatic MI5 agent Charlie, Salem is forced to solve a series of codes hidden amongst ancient relics in Ireland, England, and Scotland to save Mercy. 

This was a fun race-against-thriller read and a strong entry in the Salem Cipher mystery series.

I received an eARC via Netgalley and Midnight Ink with no requirements for a review.  I voluntarily read this book and provided this review.
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I enjoyed MERCY'S CHASE and hope to read more with Salem, Bel, and Mercy in the future.

Has it really been two years since readers first met Salem Wiley in Jess Lourey's SALEM'S CIPHER? Salem returns in MERCY'S CHASE, working as an FBI cryptanalyst in England. This time around she gets involved in discovering and solving the Stonehenge Code.

Lourey succeeds in presenting a centuries-long battle between the Underground and the Hermitage. I cannot wait for the next installment in Lourey's series.

Five stars. Highly recommended!

I received a copy from Midnight Ink through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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I hadn't read the previous book in this series but I liked the description and gave it a try. It was a bit of a challenge for me to keep everything straight - too many threads, too many characters or maybe it was just me. The story was promising but, for me, it missed it's mark overall.
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Sigh.  I wanted to like this- I loved the IDEA of Salem Wiley- but I got lost!  I think it might have been a combination of not having read the first book and a somewhat busy plot with lots of characters and, for want of another word, stuff.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC which I sadly DNF.  I think this one could be right up your alley if you are looking for an imaginative and topical world conspiracy plot and, well, secret codes.
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This is the second book in the Salem’s Cipher series by Jess Lourey and while the book’s blurb is very enticing the book itself is less impressive.

Salem Wiley is cryptanalysis savant who is working with a secret U.S. group to break codes while she develops GAEA, a quantum computing program to help keep the country’s national security programs superior to foreign programs and systems.

In the series first book, Salem broke a code that led to great treasure as well as saving her mother’s life and that of 7-year-old Mercy with whom she has become incredibly close.  In addition, Bel, her childhood friend, managed to save the life of Gina Hayes, the first female President of the United States.  

It seems there is an ancient conspiracy that revolves around two groups: The Hermitage (or the Order in Europe) that is run by men and The Underground, run by women.  The Underground is dedicated to “cracking ciphers rumored to lead to a truth that would right history and restore women’s global power”.  

In this adventure Salem is forced to figure out the secrets of Stonehenge in exchange for Mercy’s life since she has been kidnapped by the Order.  Of course, the Order has assassins trailing Salem and her partner, an MI5 agent, to make sure they know when she has solved the “code” or mystery of Stonehenge.  

While the premise is good the execution is somewhat weak.  The pace is a little irregular as character confusion distracts along with a few unrealistic steps here and there on the way to the solution.  What really works are the detailed descriptions of how Salem puzzles through to find the hidden places in which clues are found.
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I thought this was...borderline "meh," honestly. I'm not sure why. I read the first one and it was okay, so of course I signed up to read the sequel. I didn't like it as much as I liked the first one, although the history is interesting. All in all, I'd vote to stop after the first one...sorry.
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This is the second book in a series. I read the first and was totally unimpressed, but decided to read the second just to give the series a chance. I have loved the other books by this author in the past. But this one was just another disappointment. I will not read any more of this series as there are many choices to be made in reading material that I find more uplifting and enlightening.

While I can understand some of the language used by the "bad guys" I was horrified that the f-word frequently appeared in the text. There were numerous other terms used that I also would prefer to not have repeatedly drilled into my brain. The problem is that once read, it is impossible to unread. I felt that the characters could have used other words, terms, expressions that would not have been as offensive and the change would not have harmed the story line.

I am very sorry that I ever requested these books from NetGalley and will be much more careful about Jess Lourey's books in the future.

Sadly, I don't think I can recommend this book to anyone.
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The idea behind this book is fascinating and it could be a really enthralling book.
Unfortunately it somehow fails to deliver as it seems to miss the necessary structure and it's a bit messy.
It was a pleasant reading but not my cup of tea.
Many thanks to Midnight Ink and Netgalley for this ARC
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This book aims for The Da Vinci Code but sentence structure and unsophisticated technique make it nearly unreadable. A fascinating premise but not carried out to fruition.
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Thank you Netgalley and Midnight Ink for the ARC.

It took me a while to make sense of this book. The writing and pace are excellent, yet there are too many characters and organisations to get familiar with. There's the president who needs protection, the chase to save Mercy and the cracking of a code to cure paralysis. Too much of a good thing for me, very chaotic. Some parts are just unreal. The racing speed kept me going but I felt like an outsider looking in, not taking part in the game.
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Being a cryptanalyst for the FBI, allows agoraphobic Salem Wiley to do the work she loves, while still keeping her head down. But when Mercy, the child she’s protecting is kidnapped, Salem will do anything to get her back. She teams up with FBI agent Lucas Stone to hunt across the British Isles for the lost girl. And Mercy’s kidnapping is no ordinary one, she’s been taken by those determined to unearth secrets scores of persecuted women have died to protect. This mystery has a touch of the supernatural and a big shout out to the power of women across time
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