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Alchemist

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  454 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
As chilling as Stephen King as credible as Michael Crichton - a gripping novel of terror and suspense
Paperback, 676 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Orion Publishing Group (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Andy Holyer
Ok, major spoiler in a slightly different way than normal, Peter used to be my brother-in-law, and I helped him a lot with the science.
In fact if you read chapter 117, I turn up as a supporting character.
Haven't re-read it since it first came out. Not entirely sure whether or not it's an entirely good idea to try.
Farhaanah
“In the past one hundred and fifty years the pharmaceutical industry has gone from selling snake oil to controlling the future of the human race. The problem is, it’s still run by the snake-oil salesmen.”


Monty Bannerman, daughter of genetic scientist Dick Bannerman, a Nobel Prize winner, is elated when the pharmaceutical giant, Bendix Schere, offers to buy Bannerman Genetics Research. Dick Bannerman is against the concept of patenting, but recent money troubles leaves him with no choice but to
...more
Fiona Ingram
Jun 09, 2013 Fiona Ingram rated it it was amazing
Be afraid, be very afraid of big pharmaceutical organisations. When Montana Bannerman’s Nobel prize-winning father sells his company (including his genetics research and laboratory) to a giant corporation, Bendix Schere, that labels itself as ’caring,’ she and her father think their financial problems are over. All they need to do now is research for cures that will benefit mankind. Right? Wrong. Within a short space of time, a pushy reporter (Zandra Wollerton) working on a wild and seemingly ...more
Samantha Cosham
Aug 22, 2013 Samantha Cosham rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bev Taylor
Nov 02, 2015 Bev Taylor rated it really liked it
genetic engineering - the breakthrough to sure the world? or to control it?

monty is the daughter of a geneticist father who is against patents but due to lack of funds signs an agreement with bendix schere - 'the world's most caring company'

then she is contacted by a newspaper reporter who tells her that 3 women have fallen pregnant after taking a fertility drug manufactured by bendix schere. they suffer the same systems and die giving birth to a cyclops baby

can monty believe this? she is joi
...more
Benjamin Stahl
Jan 31, 2013 Benjamin Stahl rated it liked it
When I began this one, I was soon under the impression that I was going to hate it. The writing was bad and the characters unlikable - the main protagonist is first described as looking perfect and handsome and sort of like Tom Cruise - how original, I thought.
It takes about one hundred tedious pages before any kind of plot manages to take shape. But then it suddenly changes, and before you know it, the story begins unfolding into a shockingly dark and sinister tale about evil pharmacists, huma
...more
Mark Farley
Dec 14, 2015 Mark Farley rated it really liked it
Just like his brilliant Roy Grace series, this book is intriguing like all his other books, and in this instance, covers the subject of Satanism and the pharmaceutical industry. The author achieves this by utilizing hardboiled noir and bonkbuster techniques in his writing to keep you hooked. The characters he has created are well crafted and sympathetic, which makes you really want to invest yourself and get to know them. To the point where you just cant put his books down. They read like film ...more
Trudi
Jul 28, 2011 Trudi rated it it was amazing
This is the first novel I've read by Peter James and what a find! I happened to pick it up left by somebody else on holiday. The plot had all the things I love in a novel from crime thriller, science the the medical field, the supernatural and gripping characters. The ending was a bit dragged out, but otherwise a real page-turner for me. I realise I much prefer the british setting rather now too rather than all the american crime thrillers I have read as it brought some familiarity to the story ...more
Tasmia
Nov 17, 2013 Tasmia rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-the-past
So I read this when I was 15, and it left a lasting impression. My first encounter with Satanism, sex rituals, Dystopic Big Pharma, insipid heterosexual love scenes...so many things really. I kind of want to re-read it someday because I remember it being incredibly compelling, but since that would essentially mean confronting a source of some of my own intellectual programming...I'll stick to deconstructing the memory.
Laura Seaman
Oct 23, 2016 Laura Seaman rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, scanned
This was my first Peter James book. I liked the character of Monty and also the mysterious Connor. It did take me a while to get into it but once I did u enjoyed the action; however, some of the stories got a little farfetched for me (it's a conspiracy novel not a fantasy novel in my eyes, so some scenarios seemed a little stretched). Overall though I did enjoy the authors style and would read more of his.
Nicky
Apr 21, 2015 Nicky rated it liked it
This was quite an exciting story, easy to read and enjoyable. I liked the characters in it and the general story line regarding genetics was interesting. I wasn't entirely convinced by the ending but it didn't spoil my overall enjoyment. This is definately a good book to pass the time with and it gives you a little something to contemplate.
Amy
Nov 17, 2011 Amy rated it it was ok
Oh dear what happened.

I was really enjoying this book, the storyline was great, kept you hooked, now and then there were some silly parts but I could take or leave them bits.

Unfortunately towards the end it got sillier and sillier and I was disappointed that what started as a promising story ended so crap.
JC
Sep 11, 2016 JC rated it liked it
Shelves: my-firsttime, kindle, 2016
Interesting and fun read. Science experiments in mass are always an interesting read and this was done well.
Lewis Thomas
Feb 28, 2014 Lewis Thomas rated it it was ok
Another jeopardy-ridden Orwellian nightmare that seems to lose its footing somewhere along the way. Becomes a laborious transcript of Satanic rituals. Usually a massive James fan but this one just didn't do it for me. On the plus side, it reads like a classic James action-thriller and has plenty of twists and turns. Just not one of his best.
Martin
May 05, 2016 Martin rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. It was gripping from the start. I was put off by its page count but, as a real page turner, it didn't take long to read. Had to have a late night in order to finish it as it would have been impossible to put it down with twenty (or even fifty) pages left. Probably the best (pre-Roy Grace) Peter James book I've read.
Steve
Dec 23, 2012 Steve rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, horror, thriller
Decent thriller mixed with occult / horror themes. It moved along at a really good pace. The character portraits aren't too deep, but they don;t need to be.

Oh, and if you are thrifty it has an excellent pages to cost ratio!
Hazel Hindle
Jul 25, 2012 Hazel Hindle rated it it was ok
Whilst I was reading this I often wondered why I was persisting, as the storyline was so far fetched and fantastical............and yet it was strangely gripping. A story that combines both science and the occult to extreme levels of unbelievability.
Robert Botha
Jan 01, 2011 Robert Botha rated it it was amazing
I was looking for a book to read the holidays and was very intrigued by this book. Has a very good balance between good and evil and has some very vivid scenes that often had my skin crawl. Definitely one of the best thrillers I've read so far.
Jamie Whitehead
Sep 18, 2014 Jamie Whitehead rated it liked it
Overall a good book with a really interesting storyline and obviously very well researched. However, I did find the whole Satanist storyline a little lacklustre and toward the end I found it all a little too outrageous. 3/5
Virginija
Feb 28, 2014 Virginija rated it it was amazing
omg. I'm still reading...but oh Dear, that is one scary stuff. can't event eat properly cause I can't take my eyes from reading. my heart started racing so many times... scary, but so interesting! gonna finish this baby soon!

So now I finished it. Sitting still, with breath taken out..
Lucinda
Sep 29, 2012 Lucinda rated it really liked it
This is one of Peter James' earlier works. It comtains the usual mix of mystery, intriguing flash backs, snippets from seemingly unconnected characters, tension and fear. Mr. James certainly knows how to keep his readers turning the pages.
Christina Hickey
Mar 17, 2014 Christina Hickey rated it did not like it
Had to stop at page 100! Was soooo bored! Will never finish this book! I am a total fan of peter James.. But this book.. :((
Claire Elwood
Jul 28, 2013 Claire Elwood rated it liked it
It took me a while to get into this book. I then was drawn into the story & wanted to know the outcome, but it ended with very little imagination & was a bit disappointing.
Tracy
Apr 27, 2014 Tracy rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It is long but I felt it was the worth the time it took me to read it. Can see that this book would not be for everyone.
Annie Hoxhalli
Aug 23, 2015 Annie Hoxhalli rated it really liked it
Not too sure about the Satanist element in this, but really enjoyed the dystopian pharma world story line.
Christopher Millward
Christopher Millward rated it it was amazing
Jun 30, 2013
Gary
Gary rated it it was amazing
Mar 14, 2009
Ren
Ren rated it it was ok
Jun 05, 2014
Heather
Heather rated it liked it
Jun 05, 2013
Louise
Louise rated it liked it
May 16, 2016
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Peter James has been a screenwriter and film producer, and is now the author of best selling crime novels. James has written 25 books, the most recent of which feature Brighton-based Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. His books have been translated into 29 languages. In England they are published by Pan Books and in the US by Carroll & Graf Publishers. James has written supernatural ...more
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