In this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life.
She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn't even have a name.
And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.
Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long.
They've killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.
When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it's her only chance to erase the giant target on her back.
But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.
Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival.
As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.
The Chemist is a suspense novel by Stephenie Meyer in which heroine Alex attempts to survive her former government department while attempting to get to the bottom of a biological weapons plot.
When the novel begins, readers are introduced to Dr. Juliana Fortis, a molecular biologist. Dr. Fortis' code name is The Chemist.
She earned the name for the work she did for a government department, an agency so secretive that it does not have a name and does not officially exist.
Dr. Fortis used chemical agents to torture those she interrogated for the purpose of extracting critical information.
At the beginning of the novel, Juliana –who changes names frequently -- is on the run. Juliana's current name is Alex.
The department has been after her for three years during which time she has survived three assassination attempts following the death of her mentor, Dr. Joseph Barnaby.
Things seem to change when Alex’s old handler, Lowell Carston, approaches her.
He offers her freedom in exchange for one more job she is critically needed for –to break Daniel Beach, a teacher with a talent for cooking in Washington, D.C. Carston is part of a plot to spread the biological weapon of mass destruction, superflu TCX-1, on behalf of a drug cartel and a domestic terrorist group.
Alex suspects a trap. Nevertheless, she accepts, hoping it will free her. She abducts the twenty-nine year-old Daniel and proceeds to use her chemicals on him.
However, the interrogation is interrupted by Daniel’s twin brother, Kevin, a burned CIA agent.
Kevin has tracked Daniel’s location with a chip secretly implanted into Daniel without his knowledge and consent. Kevin and his dog, Einstein, square off against Alex as Daniel comes around.
Alex learns from Kevin that it was he who shut down the super flu plot a full six months before, after which he was let go and targeted himself by the CIA.
Alex realizes she and Kevin were meant to finish the other off, or that they would hopefully end up killing each other. Daniel urges Kevin and Alex to strike back at their enemies, and prevails upon them to come along.
As the trio and Einstein move throughout the South, avoiding an assassination attempt at Kevin’s safe house in Texas, Alex and Daniel fall in love, though Alex fights her romantic feelings for Daniel.
Alex and Kevin come to realize they both know something, and someone they should not, who is being protected.
Through the news, word comes that General-turned-Senator Wade Pace will be seeking the vice presidency on a ticket in the upcoming election.
Through recalling old memories, Alex realizes Pace was a member of a defense and intelligence project in which a biological weapon –the flu –would be weaponized and militarized.
Having been stolen by Muslim terrorists, Alex’s unit shut them down, only for the virus to resurface with the drug cartel years later –which was in turn shut down by Kevin.
Both Alex and Kevin know Pace is involved, and so they have to die.
As they hunt down Carston, intending to assassinate Pace and others associated with him, they stay with Val, a girlfriend of Kevin’s, who lives in Washington, D.C. Pace is ultimately assassinated by chemicals being added to his nicotine patches.
Kevin is taken prisoner by his old boss, Deavers, who wants to protect Pace so that Deavers may become CIA Director.
Alex and Daniel kidnap Carston’s granddaughter and use her as leverage to gain access to the facility where Kevin is being held.
Carston admits the department is being shut down, and he opposes Deavers. In a shootout, Carston goes down fighting against Deavers’s people, while Kevin personally kills Deavers.
Daniel is wounded, so Kevin takes him and Alex to a trusted friend, also a vet, who can tend to Daniel.
After this, they decide they cannot hang out in the same place, so head west where in the Epilogue, it is revealed they now own and operate a bar and grill in Colorado, and Daniel and Alex are married.
A professional torturer on the run from her employers falls in with sexy twin brothers.
You probably know Meyer as the then-27-year-old Mormon housewife who woke up from a dream about vampires and gave the world Twilight, though in addition to that series she has already published one adult thriller (The Host, 2008).
In her latest, she marries the genres of spy versus spy and throbbing romance novel with good results.
Meet Juliana, or Alex, or Casey, or Chris—whatever her alias of the moment is, she’s an operative with a medical school background who specializes in chemically controlled torture and interrogation.
Somewhere along the line, she learned too much about the secrets of her employers, and she now lives in a state of high-tech paranoia, sleeping in a bathtub wearing a gas mask in a secret location booby-trapped at every possible ingress.
When her old boss calls her in for one last mission, she’s not sure she isn’t being double-crossed—but nonetheless proceeds with the kidnapping of Washington, D.C., schoolteacher Daniel Beach, who's purportedly part of a vile plot to release a virus that will wreak global doom.
In fact, he is a man whose deep inner goodness is rivaled only by his scorching outer hotness—but our socially awkward virgin heroine won’t realize this until after she’s taken him to her secret lair, stripped him naked, strapped him to a table, and injected him with compounds that produce pure agony for 10 minutes at a time.
The biochemical magic between them is even more powerful than the nasty drugs, and by the time his identical twin brother, a swashbuckling black-ops type, shows up to kill her and rescue him, love has bloomed in the torture chamber.
As they begin to see through the layers of cross and double cross, the two agents decide to join forces and go into hiding together, with the brother of course, on a ranch in Texas with a pack of trained superdogs.
A tale of skulduggery, bodice rippery, and shoot-'em-up action unfolds, complete with help from a luscious mistress of disguise who could have stepped right out of a James Bond novel.
About the Author
Stephenie Meyer is the author of the #1 bestselling Twilight Saga and The Host. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English literature, and she lives with her husband and three young sons in Arizona.