Salem's Cipher Book Review

Salem's Cipher Book Review

Title: Salem’s Cipher
Author: Jess Lourey
Published: 2016, Midnight Ink
No. of Pages: 480
Cover Price: $15.99 Paperback, $9.49 Kindle

After the kidnapping and possible murders of their mothers who were lifelong best friends, Salem Wiley and Bel Odegaard team up to find out what has happened to their moms. Salem’s Cipher, by Jess Lourey, is a unique thriller with fascinating historical links to the witch trials and Emily Dickinson, intertwined with modern-day characters who have ties to an ancient secret society. The story takes place in Minneapolis where Salem is a cryptanalyst and a professor at a local university. Bel flies in from Chicago where she is on the police force. Salem has suffered from Agoraphobia since her father’s suicide many years ago, and that makes it difficult for her to travel outside of Minneapolis; Bel finally convinces her that it’s absolutely necessary to visit some historic sites around the country to find the clues needed.

While investigating and searching for their mothers, Salem and Bel uncover evidence that the kidnapping plot has ties to a group who is planning to assassinate the first woman presidential candidate. As they delve farther into the case, their lives are endangered and they don’t know if they can trust anyone. The suspense is palpable throughout, and readers will fear for the characters- they are well-defined and seem like real people – and whether or not they will survive.

While the plot is quite complex, the writing is good, and the historical facts seem to ring true, Lourey seems to have done her research and has successfully made true historical events as well as places come to life as she has woven fictional characters and events through the story. The book is one that does take careful reading to absorb what is happening, and it is definitely a novel that takes a bit of time to read. However, the book has enough surprises to keep readers on the edge, and the surprise ending is worth the reading time.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this novel.

This book may be purchased at Amazon:
Salem's Cipher

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