A troubled codebreaker faces an epic plot reaching back through centuries of America's secret history
Salem Wiley is a genius cryptanalyst, courted by the world's top security agencies ever since making a breakthrough discovery in her field of quantum computing. She's also an agoraphobe, shackled to a narrow routine by her fear of public places. When her mother's disappearance is linked to a plot to assassinate the country's first viable female presidential candidate, Salem finds herself both target and detective in a modern-day witch hunt. Drawn into a labyrinth of messages encrypted by Emily Dickinson and centuries-old codes tucked inside the Beale Cipher, Salem begins to uncover the truth: an ancient and ruthless group is hell-bent on ruling the world, and only a select group of women stands in its way.
"A fast-paced, sometimes brutal thriller reminiscent of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code."Booklist (starred review)
"Complex protagonists who overcome many obstacles take adventurous readers on a hair-raising thrill ride."Library Journal (starred review)
"The fascinating historical information combined with a storyline ripped from the headlines will hook conspiracy theorists and action addicts alike."Kirkus Reviews
"This suspenseful tale has something for absolutely everyone to enjoy."Suspense Magazine
"Fans of The Da Vinci Code are going to love this book."Crimespree Magazine
"Salem's Cipher is the best kind of fun. A witchy romp with plenty of adventure, intrigue, thrills, friendship, and heart."Chelsea Cain,New York Times bestselling author
"Salem's Cipher is a bona fide page-turnerpacked with wonderfully complex characters, surprising twists and thrilling action. Troubled, razor-sharp Salem is truly a heroine to cheer for. I'd follow her anywhere."Alison Gaylin, USA Today bestselling author
About the Author
Jessica (Jess) Loureyhas earned multiple starred reviews from Library JournalandBooklist,the latter calling her writing "a splendid mix of humor and suspense." A tenured professor of creative writing and sociology, Jess lives in Minneapolis with her family. Sheis the author of the critically acclaimed Murder-by-Month mysteries.You can find out more atwww.JessicaLourey.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The DaVinci code, except the female characters all have agency. A story set in part in Salem, Massachusetts that has NOTHING to do with witchcraft. A feminist story of badass women fighting for all women's rights in America. If that's not enough to convince you read this story, I don't know what will. :)
While the town of Salem, Massachusetts does make an appearance in this mystery/suspense novel, the title refers to Salem Wiley, a young woman whose deliberately uneventful existence in Minneapolis is torn apart by a phone call. She is a genius at cryptography and produced ground-breaking research for her PhD thesis, but her life is severely limited by a form of agoraphobia. The call from her best friend, Bel Odegaard, changes everything. As this tense, suspenseful novel tears along, Salem and Bel uncover a conspiracy going back hundreds of years. Each clue involves some kind of code, which Salem must decipher--and fast if they are to help their mothers. Factor in unforgettable characters they encounter, Emily Dickenson’s home and poetry, and an election about to produce the first female president of the U.S. and you have a story that works on several levels. Lourey also slips in references to scientific contributions by women, without slowing the breakneck speed of the story. She does an amazing job of capturing and conveying the emotions of the characters, especially the fraught mother-daughter relationships. If you like to unravel a conspiracy or a good puzzle, if you long for a novel with engaging characters and a little history and literature thrown in, then hop on this rocket of a story. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Forget cute. This thriller will blow your socks off. It is an exciting fast-paced thriller that has an intriguing plot and well drawn out characters. The main villain is spooky and terrifying and will give you nightmares. With her main character, Salem, Jess Lourey has created an intelligent, slightly flawed heroine that will compel you to keep reading past your bedtime. And when you're done, you want more. This is the beginning of a series and it exceeds anything Lourey has written before. I won this book in a giveaway during her double-booked blog tour with Shannon Baker. Lucky, lucky me.
SALEM'S CIPHER is a fast-paced thriller that deftly combines historical fact with well-plotted fiction. It didn't take long before I found myself drawn into Salem's journey as she pulls herself out of her own narrow world in an effort to save someone she loves. Lourey does an excellent job keeping tensions high. The action begins in the very first chapter and never lets up. The characters are people you can imagine being friends with. They have flaws and fears and histories that have helped to define them. The parallels between pieces of the plot and real current events only serves to heighten the draw of this fantastic book, which is sure to appeal to those who appreciate a good action novel. Review disclosure: I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.