by Stephenie Meyer
You have sold more than 120 million books by building a love triangle made from a winsome ingénue, a world-weary vampire and a hormonal teen wolf. What do you do next? Stephenie Meyer’s legion of fans probably hoped for more Twilight, but then E.L. James has already whipped that to death. Instead, Meyer has produced a thriller that (drum roll) devolves into another love triangle comprising innocent, naughty and nice. Alex brewed drugs and truth serums for a dastardly United States government agency, which decides she knows too much. Running for her life, the androgynous, paranoid and emotionally fragile Alex meets Daniel, a seemingly all-American guy. In fact, he’s the twin brother of Kevin, a macho agent who helps to draw Alex back in from the cold for possible redemption. Alex’s canoodling fills many of the 528 pages, exposing Meyer’s true calling as a romance novelist and her limitations: she can’t do suspense. At times, The Chemist is refreshing; at others, a little sickly.