Confession: I thought I’d posted this and then I found this completed draft sitting in my account. Better late than never!
Title: Salem’s Cipher
Author: Jess Lourey
Length: 460 pages
Where Bethany’s Copy Came From: IndyPL
Plot Basics: Salem Wiley is a brilliant but agoraphobic code-breaker. Her best friend, Bel Odegaard is a rising star in Chicago PD. When Salem’s mom is kidnapped and the two friends are linked to a plot to assassinate a female presidential candidate, the two begin a cross-country code-breaking race to uncover codes hidden away by Emily Dickinson and bring down a shadowy para-governmental organization.
Banter Points: It you took “National Treasure” and mashed it with some “Thelma and Louise” and some “Rizzoli and Isles” you’d get “Salem’s Cipher.” It’s a fun caper of hidden codes and covert organizations and some Emily Dickinson thrown in, all headed up by two strong, female lead characters.
Bummer Points: As much as I liked this book, I really didn’t like the chapters from the bad guys’ POVs. For the first half of the book, it was feeling way too long and this was what felt like it was clogging up the story to me.
Word Nerd Recommendation: It’s definitely worth a read. Looks like it’s going to be a series, but this is a nice standalone too.