Dark Alchemy (Dr. Sylvia Strange Book 5) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This item is gently used in good or better condition. If it is a textbook it may not have supplements. It may have some moderate wear and possibly include previous ownerâ€TMs name, some markings and/or is a former library book. We ship within 1 business day and offer no hassle returns. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Dark Alchemy: A Dr. Sylvia Strange Novel Hardcover – March 4, 2003

5 customer reviews

See all 11 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$3.44 $0.01
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"

Alert by James Patterson
"Alert" by James Patterson
After two inexplicable high-tech attacks, New York, the city that never sleeps, is on the edge. Detective Michael Bennett, along with his old pal, the FBI's Emily Parker, have to catch the shadowy criminals who claim responsibility. Learn more | See related books

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Here's the latest mystery featuring Dr. Sylvia Strange, a forensic psychologist who frequently assists the FBI in cracking really tough cases. This time out, Strange and FBI counterterrorism expert Edmond Sweetheart are trying to build a case against a woman they're convinced is systematically killing people while working on a top-secret Department of Defense project involving lethal toxins. But there are a couple of problems: their suspect is a highly placed member of the project team and is the daughter of an eminent and well-respected scientist. Can Strange and Sweetheart--Lovett does have a knack for unusual names--solve the case before more people die? As usual, the author packs the novel with plenty of forensic-psychiatry info (the book is a real treat for fans of that field) and creates a genuinely suspenseful story that will keep readers glued to their seats until the very end. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Sarah Lovett worked as a researcher at the New Mexico State Penitentiary. Her previous novels are Dangerous Attachments, Acquired Motives, A Desperate Silence, and, most recently, Dantes' Inferno. Raised in California, she now makes her home in Santa Fe.

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Series: Sylvia Strange
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (March 4, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684855992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684855998
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,857,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Inspired by my experience working as a legal researcher for the New Mexico Attorney General's Office, work that often took me inside the Penitentiary of New Mexico, I began writing a novel that I hoped would have series potential. Two major book deals and five books later--all featuring forensic psychologist Dr. Sylvia Strange--I wrote the final novel in the series, DARK ALCHEMY.

After that, I took a hiatus from the darkest of subjects to focus on family, the challenges of parenting, and the joys of raising our daughter, Pearl. She was just shy of her 6th birthday when I got the call from my agent asking if I would be interested in meeting with Valerie Plame Wilson. The resulting collaboration with Valerie took several years to get fully airborne and now that BLOWBACK is out (Oct 2013/Blue Rider Press) we are at work on the next book in what we hope will be a long-lived series featuring Vanessa Pierson, CIA covert operative.

For me, writing novels fulfills two essential needs--my hunger to absorb and process new information about the world, and my curiosity with regard to human nature, especially the volatile interaction of desire and choices made in pursuit of said desire, and the resulting (often astounding) actions and outcomes.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Sylvia Strange is about to marry the love of her life, Matt England, and she should be in a state of prenuptial bliss. Instead, Sylvia is goaded into taking one last case before her wedding. "Dark Alchemy" is the story of a serial killer who uses sophisticated neurotoxins to murder fellow scientists. The FBI suspects Dr. Christine Palmer, the world's foremost expert on these deadly poisons. Since all the evidence against Dr. Palmer is circumstantial, the authorities need more information to move the investigation forward.
Counterterrorism expert Edmond Sweetheart has been asked by the FBI to step in, and he in turn recruits Dr. Strange to help him construct a psychological profile of the killer. Sylvia would prefer to immerse herself in her wedding plans, but the case interests her and she decides to lend her expertise to the investigation.
The book starts out promisingly. Lovett piques the reader's interest with her arcane information on neurotoxins and their deadly effects. Dr. Palmer is an intriguing character. She is beautiful, brilliant and egotistical, but is she also a killer? To make matters more complicated, Sylvia's personal problems keep distracting her. Although she and Matt truly love one another, they still have some unresolved issues that may disrupt their wedding plans.
Unfortunately, after a strong opening, "Dark Alchemy" unravels in the second half of the book. Various suspects are dangled before the reader, and the plot becomes more and more illogical as the book progresses. The ending is rushed and the conclusion is unsatisfying. Had Lovett taken the time to develop her plot with more care, "Dark Alchemy" would have been a much better novel.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Her scientific peers consider Dr. Christine Palmer the world's foremost expert on neurotoxins. She knows how to make them and how to make antidotes for them. However, law enforcement officials believe that the beautiful, brilliant scientist is also a sociopath serial poisoner though no clear evidence proves the contention. Still Christine remains the prime suspect in the murders of her father, her fiancé and some of her co-workers.
Counterterrorist expert Edmond Sweetheart asks forensic psychologist Dr. Sylvia Strange to work up a profile of Dr. Christine Palmer so when the authorities bring her in for questioning, they will know how to interrogate this one-of-a kind woman. Sylvia agrees to a meeting with Dr. Palmer knowing she is being used as bait and walks away from the encounter a very sick person. Ironically, the only person who can help her is Dr. Palmer if she obtains what she wants from Sylvia.
There is much more to DARK ALCHEMY than a serial poisoner novel. The heroine's partner has his own agenda and is willing to sacrifice anyone including her to make sure a spy/mole doesn't get away with espionage. Sarah Lovett writes an exhilarating, enthralling crime thriller that will keep readers turning the pages until the end because it is not until the climax that the audience finds out whether Dr. Palmer is a sinister villain or a brilliant victim.
Harriet Klausner
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This author seems to be on a downward trend. I have read all the books in this series. The first ones were enjoyable. The last one before this was disappointing. This is a dud. The story does not hang together. The plot is inadequate, parts of it are far fetched, and the ending does not work. She neglects the personal relationships which were interesting in the earlier books.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover
The FBI needs the help of Sarah Lovett's most popular Forensic Psychologist, Dr. Sylvia Strange, in this latest psychological mystery. There has been a slew of unsolved deaths, all of which have been researchers in different labs all over the world.
The FBI suspects Dr. Christine Palmer and there is a lot of evidence. But nothing concrete.
The FBI seeks out the help of Dr. Strange and her expertise. Sylvia has enough on her mind with trying to plan her wedding and mend a few bumps in the relationship between her and her fiancé. But she also takes on this case to figure out how this beautiful, confident, world-renowned toxicologist is using neurotoxins to kill off others and how she has gotten away with it - until now.
Sylvia is on a mission to crack this case, get the evidence needed and get back to her wedding plans when another death occurs. She joins forces with counter-terrorism expert Edmond Sweetheart and they begin to link evidence together. But is Edmond on her side or is he withholding the evidence that could crack this case wide open for them?
Lovett uses a lot of forensic and scientific lingo heavily throughout the book. But the action page after page will still hold the readers attention till the very end with it's various plot twists.
This tale of the crazy serial poisoner, with a strong, heroic Dr. Strange hot on her tail, is a nail-biting page turner.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By A Customer on April 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved her first Dr. Strange books but have been disappointed in the last two. I thought the storyline was unrealistic and confusing. The end felt forced and and tied up to easily.
Sylvia's relationship issues were just brushed away. I felt this wasn't much of a mystery nor did it have any psychological insight or suspense.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?