A Slow-Burn Science Fiction Thriller

Fiction - Science Fiction
266 Pages
Reviewed on 12/23/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Vincent Lenihan is an engineer and writer of science fiction novels. He enjoys combining real science and engineering with intricate plotting and nuanced characters. Vincent has two degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford and holds several patents in industrial robotics and computer vision. Originally from California, he lives in Tokyo, where he continues research and development work in robotics in addition to writing. Visit his website for short pieces on interesting, thought-provoking topics:

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

In Mercury by Vincent Lenihan, the advancements in medical and military technologies have progressed quickly with the introduction of Sweepers, military robots on the battlefield, and the use of superhuman artificial limbs. Countries compete for dominance in these areas, causing tension between China and the United States. Rico Moretti, an agent in the Defense Clandestine Service, and his partner Katie have been assigned to protect Commerce Secretary Hoffmann at the G20 conference in Fukuoka. When Hoffmann is assassinated, Rico begins an investigation to find the person responsible. He faces obstacles and silence from every lead until he meets Angelica, a mercenary who agrees to help him. When a court-martial is issued against Rico, he refuses to turn himself in and together he and Angelica enter a sinister world of human trafficking and an immoral smuggling enterprise. When Angelica's behavior becomes even more suspicious and secretive, Rico is unwilling to trust her completely. Does she know more about the reasons behind Hoffmann's murder? As people connected to Hoffmann and the assassination investigation begin to die, Rico has little choice but to take unprecedented risks while still battling haunting memories from his past.

The intriguing and unique plot of Mercury by Vincent Lenihan grabbed my interest immediately. The author takes you on a gripping journey that evokes your imagination wonderfully. The characters were extremely well developed with the utmost creativity. I adored Rico, he possessed such great morals which were highlighted throughout the story. Angelica was also an amazing character - on one hand, she was a fearless warrior and on the other a gentle and caring soul. The scene where she interrogates the doctor was superb. There are many sub-plots that are equally as strong as the main storyline. The relationships between the characters are developed gradually which I loved. The issues of morality versus a country's greed for economic dominance were chilling. The details around the medical advancements of the future were also really believable, for example, the organ transplants and the Implantable Delivery System which can control emotions. The plot has some excellent twists, especially surrounding Angelica. The tension and action are continuous, my attention never wavered. There are also many emotional scenes, especially toward the end. This is an incredible story that covers a thought-provoking subject that will stay with you long after the final page is read.

Susan Sewell

In the year 2041, China and the United States are in a proxy war in the science-fiction novel, Mercury (A Slow-Burn Science Fiction Thriller) by Vincent Lenihan. Rico Moretti is the son of the world's most significant contractor for military prosthetics and an American agent for the Defense Clandestine Service. America and China are at war, and prosthetically enhanced military personnel has become a standard aspect of warfare. Therefore, rare earth elements are in demand, and the Chinese hold the market on them. After a multi-national conference covering these issues, Rico is the only one to survive an assassination of a prominent official, making him the prime suspect. Not willing to be a patsy, Rico goes to ground under the command of Angelica in a dangerous game of cloak and dagger.

Technology and spy operations are combined to create the suspenseful and action-packed novel, Mercury (A Slow-Burn Science Fiction Thriller) by Vincent Lenihan. Containing strong characters and an intriguing plot, it is a captivating story. Filled with action and sprinkled with blood and guts, it is an exciting 21st-century adventure. With the elements of drama and suspense blended with advanced technological aspects, it is an entertaining story that will delight science-fiction fans from young adults on up. Due to explicit language, violence, and sexual situations, the book is more suitable for a mature audience.

Pikasho Deka

Mercury is an edge of your seat futuristic political thriller written by author Vincent Lenihan. Rico Moretti, an agent of the Defense Clandestine Services, has his life turned upside down when he is assigned as the personal bodyguard of Commerce Secretary Hoffman during the G20 Conference in Fukuoka. Rico suspects foul play when Secretary Hoffman and his partner Katie get killed under his watch and begins to question his loyalty to the agency. With the help of a mysterious woman named Angelica, Rico dives deep into the heart of a conspiracy involving foreign governments, rogue agents, human trafficking, and experimental robotics technology. But everything is not as it seems, and as Rico's past continues to haunt him, he finds himself unsure of whom to trust.

With a delicious blend of sci-fi, geopolitical intrigue, and thrilling suspense, Mercury feels like a contemporary hybrid of the Bourne series and I, Robot. Author Vincent Lenihan has created a highly original world with a riveting narrative that keeps your eyes glued to the pages. Lenihan moves the plot at a steady pace with multiple twists and turns along the way to keep you guessing and subvert your expectations. The characters are compelling with fully fleshed-out backstories and satisfying arcs. The dialogue is crisp and concise, with the action sequences often coming in quick bursts and described in vivid detail. I found the action scenes to be quite cinematic at times. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Mercury, and I highly recommend it to readers who love action-oriented thrillers with intricate plotting.

Vincent Dublado

Vincent Lenihan’s Mercury is a sci-fi thriller with a premise that has the right timing, as we are in an era of medical and technological advancements. Set in the near future where advanced human limbs are mass-produced, China and the United States have made a bilateral agreement in the prosthetics trade. Yet tensions still continue as the world witnesses the use of enhanced soldiers. Agent Rico Moretti of the Defense Clandestine Service is assigned to keep an eye on China, and when the U.S. Secretary of Commerce is killed in Japan under his watch, it throws him into a spiral of investigation that yields unproductive results. Enter Angelica, a woman of mystery whose intentions to help him consume his thoughts. Together, they will navigate the underground world of East Asia and discover criminal activities linked to the assassination.

Vincent Lenihan has a direct narrative and a unique plot. His work will strike you as a combination of Tom Clancy and Phillip K. Dick. Mercury is a world of distrustful governments that keep their allies close and their enemies closer. It is a world of predatory entities that take advantage of the weak and profit from unlawful means. It illustrates that in the past, present, and future, corruption will always be a part of the global infrastructure. Crime becomes bolder as it develops a face and no longer lurks in the dark. This is a high-concept science fiction story that does not rely on excessive technical concepts but prefers to lean more on the human side of its plotline. Mercury conveys an extraordinary idea that will appeal to lovers of sci-fi and techno-thrillers.

Grace Masso

Mercury: A Slow-Burn Science Fiction Thriller by Vincent Lenihan is a novel set in the near future, at a time when technology has evolved to a stage where human artificial limbs become a normal phenomenon. In this tale that features neuroscience and robotics, Rico Moretti, a young agent in the Defense Clandestine Service, investigates the murder of a top American official in Japan. The relationship between the US and China is tense as the two countries are embroiled in conflict in Eastern Europe. Enhanced soldiers are being used in the proxy war. Rico has little to work on in his investigation. But Angelica, an enigmatic woman, offers to help him and he doesn’t understand why she does so. The investigation uncovers criminal activities in East Asia, and as they follow the clues, it becomes evident that the person behind the crimes might be someone close to home. The outcome is explosive!

There are so many aspects of this story that delighted me. First, the writing is not only accessible but enticing, with beautiful descriptions and the use of short sentences and phrases that have a strong dramatic effect. The paragraph breaks are timely and it makes for an easy, enjoyable read. The second thing I enjoyed is the drama, which is constructed with the use of well-written dialogues. The third thing is how the author builds the scientific elements of the novel, introducing readers to a period when the scientific enhancement of human limbs is at its peak, with a booming market in prosthetics. The characters are sophisticated, and my favorites were Rico, Angelica, and Katie. Opening the story in the midst of action got me into the narrative; the pacing is fast and consistent and the conflict is ingeniously written into the strong plot points. Overall, Mercury is a fast-paced, delightful read.


I seriously couldn't put this book down. It's gripping, high-tech, classy, and filled with geopolitical and corporate intrigue. The book combines several genres in a highly interesting and original way: sci-fi, political fiction, crime thriller, psychological thriller. The tech is detailed without overdoing it, and the subject of neural prosthetics is fascinating and timely. The depth of research the author did is clear. The primarily East-Asian setting (US and Europe are in there too) strongly appealed to me, and I think now is the perfect time for a novel like this.

And the characters. They were superb. Extraordinarily complex and deep personalities, conflicting motivations, inner turmoil, psychological instability, you name it. It's amazing how vast backstories and hidden problems are captured in just a few words. Every character had good and evil sides, and the tensions between those sides colored and drove the plot. This was very well done. The character development actually supports the plot, instead of fighting against it, which I often come across especially in other thrillers.

At the same time, this novel is wonderfully written, even literary, all without taking from the plot and the pacing. Flowing but focused narration, snappy and realistic dialogue, and so much subtext and hidden meaning behind every sentence. Despite a complex plot with complex characters, the clarity of writing made sure I could easily follow everything.

I loved this book. This is an incredible thriller and work of science fiction.

Christine Mills

This author's imagination is extraordinary! Set in the future, it has two of my favorite genres, sci fi and crime. Without giving too much away, the plot and characters kept me riveted to this book from the first page. Highly recommend!

E Sizmarick

If Christopher Nolan wrote a book set in Asia, you might get Mercury. Really cool plot, a very interesting method of weaving a story. Lots of ins and outs which I found really fun.

Diego Gimar

This novel does a superb job of balancing a strong plot with well-developed characters. Although the story dives deep into technology, only the necessary amount of technical detail is given to ensure the story moves forward without bogging down the reading experience. Despite an intricate, tightly-knit plot, characters are complex, both psychologically and morally. The inner conflicts experienced by characters support and drive the plot, resulting in a well-thought-out novel with a powerful emotional punch.


An incredibly researched page turner, the characters were as deep and engaging as the plot. I loved the travel and The well depicted settings, which flowed along with the dialogue. The book crosses many genres, many ending in thriller, but what stands out most of all is the tech, which is told in a informative way which doesn't pollute the pages. Highly recommended!


Really enjoyed this thriller, and bought a couple copies as gifts for friends. The tech is well-explained without overdoing it, and the pacing and interleaving of different plot lines is done just right. Exciting international settings (Japan, Thailand, China), and very interesting character development that adds depth to the story.

The book has a dark and moody atmosphere that I loved, but there's a touch of humor thrown in at the right moments. Narration is smooth and classy, characters are well-developed and interesting, the plot is exciting with solid twists and turns, and there are great thought-provoking themes that boil over the course of the story. A superb work of sci-fi, a fresh thriller.


An original, very exciting technothriller. The writing is beautiful and elegant, yet the language is simple and moves quickly. The plotting is intricate, gripping, dark and unpredictable. There are great plot twists and plenty of emotionally powerful scenes. The science and tech are explained in fascinating detail, yet still easy-to-read and pleasurable, even to someone like me who usually isn't interested in science fiction. Mercury is not only a great new thriller, but a beautiful work of literary fiction.


A well-crafted, beautifully written, haunting thriller. Deft explanations of tech and very interesting world-building. The meticulous level of detail in the plotting, the immersion into East Asia, and the science and tech make the story really come to life. Despite how dense the plot and backstory are, everything is clear and easy to read. I found the connections between the external plot and the internal battles inside each character to be extremely intriguing and highly original. This is an exceptional novel.


This is an amazing novel, thrilling, atmospheric, and profound. A very exciting plot that smolders at first, then snowballs into something massive, and complicated, interesting characters. Intriguing, well-researched tech that adds to the characters' backstories. Absolutely worth reading, and re-reading.


A riveting plot, a page-turner! Loved the tech. Character development was superb, literary, even, which is hard to come by in this genre. A very fresh and poignant take on sci-fi and political fiction. A must-read.