The Faithful Spy is a promising start to what will hopefully be a new series. John Wells is a CIA agent under deep cover within al Qaueda. During the years it took him to gain some trust within the terrorist organization, Wells has lost contact with his ex wife, young son, and his handler at the CIA. He blames himself for failing to stop 9/11 and knows that he is losing the trust of the CIA after being out of contact for so long. When Wells is sent back to the USA by al Qaueda for a mission he knows nothing about, he sees it as an opportunity to redeem himself in the eyes of the CIA. He struggles to stop an act of terror, while being pursued by the very government he has sworn to protect.
Fans of Daniel Silva and Vince Flynn will enjoy this book. Like those authors, this book deals with contemporary issues but Berenson does a better job than the others of showing the human side of the enemy. My only complaint is that John Wells himself is not in much of the book. However, this may be because the author is trying to establish the other characters for future books. I will be adding the next installment in this series to my wish list.
Fast passed interesting spy novel. The main character is a CIA operative who has been infiltrated into Al Queda for years. No one is sure if he's a good guy or a bad guy anymore. Part of it takes place overseas and the rest in the U.S. I'm not sure if I'll sleep as well after reading this...but it was exciting!
Fast moving story about a CIA operative deeply embedded in al Qaeda. John Wells has been fighting with al Qaeda in Chechnya and Afghanistan for years. He is the world's most dedicated spy -- and one of the worst husbands and fathers. He wasn't able to raise any warnings before 9/11 but now he has a chance to foil another attack. I look forward to reading more from Alex Berenson -- and reading more about John Wells.
Bruce - reviewed The Faithful Spy (John Wells, Bk 1) on
Most authors have a hard time keeping their own political views out of novels about terrorism and other current issues and Berenson is no different. He is not heavy handed with his politics but injects just enough to be annoying at times. Otherwise a good but standard terrorism thriller.
This was a great book and I hated putting it down! I was reluctant at first to keep reading it since it promoted the whole "bin Laden" master-minded the 9/11 attacks. That was a very small part of the book actually. John Wells, a CIA agent deep undercover in Afghanistan has not been heard from in years. His handler, Jennifer Exley, is not sure whether he has been "flipped" or dead. After meeting with a superior in the "bin Laden" terrorist camp, he is asked to shave and cut his hair to fit in once again in America. He is not told what his mission is but to simply wait. John shows up and his Koran is discovered and Exley's superiors are convinced he has gone to the other side. It is simply that John found Islam a religion he can believe in. He does not believe in jihad but takes comfort in the prayers and ritual of Islam. The CIA wants to hold him but Exley's boss lets him escape.
The book takes us to various members of a sinister terrorist cell and Wells is in the dark about the exact nature of the attacks to take place. He just knows that whatever it or they are, it is going to be vicious and soon. Heart-pounding incidents kept me glued to the book to the very end. A great book!
I stumbled upon this series by accident and am glad I did. Being a diehard Vince Flynn fan, every CIA/Black Ops book I read now is judged to what Flynn writes. I can honestly say that Berenson holds his own against Flynn. Like Flynn's books, this is one you don't want to put down.
I REALLY enjoyed this book. I accidentally read #4 and 5 in this series and had to come back to the beginning. I think this author is excellent and the storyline is very gripping as it has to do with Al Qaeda and September 11 and the war in Afghanistan. It's like a window into the middle east and what it is like for the soldiers that were over there.
This was my first Berenson book as I usually stick to police procedures/crime drama. While waiting in the airport, my eye caught on it and I thought I'd give it a try and I was pleasantly surprised, considering what my normal read is! This book actually had quite a few twists and turns in it, with multilayers, and caught me totally off guard by the ending. I'm now in search of my next Berenson novel.
John Wells works for the CIA and was sent deep, deep undercover in Pakistan to become a member of al Qaeda...for years, to the detriment of his marriage, little boy, and parents. He's not 100% trusted, as he is known as the Muslim American, but he's proven himself time and again for the American-hating Afghans. After being sent back to America for a "mission," John has to stay undercover as best as he can. But, after all these years, even the CIA thinks he may have gone over to the other side for real. Does he complete his Al Qaeda mission to stay undercover? The reader is led through John's many decisions and hazards and the ending is quite a surprise. An excellent, exciting, thoughtful read.