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The Faithful Spy | [Alex Berenson]

The Faithful Spy

John Wells is the only American CIA agent ever to penetrate al Qaeda. Since before the attacks in 2001, Wells has been hiding in the mountains of Pakistan, biding his time, building his cover.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Thanks to Robertson Dean's menacing narration, this gripping, thinking-person's thriller about a CIA operative deep undercover in al Qaeda is frighteningly real. Once you start listening, you'll find yourself sitting in the driveway with the engine still running. —Steve Feldberg

Publisher's Summary

John Wells is the only American CIA agent ever to penetrate al Qaeda. Since before the attacks in 2001, Wells has been hiding in the mountains of Pakistan, biding his time, building his cover.

Now, on the orders of Omar Khadri, the malicious mastermind plotting more al Qaeda strikes on America, Wells is coming home. Neither Khadri nor Jennifer Exley, Wells' superior at Langley, knows quite what to expect.

For Wells has changed during his years in the mountains. He has become a Muslim. He finds the United States decadent and shallow. Yet he hates al Qaeda and the way it uses Islam to justify its murderous assaults on innocents. He is a man alone, and the CIA, still reeling from its failure to predict 9/11 or find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, does not know whether to trust him. Among his handlers at Langley, only Exley believes in him, and even she sometimes wonders. And so the agency freezes Wells out, preferring to rely on high-tech means for gathering intelligence.

But as that strategy fails and Khadri moves closer to unleashing the most devastating terrorist attack in history, Wells and Exley must somehow find a way to stop him, with or without the government's consent.

From secret American military bases where suspects are held and "interrogated" to basement laboratories where al Qaeda's scientists grow the deadliest of biological weapons, The Faithful Spy is a riveting and cautionary tale, as affecting in its personal stories as it is sophisticated in its political details. The first spy thriller to grapple squarely with the complexities and terrors of today's world, this is a uniquely exciting and unnerving novel by an author who truly knows his territory.

©2006 Alex Berenson; (P)2006 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

  • Mystery Writers of America 2007 Edgar Award, Best First Novel by an American Author

"Graphic and chillingly real." (Publishers Weekly)
"One could hardly ask for a more skillful, timely, and well-rounded translation of our worst fears into satisfying thrills." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (2302 )
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  •  
    Kamran Harrison, NY, United States 07-20-06
    Kamran Harrison, NY, United States 07-20-06 Member Since 2005
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    "Ready for Hollywood!"

    This a fun book to listen, written mainly to entertain rather than to be profound. But that's OK! If one could give half starts I would have given it half more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda Surprise, AZ, USA 07-19-06
    Melinda Surprise, AZ, USA 07-19-06 Member Since 2006
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    "Hated to put down"

    This was my first audiobook, ever. At first I didn't think I was really getting into it, but then suddenly I realized that I was hooked and after that I found it hard to "put it down."

    I enjoyed the story itself, even though I was able to see where the author was going before he got there. I liked the currentness of the topic and references, I think that's what made it so easy for me to get into. Overall, I enjoyed the listen and would recommend to others. Just keep in mind this is a work of ficton.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry F. Stinson The Dalles, OR 07-18-06
    Barry F. Stinson The Dalles, OR 07-18-06 Member Since 2003

    masterfundi

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    "Great listen!"

    Timely, captivating, I loved every minute.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GlennD2 07-18-06
    GlennD2 07-18-06
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    "Can't wait for author's next book"

    Detailed descriptions of the locations and actions conjure vivid pictures for the listener. Plot line and events are eminently believable. I walk while listening to books, and this had me putting in extra time - I didn't want to stop. A great lsten!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Appleton, WI, USA 07-16-06
    Laura Appleton, WI, USA 07-16-06
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    "Loved it!"

    I normally don't read spy novels. But, now I can't wait to read another. This was so exciting and involving. Hope I didn't read the best and will be disappointed in others. Loved Wells and Exley!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vincent Chestnut Ridge, NY, USA 07-09-06
    Vincent Chestnut Ridge, NY, USA 07-09-06
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    "One battle in the war on terror"

    It kept my interest. One of the better stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Riva, MD, USA 07-04-06
    Steven Riva, MD, USA 07-04-06 Member Since 2006
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    "Fast Paced"

    This book was action packed and fast paced. It was well written and kept me entertained from beginning to end. It went by very quickly. I'm not 100% sure I agree with the narrator's choice of voice for certain of the characters, but it was fairly inconsequential. He did a solid narration job all-in-all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Anderson Dallas, TX 07-14-06
    Steve Anderson Dallas, TX 07-14-06 Member Since 2003
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    "Every cliche in the book"

    Sorry to dog this one folks, but the author's over-description of detail left nothing for the reader to figure out. We actually found ourselves laughing aloud at the melodramatic spy genre clich?s. Pretty good narrator. Have fun if you buy this, but don't expect to be challenged.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. S. Cohen New York, NY USA 03-08-08
    M. S. Cohen New York, NY USA 03-08-08 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bad Plot, Bad Characters, Bad Narrator"

    What a waste. Not only does the main protagonist behave totally irrationally, but so do all the other characters.
    From the opening in Afganistan, the main character acts like a idiot trying to make contact with American forces and then asking to be shot to keep his cover.
    Later when he is interrogated by the CIA, no one behaves like a professional. And his love affair with a fellow CIA officer is absurd.
    Even the bad guys act like idiots with one of them killing his wife while he is supposed to be undercover.
    There is a slick piece of work on how the plague virus is transmitted across the border, but that's about it.
    Small details, such as the inability to cross security without an airline boarding pass, get lost in the author's mind.
    The resolution of the killing of the super-mastermind bad guy is so quick and anti-climactic, that I almost missed the whole thing. It was as if the author suddenly got tired of writing and wanted to go away for the weekend.
    Ordinarily the narrators for audio books are great, but this guy was worse than awful. His voice for the main character sounded like a truck driver with a bad cough. Nothing fitting for a smart CIA agent. Fortunately the protagonist didn't speak much or I would have ripped the headphones off my ears in pain.
    And the love interest woman's voice was an awful high-pitched whine that made the character seem like a 9 year old who is intellectually challenged. Again, not the right sound for the woman.
    I'm so glad the book is over. I need to flush my brain of the narrator's voice.beta inappVoteInfo

    4 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie Schnebly 10-11-12

    You are the sum of what you read!

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    "A very ineffective 'Faithful Spy'"
    What disappointed you about The Faithful Spy?

    He never seemed to know what his mission actually was, and he certainly never discovered anything that we would expect for someone in his position. He seemed to be filled with angst and there was too much 'internal dialogue' that did not move the story along.


    What could Alex Berenson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    have his faithful spy be proactive about his job as a spy. He never did anything except follow his group of terrorists and did not report their activity to the CIA.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Robertson Dean?

    George Guidall


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disappointment


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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