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The Faithful Spy Audiobook

The Faithful Spy

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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

4.1 (4673 )
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4.3 (3117 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Robert SOUTH PASADENA, CA, United States 02-16-11
    Robert SOUTH PASADENA, CA, United States 02-16-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
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    177
    8
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    "A GOOD spy thriller!"

    I enjoyed this book very much. It's exactly what I was looking for, a good spy thriller with lot's of action ... Something to take my mind off reality. Like watching "24" ... Not "HIGH ART", but fun and bloody spy action! If an escape is what you're after, look no further! I'm anxious to see how his others are.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reinette Richmond, BC 01-12-11
    Reinette Richmond, BC 01-12-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    10
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    Overall
    "Not bad, but not good either."

    I like espionage thrillers and read all of Vince Flynn's books, who incidently recommended this book. All I can say is that he can learn from Flynn as how to keep suspense going. I could not stop listening to the Flynn series, and it took me about two weeks to finish this one as I lost interest along the way. The narrator was just OK.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MR 09-17-10
    MR 09-17-10

    Matt Heenan

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Sorry, just don't get it."

    Long gone is the Afghanistan war where good and evil was clear.

    Set 3 months after 9/11 this novel dates badly.

    Although well written (hence 2 stars) 'The Faithful Spy' is a cynical exploitation of American patriotism of a bygone era and should come with a health warning... 'Not for consumption in the real world'.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin 03-25-10
    Kevin 03-25-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    43
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    Overall
    "Tight"

    I enjoyed this well paced "page turner". It wasn't so black and white regarding who the characters were and what motivates them, which I appreciated. The narrator, Robertson Dean, was ideal.
    I'll be listening/reading to more by Alex Berenson.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Neenah, WI, United States 02-12-08
    Daniel Neenah, WI, United States 02-12-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    10
    3
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    0
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    "Good to great"

    Not always a great read but a very solid first effort by Mr. Berenson. His insights and characters were both educational and entertaining on several levels. I will look forward to his next effort which , I believe, is due out soon.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maine Dave Cumberland, ME USA 06-28-07
    Maine Dave Cumberland, ME USA 06-28-07 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Mixed bag"

    I enjoyed the "fighting terrorism" current events story line, but I have long since tired of orchestrated drama that resolves everything at the last moment's rush.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karla Joelton, TN, USA 03-27-07
    Karla Joelton, TN, USA 03-27-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "The Faithful Spy"

    Just wonderful..kept me interested thru the whole book! We took a trip that took 16 hours..and the time passed very quickly!!! You will love it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alm 02-28-07
    Alm 02-28-07 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
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    34
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    Overall
    "I am amazed I actually listened to the entire book"

    I bought this book based on the reviews posted here, most of which praise the book from every aspect. I found the book to be very slow paced. The characters were not well developed, the story rambled through a confusings series of sub-plots. There was little detail of the workings of the CIA, FBI, or security services. Most annoying was the narrator, whose deep, husky, monotonous voice was soporific. He sounded like an old disk jockey who smoked too much. He did not bring any characterizations to the story, beyond raising the pitch of his voice a bit to indicate a female speaking. It was very difficult to get through this dull, lackluster presentation. I kept waiting for the part the reviews presented here descibed. They never came. I feel like the boy in 'The Emporor's New Clothes'. This book screams first novel, and the narrator was poor. You have been warned.

    22 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pal*Joey 08-11-06
    Pal*Joey 08-11-06 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    122
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    831
    54
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    Overall
    "So Real it's Scary!"

    I was fully cognizant, when I purchased this audio book, that it was a work of fiction but it was so real it was scary. Can't help but feel that this is going on in the world as I type. Makes me more aware of the political tug-of-war that goes on between the CIA & FBI and the "no sharing information" rule.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia K New York State, USA 08-11-06
    Cynthia K New York State, USA 08-11-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    113
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    78
    37
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    1
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    Overall
    "Entertaining and TOO timely"

    This was a great book from an author new to me. The characters are well-developed and the "inside information" about Al Qaeda was believable. Though a pro-American read, there was enough ambiguity and the "enemies" were presented sympathetically enough that it wasn't xenophobic. The unabridged version is a quick read, and I wouldn't hesitate to choose it over the shorter one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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