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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 (4592 )
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4.2 (3022 )
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4.3 (3046 )
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    David Floyd 08-10-06
    David Floyd 08-10-06 Listener Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
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    371
    18
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    Overall
    "Good not Great"

    As I said in my title I thought this book was good not great. I would really rate 3.5 stars but that's not an option. It is certainly very timely and the insight into the Muslim extremist mind was very eye opening. The story just lacked the action and suspense I was expecting. I also felt much of the dialog was a bit clich? and hokey. For the most part I enjoyed the book, but felt it was a bit over hyped in some of the other reviews.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda Surprise, AZ, USA 07-19-06
    Melinda Surprise, AZ, USA 07-19-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "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
  •  
    Laura Appleton, WI, USA 07-16-06
    Laura Appleton, WI, USA 07-16-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    2
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    0
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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 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Anderson Dallas, TX 07-14-06
    Steve Anderson Dallas, TX 07-14-06 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
    ratings
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    19
    9
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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.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vincent Chestnut Ridge, NY, USA 07-09-06
    Vincent Chestnut Ridge, NY, USA 07-09-06 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    57
    13
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    0
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    Overall
    "One battle in the war on terror"

    It kept my interest. One of the better stories.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Riva, MD, USA 07-04-06
    Steven Riva, MD, USA 07-04-06 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    9
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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 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Lafayette, CA, United States 06-23-06
    Kathleen Lafayette, CA, United States 06-23-06 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    130
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    284
    32
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    6
    0
    Overall
    "John LeCarre Fast Forward"

    Well, having finished this book on June 23rd as the FBI sting finds a bungling bunch of "terrorists" holed up with an inside informant as I finished this listen the night before, I woke up trying to clear my mind and figure out which was I remembering the book or Fox news, just kidding... but must say reality inside reality. Expertly done, never over reaching a thrilling personal journal. It could be true... just read See No Evil by Robert Baer... don't miss this book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Settle 10-03-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    137
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    94
    30
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not for cat lovers!"

    I love cats! I cringe when a dog is killed in a novel, but I was absolutely revolted by the lurid description of the slow poisoning of a little cat, procured specifically for that purpose. The detailed description of the animal's suffering was way, way too much for me. I stopped at that point and won't read another word written by Alex Berenson.

    6 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barnabas' Daughter Atlanta, GA, USA 10-28-13
    Barnabas' Daughter Atlanta, GA, USA 10-28-13 Member Since 2015

    The name is for my wife, the photo is for the old man.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
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    21
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    "This is the best spy/thriller I've read in a while"

    Here's a hero who is just as extreme as Jack Ryan, but we don't have to fawn over his riches or political clout. He may not have the beautiful family, riches, prestigious job, or the "right" political connections, but he's able to get the job done, where the job concerns going deep undercover, operating with very little help, and getting deep into the affairs of terrorists, in spite of the lack of trust of his bosses, and his enemies. He seems to face more realistic problems, but overcomes with determination, luck, and believable intelligence.

    I like Child's Jack Reacher, or DeMille's John Correy as characters. But the I was able to suspend disbelief in this character, and for now at least, he seems to surpass them by an order of magnitude. Almost at the level of le Carre's Smiley.

    I'm a frequent repeat listener, and I'm sure I'll listen to this many, many times.

    The narration is perfect in the sense that I was never aware of it at all.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Sykesville, MD, United States 07-14-13
    David Sykesville, MD, United States 07-14-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    31
    5
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    "unexpected pleasure.."
    Any additional comments?

    This author will be a new favorite of mine. The character John Wells is riding the fine line between crossing over. I will be reading Mr Berenson"s other works now that I found his Well's series. With the "too soon demise" of the wonderful Mr. Vince Flynn I was on the look out for a new series to capture my imagination, thank you Alex.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Gary
    sandy, beds, United Kingdom
    2/4/08
    Overall
    "The Faithful Spy"

    Best audio book I have herd so far out of 20 similar books.
    Couldn't stop listening !!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Marielouise
    Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    9/4/08
    Overall
    "Stunning. Best spy/thriller have heard"

    An absolutely brilliant audiobook. Totally believable. Characterisation rich - author gives a balanced view of both sides of this conflict through his characters - even the lesser characters are very believable, plot completely gripping, and yet I didn't want it to end.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Anna
    London, London, United Kingdom
    4/6/08
    Overall
    "A step beyond an average thriller."

    This novel grips from page one and is an intelligent and skillfully written account of the inherent conlicts within modern day espionage. The author takes a huge step beyond a good yarn and tackles the complex and lonely existence of a government agent who goes deep undercover for a protracted period of time. His hero stradles two worlds belonging and yet not belonging to either.
    This is a challenging and fascinating listen enhanced by a splendid reading by Robertson Dean.
    Highly recommended for the thriller fan.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Nick
    Ilkeston, Derbyshire, United Kingdom
    3/4/09
    Overall
    "A good read"

    I really enjoyed this book, very plausible and well read, the best audiobook I have listened to yet.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dr. Laurence G. Measey
    Portsmouth, UK
    2/28/13
    Overall
    "A good, intelligent, modern spy thriller"

    Undercover agents have to learn their biographies so well that it becomes their number on operating story. Well does this so well that over the years he becomes his new self with understandable doubts as to the morality of his own country, America. It is, however, the same moral perspective that convinces him to accomplish his mission. Well written with some fine tense moments, neat twists and the menace of real danger. Not to be missed as this is the first spy story from a major writer of modern thrillers.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    5/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good plot"

    Good compulsive plot with good ending good author with realistic story that is very credible

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Youngstuts
    UK
    4/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "First class modern spy story"

    A thoroughly enjoyable but eye opening story involving a deep cover spy, Pakistan, USA and Al Qaeda. Very well narrated. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Angela C
    3/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "US Agent inside El Queda grips to the end"
    What did you like most about The Faithful Spy?

    Believability and excitement. Extremely interesting in its exploration of the psychology of deep cover agents and thought provoking in its depiction of the gulf dividing austere Islamic thinking from America's profligate consumer society and with an intelligence community riven by politics, but still trying to do the right thing.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The plot, the setting, the characters and a great climax.


    Which character – as performed by Robertson Dean – was your favourite?

    Hero, heroine, villain and Tariq, the little student chemist.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Many.


    Any additional comments?

    An intelligent spy story that builds and builds momentum. Highly, recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shaun
    Leicester, Leicestershire, United Kingdom
    1/10/07
    Overall
    "GRIPPING........."

    Well written, well researched and well told.
    The author was (or still is??) a jounalist and I think it is clearly evident in this well researched book. The characters and plot are completely beliveable and it doesn't take long to get completely immersed in both.
    Definitely the most exciting book I've read (listened to!!) for a long time. This should be further up the list of top sellers - read it - you won't be dissapointed.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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