John Wells enters new territory, as he goes underground in East Africa to track four kidnapped Americans and the Somali bandits who snatched them, in the tough, thoughtful, electrifying new novel from the #1 New York Times best-selling author.
Four friends, recent college graduates, travel to Kenya to work at a giant refugee camp for Somalis. Two men, two women, each with their own reasons for being there. But after twelve weeks, they’re ready for a break and pile into a Land Cruiser for an adventure.
They get more than they bargained for. Bandits hijack them. They wake up in a hut, hooded, bound, no food or water. Hostages. As a personal favor, John Wells is asked to try to find them, but he does so reluctantly. East Africa isn’t his usual playing field. And when he arrives, he finds that the truth behind the kidnappings is far more complex than he imagined.
The clock is ticking. The White House is edging closer to an invasion of Somalia. Wells has a unique ability to go undercover, and to make things happen, but if he can’t find the hostages soon, they’ll be dead - and the U.S. may be in a war it never should have begun.
©2013 Alex Berenson (P)2013 Penguin Audiobooks
Berenson's 7th John Wells installment is another solid effort that delivers. This time around Wells is contacted by his estranged son to assist in the rescue of kidnapped Americans in Africa. While the world believes a terrorist plot, Wells pieces together a more complex and sinister evolving series of motivations. As is typical, Wells struggles with his own unique brand of morality and ethical conduct. In the end Wells functions as a microcosm of the confusing mix of US intent and policy all while out-thinking everyone else.
The pacing is excellent with a gradual buildup, leading to an almost non-stop, but unclear where this is headed ending. This time out Wells is not officially CIA, but has their crucial support. At the same time, Berenson throws in numerous plot twists as well as doing an excellent job of interjecting contradictory governmental aims. In addition, the geographical translocation to Africa is refreshing to see Wells out of his element, but still quite capable. Berenson appears ready to move Wells in new directions, both personally as well as operationally.
George Guidall's narration is simply outstanding as would be expected. His range of voices is breathtaking. His flow and tone perfectly match the mood of the story.
Alex Berenson is a seasoned reporter who has seen current combat theaters first hand - and transfers a lot of his experience through a "kick-butt" protagonist, John Wells. Wells' exploits are realistic - not supernatural - and his supporting cast should also keep a reader's interest while progressing through the seven books Berenson has written.
Furthermore, Berenson is a really good writer. He knows how to explain the undercurrents of America's fight against extremism - and weave the many details and subplots together to create an interesting, informative book.
Lastly, George Guidall brings this book to life with an excellent performance. I hope Berenson and Guidall continue with John Wells and cast.
I have read or listened to all the John Wells novels. I really like the character and have enjoyed every other Alex Berenson book. I struggled to finish this one, jumping out to listen to three other books before buckling down to finish this. Not because it's a good story but because I kept hoping something would happen to make it better. Truthfully the last hour is far superior, but getting there is a slog through muck and mire. I actually logged in to see if this was one of those "by famous author and some other guy you've never heard of" because it didn't read like Berenson, didn't move like Berenson and if you had never read any of his other books, could put you off the author completely. Feels like a contractual obligation, not a real effort.
This was not the action packed compelling story I was expecting from this writer or his character. I kept waiting for the story to take off. The book ended somewhat unexpectedly.
I would like to hear the reader expand his narrative accents and character range. Seems to have only two or three differing expressions
A little bit let down on this one. I have enjoyed reading or listening to each of his other John wells books
I really really like George Guidall as a narrator and the combination of his voice and intonations with Alex Berenson makes me very happy for as long as the book lasts. This book (The Night Ranger) situated in Africa (Kenya and Somalia) perhaps isn't as good as his books on the Middle East - but more than good enough and gives a credible feel for life in Africa, the warlords, the instability etc.
I'm running out of books from my favorite authors and discovered this book which I was pleasantly surprised to read. The plot is fairly straightforward and John Wells is the hero who is half detective, and full on kick ass commando. Not too many meaningless and unnecessary threads like some books. I wasn't into the John Wells is a Muslim thing, it just doesn't work and frankly feels pointless and preachy.
George Guidall is a pleasure to listen to. He could probably read a cook book and still keep it interesting, he's that good.
Overall it's excellent, but I just couldn't give it a full 5 stars. I would give it 4.5 stars if possible. I'm sort of conflicted over the issue because it's not nearly the best of the genre in my opinion, yet 4 stars doesn't quite do it justice either.
It would have been nice to hear about some reconciliation between Wells and his son after the mission. Then again I guess it doesn't really matter. Thankfully the whole hostage thing was handled nicely and the reader (me) didn't have to feel agonized and tortured like so many hostage situations in books and movies make you feel.
Bottom line, it's a great book and I will be listening to more in the series.
All of them. The narrator put a nice comical twist on some of their conversations.
He's one of the best.
Yes, if I knew that my friend was either a fan of military/suspense or open to reading different genres. This was just a great book overall; very well written. There was some human interest there with the young aid workers and a few scenes with John Wells that were a bit surprising. It was also pretty cool to see Wells operating out of his comfort zone, on different continent in very different setting.
And I guess that's a part of what makes men like John Wells so fun to read, they don't let the fear of the unknown hinder them. They are trained to operate on their own, trust their instincts, and react quickly to some really sticky situations that the average man would need a couple of days to figure out.
The first time Wells comes face to face with the hyenas in the hut where the four aid workers had been held. I've heard about how vicious hyenas are, but something about that scene really gave me a different perspective. It was pretty gruesome.
Things started to look really bleak after Wells has been in Africa a couple of days and, at one point, he began to feel a bit hopeless and decided to call some folk back home. He called his son and his son unexpectedly threw him a lifeline in the form hope. Hope that he was wanted to open the lines of communication between he and his father and possibly start rebuilding their relationship. I remember smiling and feeling a burst of happiness. Wells had been wanting that for so long. Now I'm looking forward to seeing how the relationship between father and son is repaired in the coming books.
This is a great series to read. John Wells is a complex, yet simple man. And this was my favorite book in the series.
Alex Berenson and narrator George Guidall combine for the best John Wells thriller so far.
Its filled with great characters. The least of which is Elliot Schaffer Well's friend and mentor at the CIA. He brings great comic relief to Berenson's dark plot.
Its not often that an author's 7th novel in a series is his best, but in this case it is.
George Guidall's narration is teriffic as usual. He is one of the best along with David Colacci.
If you are already a fan of these books, don't miss this one!!
I have listened to every book in this series and many more read by Mr. Guidall. I will try the next book from Mr. Berenson, though I wonder if John Wells is used up? I will definitely continue to listen to books read by Mr. Guidall, he is an exceptional talent and easy to listen to. Also, he makes very few mistakes in pronunciation or otherwise (I find these very distracting).
This story dragged along and lacked the importance of the previous books in this series. While before Wells was saving the world or at least major American cities from annihilation, now he is just trying to find a couple of punk kids sight-seeing in East Africa. I'm not speaking to Mr. Berenson's knowledge or reporting on the political or refugee situation in East Africa (I assumed that what was being portrayed was accurate) it just seemed unimportant.
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