Very good book, in the post 911 anti-terrorist genre. I am really into spy novels, and I am glad I found Alex Bereson. I have exhausted classic mast..Show More »er such as John Le Carre, and read through all of Daniel Silva's books. Berenson's is pretty close. For the female spy novel fans, there is just enough romance and internal character emotional struggle to make it not 100% macho.
I read the first Berenson in the John Wells series and it was a great read. As always though Guidall is the best and really brings alive the characte..Show More »rs. Have to say whenever Guidall is Narrating its always worth the listen!!
This is generic super agent fare written competently but with little imagination. You do not have to have read any of the previous stories in the ser..Show More »ies to recognize and understand the recurring characters; you have met them in a score of other books in the same genre. The situation and development of the plot are also familiar.
There is nothing unpleasant about spending a few hours with this book, but it is never going to shock, touch, or fascinate you, nor will it likely keep you in the car for an extra five minutes because you just can't bear to turn it off. It has been a while since I read a really gripping thriller and I was looking for one. This was not it.
When Audible put all Alex Berenson's John Wells series espionage thrillers on sale for $4.95 it gave me the opportunity to buy at a low price the 2 of..Show More » the 9 books I did not have. All of the John Wells series are 4 star or better. Midnight House is no exception. Wells, an ex-Army Ranger and ex-CIA agent, is also a (marginal) Muslim. He is one of the more interesting of the espionage thriller protagonists.
George Guidall narrates as usual and he does a great job.
....will be released in 6 weeks so I am writing a review of one of the earlier books in the series. Alex Berenson is not among the top tier of espion..Show More »age thriller writers, but his Wells novels are consistently 4 star or better. This series is unique in that John Wells is a Muslim and a CIA agent deeply involved in the war on terror. Do not compare Alex Berenson to the great Vince Flynn or even to Ben Coes or Mark Greaney because he is simply not at their level, but his books are entertaining. Comparisons to the John Rain series by Barry Eisler and the Jericho Quinn series by Marc Cameron are more apt. The fabulous George Guidall narrates and he always makes a novel better.
Although this is book 5 from a series, it stands alone with a fabulous storyline and great characters. As the publishers summary intimates this story ..Show More »is set in the middle east and provide a fascinating insight to life in the region.
I mention in the heading 'frightening', I guess I was thinking about this from two perspectives, how oppressed life can be there, but also how easily things can get out of hand if we were to allow that to happen.
So a great story narrated by one of the best, George Guidall makes for a fantastic package.
A warning first, this is a series with a lead character who is developed more in each novel. John Wells is flawed, complicated and you need to start ..Show More »from the beginning. The author does not waste pages and pages (hours and hours as you listen) repeating his character development and the events that have shaped who he is now.
That said, I downloaded this book the day it was released. I started reading Peterson's books as a result of a recommendation from other authors I had read -- Vince Flynn, David Baldacci, Brad Thor. I haven't stopped since. The stories are well-written. The characters are not cookie cutter Good Guys and Bad Guys. You root for Wells and his mission, but you understand why his life is so full of shades of grey.
In this most recent novel, Wells is tasked to finding the source and purpose of drug dealers within the American military in Afghanistan. Are these men just acting for profit? Is there a mole in the CIA (for whom Wells privately works on occasion)? Is there more to these dealings than just greed? The story flows beautifully and Wells continues to work on his own growth as an individual. Great way to escape for a few hours.
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..Show More » 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.
The hero of Berenson’s captivating John Wells series may be the most under-appreciated man on earth. Working as an deep-cover C.I.A. agent — and, lat..Show More »er, as an independent contractor — John Wells risks life and limb nearly every day of his life, accomplishing practically super-human feats of bravery and courage to save the world over and over again. Does he come home to a hero’s welcome? On the contrary: Half the time he returns to reprisals for having exposed somebody’s political butt. With John Wells, Berenson has created an unusual protagonist: Working undercover inside Al Qaeda for ten years in Afghanistan, speaking fluent Arabic, John Wells embraced Islam as his own religion, while rejecting the jihadist mentality. A quote from “Twelve Days” expresses his ambivalence about his faith:
“[Wells] didn’t believe for a minute that Mohammed had received messages straight from Allah, yet he sometimes sensed divine inspiration in the text … But contradictions and digressions filled the Koran’s lesser chapters — verses that sounded sweet in Arabic, but could barely be translated into any other language. Only a truly confident god would allow such malarky in his revealed word: ‘I command you to believe, no matter what I say!’.”
Throughout the John Wells series, we see a strange, symbiotic, love/hate mélange-à-trois developing between three of the main characters: Wells, the doer; Ellis Shafer, the Thinker; and Vinnie Duto, the Networker. Between the three of them, they always manage to accomplish what none of them could do alone … even though they don’t always like each other very much! This “holy trinity” solidifies in “Twelve Days,” which picks up one day after where “The Counterfeit Agent” left off. Although Berenson does briefly summarize the back-story from “The Counterfeit Agent” at the beginning of “Twelve Days” — via flashbacks and conversations — I highly recommend that you listen to “The Counterfeit Agent” before you listen to “Twelve Days,” as the two really constitute one novel. In fact, I strongly suggest that you start at the beginning of the series — with “The Faithful Spy,” an Edgar-Award-winning hum-dinger, by the way — and listen to the entire series in sequence. If you love thrillers, you won’t regret springing for this series! Typically, the end of “Twelve Days” sets us up for the next installment, which has not yet been published, as of this writing. I can’t wait!
I count Alex Berenson high among my Favorite Authors (The list also includes Michael Connelly, Lee Childs, Elizabeth Peters, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, to name just a few.), and I always look forward to the next John Wells adventure. I admire Alex Berenson for both his excellent writing-and-plotting skills and his extensive knowledge of current geo-political events. Berenson knows what is going on behind the headlines — as well he might, having studied history and economics at Yale, then having worked for fourteen years as a political correspondent and investigative reporter. This knowledge lends his novels a level of verisimilitude that makes them shine among thrillers. Narrator George Guidall, as always, does a fine job performing “Twelve Days.” Although Guidall lacks the skill with accents that might have enhanced this performance — “Twelve Days” could have benefited from a good Russian accent and a good South African accent — Guidall has the professional sense to not attempt bad accents; but, rather, distinguish characters with a variety of voices — which skill he does have. “Twelve Days” gives us an excellent audiobook, well-performed.
I got hooked on John Wells after the first book. The author has taken the time to create a full character instead of an action hero. While Wells loves..Show More » his country deeply, he knows the things she asked of him having taken a huge toll on him. Wells takes the time to consider the emotional impact of his actions, but he also has developed the capacity to stuff his feelings into a compartment and move forward with his job when necessary. As Wells has matured over the series, I love that he now trust his own judgment and moral compass to take action, instead of following the lead of his mentor or even the presiding president. Good for him. I won't rehash the story line, its covered in the book summary. Not entirely plausible but then it is called fiction for a reason.
The Prisoner is the 11th novel in Alex Berenson's John Wells espionage series. Earlier books in the series have dealt to a limited degree with Wells'..Show More » personal life (specifically his ex-wife and his teenage son and his on and off conversion to Islam), but in this one for two years Wells becomes thoroughly domesticated with essentially a common law wife and their newborn daughter as he becomes a full time dad. He and his "wife" are even discussing making their daughter a little brother. But then his old CIA handler Ellis Shafer calls saying his country needs him for a job only he can do (Wells is fluent in Arabic and has physical features that appear to be Arabic). And the new president replacing Barack Obama is is an old CIA Director Vinny Duto with whom Shafer and Wells have bad relationships.
Earlier in his career Wells went undercover as an al Qaeda operative for a long period. He takes that name again and attempts to join ISIS in Afghanistan. There is known to be an ISIS mole in the CIA but his identity is unknown. The plan is for Wells to get arrested and sent to a secret Bulgarian prison which is also a CIA black site. Wells becomes the prisoner in the title.
The Prisoner has lots of ISIS terrorist activities including the planned use of sarin nerve agent for an attack at a state funeral in France where many foreign leaders are present. But what is different about this novel is the portrayal of the more human side of John Wells. Action and suspense are present in large amounts. Narration is by George Guidall as usual and it is stellar. The Prisoner has my highest recommendation.