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.
Enjoyed the first book but once I saw George Guidall was narrating the rest in the John Wells series I quickly ordered it. Nothing against the narrato..Show More »r in the first book but Guidall really adds a new dimension of pleasure in listening to The Ghost War. The story was great, sort of reminds me of the Mitch Rapp series which is my all-time espionage/thriller series. Looking forward to continuing the series and seeing how the characters evolve.
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.
There are plenty of good guy American vs Islamist terrorist books out. This one has a fairly unbelievable plot with a few holes but I still found it ..Show More »good for its entertainment value. Thrillers like this are just plain fun to listen to. If you enjoy Tom Clancy, Brad Thor, Vince Flynn, you will likely enjoy this author. The action is pretty much non-stop so you won't want to put it down. Enjoy!
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.
If you love thrillers, than you have probably already discovered Alex Berenson’s John Wells series, and you already know Well’s backstory. If not, I ..Show More »recommend that you start at the beginning of this series, with “The Faithful Spy,” and, ideally, listen to all the prior episodes in this series before beginning “The Prisoner.” Otherwise, this audiobook might seem to move a bit quickly.
Like most thrillers, “The Prisoner” tells a fantastic story involving a super-human protagonist in an impossible situation. Berenson enriches this recipe with his encyclopedic knowledge of history, government, geo-politics, current events, and geography. He seasons the pot with more than a dash of cynicism and good writing skills. All his descriptions of locales — which, by the way, span the globe in this series — convey spot-on detail and accuracy, conjuring up a vivid movie in the listener’s mind’s eye.
In “The Prisoner,” we get to know the identity of the CIA mole almost from the beginning of the story, while John Wells and Ellis Shafer must struggle against the clock for the rest of the book, trying to track the traitor down. Berenson gives us some understanding of the mole’s motives for betraying his country — if not for his methods — by describing the horrors that he witnessed the CIA perpetrating in Iraq and Afghanistan. (“Buy off anyone who is for sale, and kill the rest.”) We also get disturbingly vivid descriptions of the even worse horrors that the Islamist jihadists are perpetrating on those who hold opinions or ideologies that differ from their own. (We can clearly see the source of Berenson’s cynicism.)
As always, masterful George Guidall delivers an excellent performance of “The Prisoner,” with his beautiful, mature voice, perfect timing, and subtle inflections.