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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 (4655 )
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4.3 (3169 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Lia Sutton, Australia 07-09-17
    Lia Sutton, Australia 07-09-17 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4274
    RATINGS
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    684
    618
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    564
    31
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable New Series"

    I just heard the fifth book came out so I decided I had better get on board and start listening with this one.
    Immediately the book draws you into the story wanting to see what happens to characters you don't even know yet. John Wells is so deep undercover neither side in the War on Terror trusts him.
    Berenson quickly establishes Wells' isolation and drive. He's sent back into the US by al qaeda's #2, zawahiri, with an unknown objective.
    I found it very interesting to see America through Wells' eyes after he's been in Afghanistan and Pakistan for several years as the extravagant wealth assaults his senses. He struggles to be trusted by the CIA, who believe he may have turned, and isn't trusted by his al qaeda contacts inside the country. I found myself moving through the pages eagerly to find out if Wells ever gets the upper hand and stops the terrorists.
    I was glad to see that the book's resolution doesn't miraculously end the War on Terror or destroy al qaedea or any pie-in-the-sky wrap up like that. My only issues was that the book ended very abruptly however I still enjoyed listening to this book very much and am planning on continuing in the series very soon.

    Robertson Dean was excellent with the delivery of the story

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie Fayman 03-25-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
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    106
    41
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    "The worst listen I've had in a long time"

    Lifeless narration. Sophomoric and predictable writing. I really don't understand where all the positive reviews came from. For me, this book was an ordeal to be suffered through. Praise be to Allah that it's finally over!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sumner Stewartmagee 03-22-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    84
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    "Excellent"

    I could feel Pakistan smell it and taste it good plot good action real characters and an eexcellent understanding of the CIA
    Sumner

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wound nurse 143 03-19-16 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    32
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    "realistic, patriotic glimpse of our brave"

    it was a story that provides an insight into what some of our brave military have endured to collect information and keep us safe. felt like I was educated and entertained at the same time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bag Lady 03-18-16
    Bag Lady 03-18-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    34
    7
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    "A balanced story about the war on terror"

    Story is enthralling and the characters are real. What makes it hard to listen to is the obvious lack of any attempt by the narrator to pronounce the Arabic phrases with any accuracy at all.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christian Matthaeus 09-05-17 Member Since 2016
    RATINGS
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    1
    1
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    Story
    "Good story, let down at the end but worthwhile overall."

    The ending was a bit of a let down but I enjoyed the buildup and suspense of the story. Very well read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce Eichenberg 08-15-17 Member Since 2015
    RATINGS
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    16
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    "The Faithful Spy by A lex Berenson"

    MOST TIMELY - MOST
    ABSORBING -!Mr. Berenson captures the
    very ESSENCE of the CLIMATE of TODAY'S
    VICISSITUDES OF TIME AND CAPRICES OF
    MEN. HIGH PRAISE. Joyce N. Eichenberg


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ann auerbach 08-11-17 Member Since 2011
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    8
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "kept my interest all through. super narration"

    enjoyed this story. excellent narration. a touch of love and romance in it. lightens heavy topic. did not realize it goes back 10+ years!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DV 06-28-17
    DV 06-28-17
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    168
    3
    Overall
    "Alex Berenson is without a doubt one of America's great writers. The Faithful Spy is just one of his great acomplishments. "

    Anyone who enjoys page turning stay awake thrillers would do well to read this book and all the others from his long list of acomplishments.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 05-28-17
    John 05-28-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    29
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    Performance
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    "Another conversion theme?"

    It was disappointing and dispiriting to realize this otherwise heroic character went down the politically correct path of conversion to Islam. How about a hero who holds to his / her judeo-christian values? You know, the values our country was built on. The country this character sacrifices so much to defend.

    0 of 0 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
  • Jane
    6/23/17
    Overall
    "Very Enjoyable"

    I really enjoyed this book and it was very different from the usual genre I listen too. I would highly recommend a listen. It's a shame that not all of the John Wells series is available on audible.

    0 of 0 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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