I have read two previous John Wells’ thrillers, #2 and #5 in the series. Now I understand the series a whole lot better having just read #1, The Faithful Spy by New York Times writer Alex Berenson. I advise reading this series in proper sequence because there are events and relationships that are confusing if you do not. Berenson’s books are well-written page turners. Read them!
I am not sure if there is another series of spy thrillers that feature an American-born C.I.A. agent who converts to Islam and then infiltrates Al Qaeda. But Berenson’s protagonist, John Wells, does just that. And he joins Al Qaeda and fights for them in Afghanistan. After years in deep cover, Wells is given an assignment by the terror group that will take him back to the United States for the first time in 10 years. To start his new “job” he has to shave, cut his hair and return to “Western” garb for the first time in all those years. To say John is conflicted is an understatement of his feelings.
To make matters worse, the C.I.A. doesn’t trust him. His wife has divorced him, remarried, and forbids him to see their son. And his beloved mother has died. He also falls in lust with his handler at the Agency (he’s been celibate for a long time!). Al Qaeda doesn’t trust him totally either. After all, he is an American. He does not know his assignment for the terrorists, and it does unfold very slowly so he has nothing to report to the C.I.A. His journey takes him from Afghanistan to Montana (his home), Montreal/Quebec City in Canada, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and the New York City. The body count mounts as John gets closer to the truth.
GO! BUY! READ!
–Jim Harris, retired book sales rep
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