Customer Reviews for

The Faithful Spy (John Wells Series #1)

Average Rating 4
( 160 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(63)

4 Star

(65)

3 Star

(22)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(6)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Very Addictive

Book 1 in the John Wells series

Mr Berenson's first novel paints a believable, frightening and chilling scenario of how Al-Qaeda might launch a major attack inside America.

The story is about John Wells, an undercover CIA agent, who has been in Afghanistan for ma...
Book 1 in the John Wells series

Mr Berenson's first novel paints a believable, frightening and chilling scenario of how Al-Qaeda might launch a major attack inside America.

The story is about John Wells, an undercover CIA agent, who has been in Afghanistan for many years, his mission was to infiltrate al-Qaeda and gain their trust. He eventually converted to Islam and took the name Jalal and became one of them, so convincingly that his CIA handlers feared he may have crossed the line and become a double agent, a nightmare in the making.

The suspense builds when al-Qaeda mastermind Omar Khadri orders John to return to the USA and await further orders.
The story chronicles a chilling and frightening return. His handler and other CIA agents are faced with the task of demystifying John's true intentions and they need to make a decision on whether to pull the plug or let him run.

The author has written a novel that is very unsettling and engrossing. The theme is multilayered, chocked full of possibilities and probabilities, peppered with graphic and daring scenarios.
Excellent characterization has created a fast moving thriller giving a sophisticated view into an unusual kind of warfare.

Alex Berenson first novel is remarkably well done and addictive, I am looking forward to reading the other novels in this series.

posted by Tigerpaw70 on August 14, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Run of the mill thriller

This book belongs to the new generation of fiction spy novel contemporary authors whose sign of the times is the post 9/11 era where a new global confrontation is taken place, the up keeping of the western way of life whose watchdog is the US, and the emerging threat of...
This book belongs to the new generation of fiction spy novel contemporary authors whose sign of the times is the post 9/11 era where a new global confrontation is taken place, the up keeping of the western way of life whose watchdog is the US, and the emerging threat of the fundamentalist islamist zealots whose operatives are trained, funded and commanded by Bin Laden's Al Qaeda

The first half of the book is basically dedicated to the shaping of the main character John Wells, a US CIA agent of Arab background, who penetrated Al Qaeda and is sent back to the US by Al Qaeda goons in a not yet told lethal mission, and the setting of the scenarios, portraying some actions and skirmishes between the US army deployed in Afghanistan and the terrorists ending with the capture and forced interrogation of a key Al Qaeda operative, whose revelations will have implications for John Wells mission in the US.

On the second half, which is more engaging, the plot takes shape, John Wells is back in the US and one wonders whose side is he playing for, has he flipped ?, Herein the author could have exhibit his real knowledge of the subject but did not, normally in this type of themes what readers expect is to make enlightening discoveries out of an inside story of Al Qaeda operations in the US, to learn something new in particular, and even though what is being told might be true, it is done within the framework of an ordinary conception of a fiction spy novel with thrilling action packed suspense, our typical hero, a dumb romantic on the sidelines story, other dull fictional secondary characters, (a name and a position in the CIA sufficed) and a growing tension until a resolution in a feeble ending, but there was not much background research particularly in terms of how the CIA intelligence operates how the villain Al Qaeda operatives move around, basically what is told is what one can read in the newspapers.

posted by manugw on October 14, 2011

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 162 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 9
  • Posted August 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Very Addictive

    Book 1 in the John Wells series

    Mr Berenson's first novel paints a believable, frightening and chilling scenario of how Al-Qaeda might launch a major attack inside America.

    The story is about John Wells, an undercover CIA agent, who has been in Afghanistan for many years, his mission was to infiltrate al-Qaeda and gain their trust. He eventually converted to Islam and took the name Jalal and became one of them, so convincingly that his CIA handlers feared he may have crossed the line and become a double agent, a nightmare in the making.

    The suspense builds when al-Qaeda mastermind Omar Khadri orders John to return to the USA and await further orders.
    The story chronicles a chilling and frightening return. His handler and other CIA agents are faced with the task of demystifying John's true intentions and they need to make a decision on whether to pull the plug or let him run.

    The author has written a novel that is very unsettling and engrossing. The theme is multilayered, chocked full of possibilities and probabilities, peppered with graphic and daring scenarios.
    Excellent characterization has created a fast moving thriller giving a sophisticated view into an unusual kind of warfare.

    Alex Berenson first novel is remarkably well done and addictive, I am looking forward to reading the other novels in this series.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A tense thriller...

    The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson is outstanding. The book hooked me from the start, I was turning pages as fast as I could until the end. The book tackles issues on the war on terrorism, which engages the reader since that is the world that we live in. This book is very readable, anyone who enjoys a good action story should take a chance on this one. A+ for The Faithful Spy, and I will be reading the follow-up The Ghost War as soon as I can.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2006

    Excellent espionage thriller

    Former American college football player, CIA operative John Wells infiltrates al-Qaeda. He proves invaluable to the organization in Afghanistan and works his way through the concentric circles until he attains the most inner most circle enabling him to meet with Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri. However, a side effect on the undercover intelligence officer is that he has become a devoted Muslim. --- Now al-Qaeda leader Khadri sends him home to bring the war to the west by setting in motion the steps needed to explode a dirty bomb in New York. The CIA has doubts about the loyalty of their rogue agent that is everyone except his prime handler Jennifer Exley. However, suspicion grows when two bombs kill three hundred in Los Angeles leaving the CIA leadership to wonder if he turned, seduced Exley to join him, and what is his real objective? --- This is one of the best post 9-11 espionage thrillers on the market today as Alex Berenson makes the ¿bad guys¿ understandable and intelligent instead of some boorish cartoon caricature Muslim fundamentalists know the west and how to play their enemy. Wells is a fabulous central figure as everyone including the audience wonders whose side is he on. Readers will want to know so set aside some time for a superb the spy comes home from the cold. --- Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2006

    Hard to put down

    This is a debut novel, a well-researched thriller. Wells is the spy no one trusts not the CIA who had him become al Qaeda, not al Qaeda, because he's American. He¿s undercover for 10 years, much of that time with no contact with his handlers or any other Americans. I could barely put it down.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2006

    Exciting Read

    Alex Berenson's first novel is excellent, well written, fast moving, and so exciting at times my heart was pounding. I highly recommend this book and I can't imagine how anyone could not thoroughly enjoy reading it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    TOTALLY ENGROSSING NARRATIVE

    How's this for a scenario? A man, John Wells has given up all he loved - his wife, child, and his parents to become the only American CIA agent to infiltrate Osama bin Laden's terrorist network. He did this before 9/11 and has endured years of privation, living on a dreary, cold plateau in Pakistan. Constantly on guard, he has continually convinced other followers of bin Laden that he is, indeed, a traitor and has become a Muslim. This sacrifice has been made in an effort to destroy the terrorist network. To date that has not been accomplished. Now, he learns there are plans for more attacks on the United States, assaults even more terrifying than the carnage at the World Trade Center. So, Wells must return home. However, when he appears at Langley, CIA officials have doubts. Can he really be trusted or has he become a turncoat in the intervening years? One person believes in him and that is Jennifer Exley. It soon becomes clear that they alone must stop al Qaeda from carrying out 2 heinous plan. Terrifying? Yes. Far too close to what might be the truth for comfort as Berenson, a reporter for The New York Times well knows. John Heffernan, known as the official voice of the NHL and NFL network, gives a compact, deliberate, totally engrossing reading. His avoidance of any dramatics renders his narrative all the more powerful. - Gail Cooke

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2006

    Outstanding thriller!

    In my opinion, I think Alex Berenson represents a talented, refreshing new voice in fiction. His debut novel is suspensful, well-written, and goes to the heart of the American psyche that makes one re-evaluate our consumer-driven egotistical lifestyle. Few people stop to consider the mindset of the less-than-fanatical Iraquis though most of his characters are overly zealous terrorists, but there is an underlying sympathy for your average foot soldier on 'the other side' that makes the reader stop and think. This is definitely a thought-provoking psychological treatise on the War in Iraq that is entertaining, enthralling, unique and an absolute must read! Lynne Logan, Author of The Crime Chronicles of Decker Zane

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2006

    chillingly realistic

    This book was really in your face about terrorism and the inside man. John Wells is an amazingly relatable character, you find yourself liking him right off the bat. The terrifying portrayal of our government's corrupted, bureaucratic, and selfish ways of going about running our country is unfortunately true to life. It really makes you mad at these people. This book also shows you the other side of the fight--inside the enemies camps. It opens you up to realize that they are not all terrible people bent on terrorism. Some are, and some are merely doing what they believe is right, just as every American does. Highly reccommended to anyone who's anyone.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2014

    Drinking From These Wells Will Be Satisfying

    Alex Berenson's John Wells is a character with skills very much in the mold of Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp. But Wells is far more complicated and conflicted than Rapp, with a depth of character more like Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon. I love Mitch Rapp and selfishly mourn Vince Flynn and the Rapp novels, but John Wells is a more than worthy successor to fill the void. As with Rapp and Allon, the Wells series is best read in chronological order to fully savor the character's growth and history. Guaranteed to satisfy.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2013

    The fight against Taliban

    This story is a wonderful modern spy fiction about a man that will sacrifice everything for the USA and he fights terrorist

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    A must read for those who do not believe the US has active enemies at work constantly!

    Terrkfic iinsight of how thingsmight be without our dedicated men and women on watch every hour of every day!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2012

    Great book!!!

    Nuff said!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

    Great book

    Really enjoyed and have purchased the second in the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 23, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    I thoroughly enjoyed The Faithful Spy. I have enjoyed reading all of Alex Berenson's
    books. Reading the first John Wells Series was especially intriguing.
    Flajayhawk1

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

    Great story

    I really enjoyed this book! The story was believable and just the right amount of suspense! I had a hard time putting it down!! I had to keep telling myself it wasnt a true story. If this is the authors first book then I cant wait to read more from him in the future!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 23, 2012

    Great Beginning to a Series

    It took me a little while to really get into this book but once I did - I had a hard time putting it down. The end left me wanting more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 9, 2012

    Page Turner

    First in the series. Action packed with good plot development. I plan to read them all.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 7, 2012

    A great story

    Is one of thouse book you wouldn't want to let aside, until you finish it! I read it in two days, because I didn't want to stop!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 14, 2011

    Run of the mill thriller

    This book belongs to the new generation of fiction spy novel contemporary authors whose sign of the times is the post 9/11 era where a new global confrontation is taken place, the up keeping of the western way of life whose watchdog is the US, and the emerging threat of the fundamentalist islamist zealots whose operatives are trained, funded and commanded by Bin Laden's Al Qaeda

    The first half of the book is basically dedicated to the shaping of the main character John Wells, a US CIA agent of Arab background, who penetrated Al Qaeda and is sent back to the US by Al Qaeda goons in a not yet told lethal mission, and the setting of the scenarios, portraying some actions and skirmishes between the US army deployed in Afghanistan and the terrorists ending with the capture and forced interrogation of a key Al Qaeda operative, whose revelations will have implications for John Wells mission in the US.

    On the second half, which is more engaging, the plot takes shape, John Wells is back in the US and one wonders whose side is he playing for, has he flipped ?, Herein the author could have exhibit his real knowledge of the subject but did not, normally in this type of themes what readers expect is to make enlightening discoveries out of an inside story of Al Qaeda operations in the US, to learn something new in particular, and even though what is being told might be true, it is done within the framework of an ordinary conception of a fiction spy novel with thrilling action packed suspense, our typical hero, a dumb romantic on the sidelines story, other dull fictional secondary characters, (a name and a position in the CIA sufficed) and a growing tension until a resolution in a feeble ending, but there was not much background research particularly in terms of how the CIA intelligence operates how the villain Al Qaeda operatives move around, basically what is told is what one can read in the newspapers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 23, 2011

    A Faithful Thrill!

    Alex Berenson does not disappoint in his debut novel, The Faithful Spy, published in 2008. Appearing on the New York Times bestseller list, The Faithful Spy takes you on an intriguing thrill ride. The protagonist John Wells is the first CIA operative to ever infiltrate al-Qaeda. For the last ten years, he has worked his way into the depths of the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world. After being helpless to stop the events of September 11, Wells jumps on the chance to return to America. However, Wells does not return to open arms and soon realizes the United States have changed greatly while he was gone. At the same time, al-Qaeda is planning something big and Wells needs to find out what before it's too late.
    The major themes in the novel are identity, fervor/passion, and human relationships. Throughout the novel, Wells struggles to understand who he is or wants to be. For ten years he had to pretend to be a fictional character of his own creation. Eventually the two personalities intertwined. Wells grows accustomed to and even comes to prefer some Middle Eastern customs. He converts to the Islam religion and realizes he can never return to his life before joining the agency. His wife has remarried and his nine year old son does not even know that he exists. His mom, Well's last living relative passed away while he was in the Northern Frontier of Afghanistan. Fervor and extreme passion is portrayed by the extremist of al-Qaeda who believe so strongly in their work that they are willing to end their lives in the process of killing Americans. Berenson also makes commentary on how human relationships work. For example, Wells earns the trust of almost every al-Qaeda except Khadri. Khadri's distrust is a direct result of where Wells comes from and the color of his skin. Also, Wells and Exley have an almost immediate bond. The foundation of their bond lies in their common traits. Both are entering the hump between young and old. Both are lonely and feel dissatisfied with their social lives. In addition, both are isolated from the public, because of their careers as CIA operatives.
    The Faithful Spy is a very well written book. It is entertaining, thought provoking, and interesting. Berenson intertwines fact with fiction to give people a new perspective on terrorist organizations. Exaggerated situations make for a captivating read. Some people may not like this book for the controversial content of terrorist attacks and al-Qaeda. Other recommended works by Berenson continue the story of John Wells, The Ghost War, The Silent Man, The Midnight House, and The Secret Soldier. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 162 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 9