The Ghost War (John Wells Series #2)

( 99 )

Overview

Deep cover CIA operative John Wells barely survived his homecoming when it was thought he'd become too close to the terrorists. Though his wounds have healed, his mind is far from clear. He needs to get back in the fight. And there is a fight waiting for him.

A power play in China is causing chaos around the globe. And even as Wells does what he does best, a mole within the CIA is preparing to light the final fuse that will propel an unsuspecting world toward open war and ...

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The Ghost War (John Wells Series #2)

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Overview

Deep cover CIA operative John Wells barely survived his homecoming when it was thought he'd become too close to the terrorists. Though his wounds have healed, his mind is far from clear. He needs to get back in the fight. And there is a fight waiting for him.

A power play in China is causing chaos around the globe. And even as Wells does what he does best, a mole within the CIA is preparing to light the final fuse that will propel an unsuspecting world toward open war and annihilation. And this time, there may be nothing John Wells can do to stop it...

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Last time out, Alex Berenson won the Edgar First Novel award with suspenseful The Faithful Spy. Now he and his CIA agent protagonist, John Wells, return with another devilishly riveting spy thriller. Wells has returned Stateside after the deeply traumatizing events of his near-total immersion in the inner sanctums of al-Qaeda. But his Washington sanctuary brings him no rest: Reports drift in from Afghanistan of a frightening surge in Taliban activity, fueled, it is believed, by an unidentified foreign power. Unable to sit on his hands by the Potomac as dangers fester, our covert op darts once again into the hornets' nest. Even he could not expect what would meet him there.
Robert D. Kaplan
In The Ghost War, the New York Times reporter Alex Berenson has fashioned a smart, economically written spy novel that imagines a future clash with the Chinese. As such, it's a novel for policy wonks, with a very sophisticated vision of how a conflict with China could come about, akin to the kind of war-gaming scenarios that occupy Washington strategists.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Having foiled an al-Qaeda plot targeting Times Square in 2006's The Faithful Spy(which won an Edgar Award for best first novel), maverick CIA agent John Wells confronts a very different threat in this pulse-pounding sequel from New York Timesreporter Berenson. When the CIA's efforts to extract Dr. Sung Kwan, a North Korean scientist and an invaluable source on Kim Jong Il's nuclear ambitions, result in the deaths of Kwan and the rescue team, Wells's significant other, Jennifer Exley, searches to identify the person in U.S. intelligence who compromised Kwan's security. Meanwhile, Wells returns to Afghanistan, the scene of much of the action in The Faithful Spy, to find out what outside country has been helping the Taliban reassert itself. While the mole hunt will be familiar to genre buffs and the characters and the perils they face aren't as nuanced as those in John le Carré or even David Ignatius, the author's plausible scenario distinguishes this from most spy thrillers. Author tour. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Having enjoyed an illustrious debut with the 2007 Edgar Award-winning The Faithful Spy, Berenson deploys CIA agent John Wells to defuse a cleverly triangulated scheme aimed at vaulting China to full status as a major world power. Ambitious General Li, hoping to aid hundreds of millions of struggling Chinese have-nots, launches plots in North Korea, England, and Afghanistan to consolidate his power in Beijing. Working with shards of evidence, Wells races to decode the plot just hours before the Li-choreographed war erupts. Especially effective as psychological studies of men under stress are the contrasting portrayals of CIA agent Wells, warts and all, with the CIA mole who shops the United States to General Li. Berenson marshals turncoats, the Taliban, and testosterone to produce a tautly paced, credible, and gripping scenario guaranteed to buttress Berenson's niche as one of the stars in the suspense firmament. For public library suspense collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ10/1/07.]
—Barbara Conaty

Kirkus Reviews
John Wells, who saved America's bacon in Berenson's The Faithful Spy (2006), returns, incompletely recovered from his Times Square showdown with Islamic terrorists. Tortured by the violence of his years as a double agent, Wells still craves action and excitement: He routinely rises from the bed he shares with comely intelligence agent Jennifer Exley for high-speed midnight rides on his huge motorcycle. Not to worry because real action is on the way. There's been a disaster off the coast of North Korea, where what was to have been the extraction of America's best intelligence source has gone completely wrong. All hands were lost when a bug planted on the rescued scientist put the rescue team squarely in the sights of a Korean submarine. How the scientist came to be bugged and why he was betrayed has everything to do with why Wells is recalled to service along with his lady friend. It is becoming clear that great international mischief is afoot, and Wells has the right combination of fluent Arabic and nearly superhuman strength to begin unraveling the anti-American plot, requiring the agent to fly to Afghanistan and join in a small deadly strike on hidden Taliban fighters. Numerous bodies bite the dust before Wells snares the Taliban's Russian consultants. Russians? Indeed. They are part of the machinery set in motion by General Li Ping, the only man at the top of the Chinese Communist party who is not on the take. Li's plan to bring about fair distribution of the new national wealth involves not only those Russians, but a mole at the CIA whose treachery has blinded the agency at the worst possible time. Terrific and relentless suspense and action in a reasonably credible plot. Agent:Heather Schroder/ICM
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780515145823
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/27/2009
  • Series: John Wells Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 146,479
  • Product dimensions: 4.28 (w) x 7.52 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Alex Berenson

As a former reporter for The New York Times, Alex Berenson covered topics ranging from the occupation of Iraq to the flooding of New Orleans to the financial crimes of Bernie Madoff. He lives in New York.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 99 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(44)

4 Star

(39)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 100 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Exactly what you would expect.

    Very good read. Was exactly what i expected. Not the best of the three John Wells books, but still entertaining.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Read

    If you like spy thrillers, or military thrillers this is a great book! If you like Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, Ted Bell, Tom Clancy, etc... you will like this author. This is the 2nd book in his John Wells series, and I immediately went and bought the 3rd boo (The silent man). The story line is a little repetitive but the action, and writing is great. I personally love this type of fiction. I read at work to kill the long hours and I finished this book in less then 48 hours, it is hard to put down, I had to force myself to leave it at work and not take it home LOL.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 22, 2014

    Good read!

    Very good thriller, A faithfull spy still #1, but do not miss this story if you are a John Wells fan!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2012

    #3

    I read all three... not bad..sometimes a little drawn out with unnecessary detail.... I all most lost the Decatur.... only to make me wonder if it was mentioned earlier....
    But still a good read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2011

    One Good Book

    I honestly don' t think the author could write a bad novel if he tried.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2011

    A good read

    I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that likes suspense novels. A couple twists and turns that I didn't expect which was nice. Whether real or fiction the book made you think of what might be happening with detainees, the military, and our government. It isn't always what it seems. We aren't perfect.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    not an edge of your seat book but still enjoyable

    The Ghost War is not a keep you in suspense nail biting thriller but it is still an enjoyable read. I don't care too much for John Wells, though, as the protagonist. There was just something off putting about him to me. I liked that this book contrasted the US with the Chinese; that was different. For lazy summer reading I say go for it especially at the bargain price.
    I do prefer most Vince Flynn novels though.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2011

    This is a suspenseful spy novel in the realm of the possible.

    This is one action packed spy novel. Listening to it from an audio book, I appreciated the reader's ability to go from one accent to another as characters in the book came from varied countries in the Far East and Russia, as well as the United States. This book is chock full of sub plots as evidenced by the fact that there are 10 cd's. If you are taking a long car ride, a road trip somewhere, this is the book to take. It will keep your mind jumping from the constant suspense and yet the plot is realistic; there are plausible possibilities that something like this could actually occur if diabolical minds were intent on causing world catastrophes with the ultimate goal of gaining more power. John Wells is the ultimate spymaster. Fearless and brave, he is nevertheless, an enigma. Will he prevent the crisis from bringing about a war or will he be the victim of his own courage and dedication to the cause of freedom. China is joining forces with Iran, helping them to attain nuclear power while using North Korea to incite an incident with the United States so that an unscrupulous minister in China can ascend to the top of his party and become, in his mind, even better than MAO. Although his motives are to supposedly to help advance the cause of the Chinese people, his arrogance about his own worth propels him forward and poisons his efforts. The Chinese spy network seems far superior to ours as does their powers of logic and deduction in a crisis. Even Russia is involved in this master plot, since they are represented immersed in the struggle for world domination, using North Korea and Iran to help China against the United States. Who will be the next superpower? Actually, the United States seems woefully underrepresented in the smarts department, in this book. They seem like bunglers, so impressed with their own success and power that they make foolish decisions that don't seem well thought out and therefore end in failure. Of course it is a novel, so the author can write it anyway he wishes and in the end, his hero will win out regardless of whether or not his skills are superior. As an audio book, to keep you awake and always guessing, this fills the bill. It is not rocket science, but it sure is entertaining.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2011

    Good, but not great.

    This was my first book from author Alex Berenson. I listen to audiobooks and read when I can. I would have enjoyed this book alot more if it weren't for all the history and military jargon that he inserted indepth. I can remember thinking "this is almost a history book and a small story is entangled in it." It got alot better towards the end-finally kept the storyline going. History is okay but you don't have to knock the issue to death and I feel as though he did that. I will try Silent Man and see if it will be better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Smart Spy Novel

    Book 2 in the John Wells series

    The follow up to "Faithful Spy" is a smart and captivating spy novel of tic and tack scenarios between rulers of two powerful nations vying for ultimate control and on the brink of war.

    The action moves quickly and the author triggers many different plots at the same time. It opens with an American destroyer accidentally ramming a Chinese trawler killing students on board and triggering strong nationalism and hatred towards the U.S. . Beijing quickly goes into crisis mode and its people are rallied into a state of mind where action overrides good judgement. Chinese authorities spurred by its people, take drastic measures further inflaming the situation. A power struggle ranging between the leadership of the Chinese military and the civilian wings adds even more volatility......

    Mr Berenson true to his style and with his clear writing , injects complexity and intrigue in his sub-plots by involving the Taliban, a North Korean spy and shady people willing to turn against their own for the right price. The action is very intense and is vividly portrayed using military jargon, at times distracting but adds flare and colour. The protagonist, John Wells is developing nicely into a super hero ready to do everything for his country. Many other supporting characters although not as loveable as John play an important part in this thriller.

    Mr Berenson , has the knack of being able to grab the attention the readers to the very last page through his highly captivating portrayal of events. I am sure the author has other exploits for John, and I am looking forward to them

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2010

    Great book and Enjoyable Read!

    This is only my second Berenson book and now I'm scrambling to find the other two in this series! He has great prose and fluid style. The plots aren't predictible and the characters are believable!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2010

    New author to me.

    Not bad and likely to be read again

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  • Posted May 6, 2010

    Twist and Turns

    Alex Bereson has a way of twisting and turning the plot that keeps the reader interested. The story has imagination and the charactors are interesting and become real as you read. When the book is finished you want for more. John Wells becomes a real person that you can't wait to see what other troubles he gets into and out of.
    Alex Bereson is a author I had never read before and I was glad I gave his novel a chance.

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

    Posted April 8, 2010

    Excellent quick read

    Highly addictive writing and excellent continuation of The Faithful Spy. Definite recommend for anyone who enjoys spy novels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Thriller

    Great book; great read.

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  • Posted April 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Review of "the Ghost War".

    The book was a enjoyable follow-up to "the Faithful Spy". I am glad the author tackled a dfferent group of villians this time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    GREAT STORY.

    GREAT. AS GOOD AS BRAD THOR AND VINCE FLYNN.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    Great Book

    Great book typical of this author. A fun read and very entertaining.

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  • Posted February 18, 2009

    Entertaining, thrilling with some real world lessons

    This was a compelling book. I read all the Vince Flynn books and this is somewhat similar but better in some ways because its seems a little more realistic with more international relevance, although it is a bit outdated. I ripped through most of it in a couple of days so appreciated its 500 page length.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2008

    A reviewer

    Ghost War's is a great second book by Alex Berensen. You can add him to the list of Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, Dale Brown, Lee Child, Tom Clancy and W. Griffin's Presidential Series as great thrillers.

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