The Silent Man (John Wells Series #3)

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Overview

"It's been a rough few years for CIA agent John Wells. The undercover work in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the attack on the United States, the Chinese plot that could have led to war. Wells is exhausted, and his nights filled with disturbing dreams. But he knows he has no time for that. He has made many enemies, and the world won't stay quiet for long." "Nevertheless, Wells is not prepared for what is about to happen. He and his colleague - and fiancee - Jennifer Exley are driving into work when traffic comes to a standstill, due to accidents on
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The Silent Man (John Wells Series #3)

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Overview

"It's been a rough few years for CIA agent John Wells. The undercover work in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the attack on the United States, the Chinese plot that could have led to war. Wells is exhausted, and his nights filled with disturbing dreams. But he knows he has no time for that. He has made many enemies, and the world won't stay quiet for long." "Nevertheless, Wells is not prepared for what is about to happen. He and his colleague - and fiancee - Jennifer Exley are driving into work when traffic comes to a standstill, due to accidents on both bridges into Washington. A pretty big coincidence, he thinks, beginning to get a bad feeling - a feeling that only gets worse when he spots the red motorcycle zooming up between cars toward him. Before the day is over, several people will be dead or severely injured, Exley among them, and Wells will be a man possessed." The attackers are Russian, and it is to Russia that Wells must follow the trail. He finds what he's looking for - but also a great deal more. A plan of almost unimaginable consequences is in motion, and Wells has no idea if he has discovered it in time. The last few years have been rough indeed, but the next few weeks will be much, much worse.
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Editorial Reviews

Richard Lourie
A novel can, and should, do many things, but a thriller need do only one. If it thrills, it succeeds, and if it does not, no matter how well it does everything else, it fails. Alex Berenson's third novel, The Silent Man, succeeds in seizing the attention from the start and never letting go until the end.
—The New York Times
Patrick Anderson
Berenson…tells his story expertly. He has a sharp eye for detail, a good understanding of the "tradecraft" of the spy world and a talent for vivid writing…He squeezes every drop of suspense out of the approaching nuclear holocaust. Or at least as much as he can, given that we know John Wells is on the case.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

Former Edgar Award-winner Berenson returns with another top-notch spy thriller that is as realistic and unnerving as anything in the genre today. After his fiancée and partner is severely injured in an attack, CIA agent John Wells tours the world in search of revenge. With a cast of international characters, narrator George Guidall has a tough task on his tongue-luckily, he comes through with a rousing performance that captures the dialogue with ease and holds listeners' attention from start to finish. Guidall's tone is gritty, dry and speckled with an underlying sense of realism that makes this story all the more frightening. A Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Dec. 15). (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Edgar Award winner Berenson's third John Wells thriller—following The Faithful Spy(2007) and The Ghost War(2008), both also available from Recorded Books and Penguin Audio—finds the tormented CIA agent continuing his pursuit of his elusive enemy, arms dealer Pierre Kowalski, at the same time that two atomic bombs are stolen by jihadists. While Audie Award winner George Guidall (I Know This Much Is True) is one of the giants of the audiobook narrating industry, his folksy modulations might be more appropriate for less hectically paced material. The differences among his various accents are also less pronounced than they perhaps ought to be. Nevertheless, this one's engrossing. [Audio clip available through us.penguingroup.com; the Putnam hc was described as a "swift and gripping read," LJXpress review 2/3/09.—Ed.]—Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. Lib.


—Michael Adams
Kirkus Reviews
CIA superagent John Wells (The Ghost War, 2008, etc.) returns in another well-crafted thriller. When his people botch a hit on Wells, ruthless international weapons dealer Pierre Kowalski knows he needs to think fast of something valuable to trade for his skin. Wells isn't one to let something like this slide, especially since his fiancee Jennifer Exley was caught in the crossfire. In exchange for a truce, Kowalski decides to let Wells in on a rumor that's been making the rounds lately, something about an unspecified quantity of highly enriched uranium that the Russians seem to have lost. Wells, who already has had some considerable success when it comes to saving the country from grave national threats, takes the bait. Soon he and the rest of the federal government are scrambling to find out who has the uranium, how much they have and what they're planning on doing with it. You could arch your eyebrows at the hero's God-like hand-to-hand combat abilities, or the circumstances that conspire to place the same agent between the United States and total ruin more than once in the span of a few short years. It might be considered overkill that Wells is lustily ogled by every female in the book, from the supermodel to the tanning-booth attendant. And low groans are definitely in order for the tenuous clue that leads him to the book's climactic conclusion. But please groan quietly, so as not to spoil everyone's fun. Berenson earns his reader's suspension of disbelief with a relentless plot and many expertly wrought white-knuckle thrills along the way. Action-packed, thrilling and just credible enough. Author appearances in New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780091931087
  • Publisher: Hutchinson Radius
  • Publication date: 6/28/2009
  • Series: John Wells Series, #3

Meet the Author

Alex Berenson

As a reporter for The New York Times, Alex Berenson has covered topics ranging from the occupation of Iraq to the flooding of New Orleans to the financial crimes of Bernie Madoff. His previous novels include The Faithful Spy, winner of the 2007 Edgar Award, and The Ghost War. He lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 85 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(25)

4 Star

(34)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 86 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 13, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Alex Berenson continues to deliver top rate realistic tales on a par with Le Carre and Silva.

    In the DC area CIA Agents John Wells and Jennifer Exley are driving to work when traffic comes to a standstill because of accidents on twoe bridge. John thinks it is too much of a happenstance and quickly is proven right when three assassins on motorcycles start shooting at them. They kill their attackers, but Exley is critically wounded in the crossfire. When he knows she will live, John goes to Russia to obtain proof that arms dealer Pierre Kowalski put out the hit on him for embarrassing him and marking his face in a duel years ago.<BR/><BR/>The mission fails but Kowalski is deathly afraid that Wells will come after him. In Russia, two nuclear warheads are stolen from the secure Facility in Ozersk and placed on board a freighter heading to Canada where Jihadists wait for the arrival to drive them into the States. They intend to nuke DC on Inauguration Day led by Sayyid Nadiji whose family was killed during the Iraq War and occupation. Kowalski is asked to deliver beryllium to give to a third party who will supply it to those targeting Washington. He tells Wells to maintain the peace between them. John runs with the information, which is the first step in finding and preventing Jihadists from devastating DC.<BR/><BR/>This is an invigorating thriller that will frighten readers as the scenario is plausible with the terrorists capable of the theft, delivery, and destruction on a scale that could make 9/11, London and Madrid seem minor. John is a dedicated agent risking his life to keep the world safe while his beloved Exley wants him out of the deadly field game that he cannot walk away from even if it means losing her. Fans will enjoy the latest spy thriller, as Alex Berenson continues to deliver top rate realistic tales (see THE GHOST WAR and FAITHFUL SPY) on a par with Le Carre and Silva.<BR/><BR/>Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Berenson's Best Yet?

    If you are a fan of Alex Berenson and his character John Wells ("The Faithful Spy" "The Ghost War") then "The Silent Man" is an absolute must read. Berenson is able to develop the Wells character and the complications of the past which haunt him, while telling a timely and dramatic tale. The awful scenario presented in this story is all too possible in this time of political correctness and congressional infighting, bloated beauracracies and excessive concern for public appearance over substance in the intelligence community. Berenson is quickly becoming one of the most respected authors in the genre and "The Silent Man" is a prime example of his best work.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2009

    Exciting!

    Mr. Berenson has done it again. I have read his previous books and find this one just as exciting. It move quickly and keeps my attention. It was difficult to put down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    Great Book - But The Nook Has Some Flaws

    I think it is totally horable that you can't buy a book from the Nook Store if you are using a non-US ISP. I mean there are some of us American's live in other countries and we would like to read an English Book. Not mention the huge untapped market that B&N looses by being so short sighted.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Too Predictable

    Book 3 in the John Wells series

    The tale involves the theft of Russian made nuclear warheads to be used in an effort to trigger a U.S.-Russia conflict. Muslim terrorists calculate the ideal time and place would be Washington during the State of the Union address, payback for decades of Western domination and oppression.

    The story is vividly told and plunges its readers into a scary minute-by- minute fictional account of how the militants steal two nuclear weapons, smuggle them into the U.S and on an isolated New York farm create a devise that will help bring them closer to the world they dream of.

    Meanwhile, back in the States, an old nemesis from a previous encounter, Pierre Kowalski, mounts a deadly assault killing several people and severely injuring Exley, Wells' fiancé. This is sweet revenge; Wells had severely humiliated him in the previous novel, "The Ghost War". Wells has a strong suspicion as to who is behind the attack and due to personal interests and against the advice of his CIA superiors; he makes it his mission to bring the attackers and their mastermind to justice. Tracking them to Russia, he manages to kill several of the assassins but is unable to cut the head of the snake, his ultimate trophy. The cat and mouse game between himself and Kowalski rages on until Wells realises Kowalski has an important bargaining chip, information on the nuclear plot against the U.S.

    This international intrigue is mildly enjoyable; I found the adventure lacks some of the rapid-fire pacing I like to experience in a thriller. However, it does provide some white-knuckle suspense and could be considered chillingly plausible. The plotting is very predictable for this day and age. John Wells, the main character, is still a complex blend of smarts and cynicism and Exley's role along with the romance between the two is weak and quite boring. The exploits of the secondary characters and those of the hero, in my opinion, place this novel in the class of a Jack Bauer "24 " series, very interesting at first but eventually loses its allure.

    Needless to say my interest in this series is waning

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Review of the Silent Man

    This is an exciting book. This book is for fans of "24". John Wells is the literary Jack Bauer. I read the book in 4 days. If you read his other books, definitely read this one. The author was nice enough to answer me when i had a question about the book.

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  • Posted May 25, 2009

    Silent Man is latest in a strong series by Alex Berenson.

    I recommend that you read the first two Berenson novels in which he creates and fleshes out the characters in this book. Berenson understands the psyche of the peaceful Muslim better than any that I have read, without demonizing the forces that must detect and fight against the Islamic fascists. Be prepared for a hard fast ride, with several major twists and turns.
    John Walls is one of the most believable characters I've come across in years of reading. Don't start this one late at night.....unless you have no plans for tomorrow.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    like an old friend who kills

    this third installment may not be as good as the first two but it is still a great read. i so enjoyed following the different twists and turns of each act in the book. the main character john wells is wonderful as he chases down leads and tries to find answers and justice. read all three of alex berenson's novels and you will be rewarded with a gripping time. sad thing is it will probably be another year to wait for his next book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Berenson will be a superstar

    His first two books easily rated five stars. He slipped a bit with this latest effort but I will buy every book he writes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great series

    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 3nd book in his John Wells series. 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 26, 2009

    The Silent Man - remains silent

    I have read the previous 2 Alex Berenson books - the first was GREAT.
    The 2nd a little less and now the 3rd is my least favorite.
    I think the author gave up character development for other aspects
    of the plot. I very much enjoy his writing style.

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  • Posted March 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another great novel from Alex Berenson. . .

    The Silent Man is another great book from Berenson that features the character John Wells. It is action-packed and suspenseful as the book is centered around the scare of a nuclear explosion. I really enjoy Alex Berenson's writing style, he has a way of keeping your interest throughout the entire book. Alex Berenson is the real deal, anyone who enjoys reading political thrillers should try his books. I will definitely be reading the next book from Alex Berenson.

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  • Posted February 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Thrill Every Two Minutes

    Which means less than a thrill a minute. John Wells might be called John Wood in this novel, as his personality takes even less shape than in the first novel. It's an okay story, with several interesting moments, but it just does not rank in the top of thriller novels. For me 3 and one-half stars, but many good wishes for the next one.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not quite up to the par of the previous books

    Continuing the John Wells series from "The Faithful Spy" and "The Ghost War", author Alex Berenson pits Wells against jihadist fanatics intent on fabricating a nuclear weapon to deploy against the United States.<BR/><BR/>Though still entertaining as an entry in the Vince Flynn/Mitch Rapp genre, this novel doesn't encompass as wide a scope as Berenson's previous works. Gone are the upper level political machinations at governmental policy level that made the earlier books so exceptional.<BR/><BR/>This is a smaller story, surprisingly enough given the nature of the threat against the US, and there was a substantial missed opportunity in that Berenson touched on - but didn¿t explore at all - Russia's reaction to the theft of their nuclear material (I'm not giving away a spoiler, as this is the opening sequence of the novel).<BR/><BR/>This book spends much more time on Wells's relationship with his girlfriend Jenny, and the mechanics of creating a nuclear device. Interesting reading, but somehow not really enough; not satisfying.<BR/><BR/>Four stars.

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    Posted January 22, 2010

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    Posted May 4, 2011

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    Posted March 16, 2010

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    Posted February 1, 2011

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    Posted May 27, 2011

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    Posted December 10, 2009

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