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The Prisoner (John Wells Series #11)
     

The Prisoner (John Wells Series #11)

by Alex Berenson
 

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To unmask a CIA mole, John Wells must resume his old undercover identity as an al Qaeda jihadi—and hope he can survive it—in this cutting-edge novel from the #1 New York Times-bestselling author.
 
It is the most dangerous mission of John Wells’s career.

Evidence is mounting that someone high up in the CIA is doing the

Overview

To unmask a CIA mole, John Wells must resume his old undercover identity as an al Qaeda jihadi—and hope he can survive it—in this cutting-edge novel from the #1 New York Times-bestselling author.
 
It is the most dangerous mission of John Wells’s career.

Evidence is mounting that someone high up in the CIA is doing the unthinkable—passing messages to ISIS, alerting them to planned operations. Finding out the mole’s identity without alerting him, however, will be very hard, and to accomplish it, Wells will have to do something he thought he’d left behind forever. He will have to reassume his former identity as an al Qaeda jihadi, get captured, and go undercover to befriend an ISIS prisoner in a secret Bulgarian prison.

Many years before, Wells was the only American agent ever to penetrate al Qaeda, but times have changed drastically. The terrorist organizations have multiplied: gotten bigger, crueler, more ambitious and powerful. Wells knows it may well be his death sentence. But there is no one else.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/28/2016
Edgar-winner Berenson’s 11th John Wells novel (after 2016’s The Wolves) reinforces his status as one of today’s steadiest practitioners of quality spy fiction. The aging but always-ready Wells comes out of a short-lived retirement in North Conway, N.H., where he lives with his two-year-old daughter, to root out the identity of a top CIA official suspected of handing U.S. secrets to ISIS and other terror networks. On orders from U.S. president Vinny Duto (a former CIA colleague) and his longtime handler of sorts, Ellis Shafer, Wells devises a plan to place himself in a Bulgarian prison that’s largely populated by terrorists. There, Wells begins his undercover campaign to extract information from top jihadists about who the CIA mole may be, as well as any terrorist plots currently in the works. The action culminates smartly with Wells frantically trying to stop a sarin attack in Paris. Wells is an appealing combination of brains and brawn, and Shafer remains an active behind-the-scenes player who knows how to keep an operation on course. Agent: Bob Barnett, Williams & Connolly. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
Praise for The Prisoner

“Berenson delivers some surprises along the way…. Another strong mix of finely turned suspense and subtle character development.” — Booklist

“Deeply researched, fast-paced, and believable.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
The Prisoner reinforces Berenson’s status as one of today’s steadiest practitioners of quality spy fiction...The action culminates smartly [and] Wells is an appealing combination of brains and brawn.”—Publishers Weekly

Praise for The Wolves

“Exhilarating...when the call of duty summons, Wells rises to the occasion; his emotions may be mixed, but he still puts on a great show for readers.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“[An] adrenaline-filled thriller...Fans of the John Wells series won’t be disappointed. They’ll agree with his enemies that if Wells isn’t Superman, he’s super something.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“As always, Berenson brilliantly blends global politics into an adrenaline-pulsing spy novel. But, most of all, there is Wells, a stone-cold killer who nevertheless does what we all wish we could do: stand up to the powerful and make them pay.”—Booklist
 
“Masterful...The Wolves is driven by a terrific and well-executed plot, but where Berenson truly shines is in his explanation of how certain parts of the world work. These would include spycraft and the dark tradeoffs made by governments at the highest and lowest levels.”—Bookreporter.com
 
“Berenson’s John Wells series has lost none of its power, novelty, and excitement. Wells is unique in contemporary thriller fiction [and] has become a richer character with each new story.”—Connecticut Post
 
“Berenson’s style is as seductive as his storytelling, and The Wolves has a bite that doesn’t let go from the first page straight through to the last.”—The Providence Journal

Library Journal
08/01/2016
Bad news: a CIA high-up appears to be passing crucial information to ISIS. To dig out the mole, series protagonist John Wells must again go undercover as an al Qaeda jihadi, which he last did in the No. 1 New York Times best seller The Faithful Spy ten years ago.
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2016-11-07
Another "blood-spatter messy" mission by Muslim CIA freelance operator John Wells (The Wolves, 2016, etc.).Wells' ex-girlfriend Anne pegs him perfectly when she says she's "amazed the sun rises every day without you to cart it around." Certainly the CIA wouldn't be the same without his heroics. He converted to Islam during a mission in Afghanistan years earlier, and the CIA doubted his loyalty, which he's since proven repeatedly. His religion isn't political and relates more to his view of Creation than to the Middle East. Now his old boss Ellis Shafer correctly suspects the CIA has a mole feeding information to the Islamic State group, which could be planning a major attack on the West. Wells' mission, approved by President Vinny Duto, is to go undercover to learn the jihadi plot from an IS terrorist in a Bulgarian prison. He becomes Samir Khalili, a man who "quoted the Quran and hated heroin." The CIA cooks up a back story that he's an al-Qaida fighter who has been captured in Afghanistan and is now being dumped in the same Bulgarian hellhole. Once he's there, the guards don't know his real identity, so they treat him like any other "jihadi scum." It's a good thing he's tough, because the guards dish out serious abuse. But danger is his comfort zone, and he's never better than when he's in trouble. Meanwhile, the mole the CIA is looking for, a man who calls himself Wayne (after John Wayne), tries to get info on Wells' mission to betray him. Wayne thinks the U.S. simply spreads pain around the world and expects "love in return." The jihadis want weapons of mass destruction and consider weaponizing anthrax, but they decide instead on sarin gas, conducting grisly but successful tests on prisoners. Eventually they obtain enough sarin to kill hundreds of people, and they know just how they'll do it—by creating "a house of the dead." As always, Wells proves himself to be tough and smart—he still needs both qualities once he's sprung from prison. Deeply researched, fast-paced, and believable. Peace be upon John Wells, but only after he's helped defeat jihad once and for all. That's sure to extend this fine series.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399176159
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/31/2017
Series:
John Wells Series , #11
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
27,142
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

This is Alex Berenson’s eleventh novel featuring John Wells. As a reporter for The New York Times, Berenson covered topics ranging from the occupation of Iraq—where he was stationed for three months—to the flooding of New Orleans, to the world pharmaceutical industry, to the financial crimes of Bernard Madoff. He graduated from Yale University in 1994 with degrees in history and economics, and lives in New York City. The Faithful Spy won the 2007 Edgar Award for best first novel.