The Shadow Patrol (John Wells Series #6) by Alex Berenson | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Shadow Patrol (John Wells Series #6)

The Shadow Patrol (John Wells Series #6)

4.3 38
by Alex Berenson
     
 

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In late 2009, CIA officers in Afghanistan’s Kabul station allowed a Jordanian doctor into their closest confidence. In truth, the doctor was an al-Qaeda double agent—and when he blew himself up, the station’s most senior officers died with him.

Years later, the station still hasn’t recovered. Recruiting has dried up and the agency’s

Overview

In late 2009, CIA officers in Afghanistan’s Kabul station allowed a Jordanian doctor into their closest confidence. In truth, the doctor was an al-Qaeda double agent—and when he blew himself up, the station’s most senior officers died with him.

Years later, the station still hasn’t recovered. Recruiting has dried up and the agency’s best Afghani sources are being eliminated. At Langley, the CIA’s chiefs begin to suspect the worst: somehow, the Taliban has infiltrated the station.

When they ask John Wells to investigate, he reluctantly agrees to return to the country where his career began. One thing is certain: Americans are dying, and an American is responsible. Wells is the only one who can unearth the truth—if it doesn’t bury him first . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Edgar-winner Berenson’s compelling sixth spy thriller starring ex-CIA operative John Wells (after 2011’s The Secret Soldier) highlights an unsavory aspect of the Afghanistan war: U.S. soldiers who engage in drug smuggling while fighting the Taliban. The chief bad guy, Delta sniper Daniel Francesca, kills Taliban fighters and does away with any Americans who may be onto his drug-smuggling activities. The sniper, who’s on his third tour in Afghanistan, has clearly gone over the line when it comes to morality or sanity. Francesca not only knows that Wells, who’s come to Kabul to ferret out a mole in the capital’s CIA station, is on his trail but relishes the battle. It’s this riveting duel between good and evil that will keep readers blazing through the pages, while several other more mundane plot lines get lost in the background. This consistently interesting series shows no signs of running out of steam. Agent: Heather Schroder, ICM. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
“Berenson rises above the thriller genre.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“The authenticity Berenson brings to his ripped-from-the-headlines stories makes them seem as vividly real and scary as nonfiction or the nightly news.”—Booklist
 
“Wells is a refreshing thriller hero, sort of the anti–Jack Bauer.”—St. Petersburg Times
 
“Superbly paced action sequences and the kind of background that suggests a better-than-average understanding of what soldiers on the ground actually see in Afghanistan.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The book never lets up as it exposes the terrors and boredom of war on the front lines.”—Providence Journal

Library Journal
Not so long ago, a source that had promised to deliver Osama bin Laden to agents at the CIA's Kabul station instead blew up the place. With the station still in disarray and agents still dying, high-ups suspect Taliban infiltration and send John Wells to investigate. It's not a pretty sight—Wells gets wind of a drug-trafficking operation that could involve agents, the military, and the Taliban working together—but Edgar Award winner Berenson should deliver a good read.
Kirkus Reviews
Former CIA tough guy John Wells is back, and this time he's busting a heroin-smuggling ring operating out of an isolated Army base in Afghanistan. After a disastrous meeting with his estranged son, Wells accepts a freelance mission offered by his old agency boss Ellis Shafer. In the aftermath of a suicide bombing that killed the station chief and several of the best agents in the CIA's Kabul station, Wells is supposed to go to Afghanistan, see how things are going, then report back to CIA chief Vince Duto. More importantly, there have been reports that a mole in the Kabul station is working with a local Taliban leader, possibly to smuggle heroin. An analyst in the Kabul station thinks a group called the Thuwanis may be the source of the heroin, and that soldiers in the U.S. Army may be involved. Posing as a wealthy Saudi anxious to help fund jihad, Wells visits the Thuwani compound and uncovers some key information. But as he and Shafer unravel the threads of the conspiracy, they just can't seem to figure out a motive, which may have more to do with revenge than money. Fans of Berenson's previous Wells novels (The Faithful Spy, 2006, etc.) will find more to like here, including plenty of superbly paced action sequences, and the kind of background that suggests a better-than-average understanding of what soldiers on the ground actually see in Afghanistan. Skeptics will continue to roll their eyes at Wells' superhuman ability to, almost at the drop of a hat, pass for a national from whichever Middle Eastern country best suits his needs. There are also a few too-convenient plot twists, including a head-scratching scene wherein a conspirator in the smuggling ring is discovered thanks to the fact that he has "friended" a co-conspirator on Facebook. However, the prose is airtight, the pacing is excellent and the phenomenal action sequences more than make up for minor weaknesses in the plot. Berenson's highly enjoyable series continues with more of the rock-solid same.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780755381388
Publisher:
Headline Book Publishing, Limited
Publication date:
04/28/2012
Series:
John Wells Series, #6

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Berenson rises above the thriller genre.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“The authenticity Berenson brings to his ripped-from-the-headlines stories makes them seem as vividly real and scary as nonfiction or the nightly news.”—Booklist

“Wells is a refreshing thriller hero, sort of the anti–Jack Bauer.”—St. Petersburg Times

“Superbly paced action sequences and the kind of background that suggests a better-than-average understanding of what soldiers on the ground actually see in Afghanistan.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The book never lets up as it exposes the terrors and boredom of war on the front lines.”—Providence Journal

Meet the Author

As a 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. His previous novels include The Faithful Spy, winner of a 2007 Edgar® Award, The Ghost War, The Silent Man, The Midnight House, and The Secret Soldier.

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