The Counterfeit Agent
A John Wells Novel
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“Berenson’s strength is his deep understanding of geopolitics and of the shoddy compromises it demands. He clearly has excellent contacts in the world of shadows. Wells is a complex and satisfying protagonist, tackling bad guys across the world’s conflict zones.”--The New York Times Book Review
John Wells goes undercover as the threat of nuclear war skyrockets between the United States and Iran, in the cutting-edge new novel from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author.
In an Istanbul hotel, a deep source warns a CIA agent that Iran intends to kill a CIA station chief. Quickly, John Wells is called in to investigate, but before he can get far, the tip comes true. Which means that the next warning the source gives will be taken very seriously indeed. And it’s a big one. We’ve put a package on a ship from Dubai to the United States. A radioactive one. A bomb? Not yet. It’s a test run.
As the threat level jumps and the government mobilizes, something still doesn’t smell right to Wells’s old CIA boss Ellis Shafer, and so he sends Wells on a private mission to find out what’s going on. But the two of them are swimming against the tide. From Guatemala to Thailand to Hong Kong to Istanbul, Wells uses every skill he has, including his ability to go undercover in the Arab world, to chase down leads. But it might not be enough. Soon there might be nothing anyone can do to pull the United States back from the brink of war.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
the counterfeit agent
12.99 ? try 14.99 on my iTunes , too much
Running out of steam
The problem with these series books, such as this one with the John Wells character, or the now-tiresome Gabriel Allon books, is that unless the author comes up with a truly fresh take on spies and villains, the novels become less and less interesting.
"The Counterfeit Agent" lacks originality. The same trio of CIA characters, Wells, Shafer and Duto are tossed into the same kind of crisis we've seen before. Wells will have to get out a fix, Shafer will be his usual old fox, and Duto will be the same jerk.
There's nothing fresh about this story. The only character that promised anything new was Bishop in Istanbul. He seemed interesting. Reza's "secret love" was intriguing.
I also did not like the open-ended conclusion to the novel. If you can't finish a tale in one book, why start it all?
I have read all of the John Wells works. This novel fails. It was very disappointing. I felt as if I had read most of it in another volume. The author needs to deliver new thrills and new spy concepts if Wells is going to continue as a beliveable leading character.
Alex Berenson has delivered a tiresome novel.
Berenson is a skilled writer. This book is well-paced and offers interesting locations and encounters. Wells is a nuanced character who feels more human than most spy novel protagonists.