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The Counterfeit Agent

A John Wells Novel

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


“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

Dec 23, 2013 – Edgar-winner Berenson's action-packed ninth John Wells novel (after 2013's The Night Ranger) finds the ex-CIA man on an Atlantic cruise with his girlfriend, Anne, to whom he proposes. Anne turns him down, saying he must choose between her or his job, and soon enough he's off on a new mission to stop Iran from killing a CIA station chief. A woman calling herself Salome, who's working for an international secret agency that may have no ties to any government, is running the operation, whose actual purpose is to trick the American government into bombing Iran. Wells must go up against the CIA as well as the secret agency in trying to ferret out the truth, but he can't accomplish it all, so the end, while satisfying, almost certainly points to a follow-up volume. Thriller fans will eagerly await the return of the estimable, if romantically challenged, Wells to finish the job.

Customer Reviews

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.

Great depth

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.

The Counterfeit Agent
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Mysteries & Thrillers
  • Published: Feb 11, 2014
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 496 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Series: A John Wells Novel
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings