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The Shadow Patrol (John Wells Series Book 6) [Kindle Edition]

Alex Berenson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $8.69
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

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


“This thriller pours on the blood and guts.”—Library Journal

“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

About the Author

Alex Berenson graduated from Yale University in 1994 with degrees in History and Economics. In 1999 he joined the New York Times where he covered everything from the drug industry to Hurricane Katrina. During his tenure he served two stints as a correspondent in Iraq, an experience that led him to write THE FAITHFUL SPY, which won the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best First Novel and was a #1 NYT bestseller. Alex left the NYT in 2010 to devote himself to writing fiction. He lives in New York City with his wife and dog.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1044 KB
  • Print Length: 497 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0515151300
  • Publisher: Jove; Reprint edition (February 21, 2012)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005GSYY9Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,595 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In The Shadow Patrol, John Wells is again asked to serve as a freelance troubleshooter for the CIA, his former employer. The basis of the plot revolves around Wells going undercover in Afghanistan to investigate if somehow the Taliban has infiltrated the Kabul station. Once there, Wells enters a web of mistrust and uncovers clues that suggest that a drug trafficking operation is in effect that involves the agency, the military and the Taliban. As a result of the operation, American soldiers are dying -- and only Wells stands in the way of those responsible.

Similar to the first five books in Berenson's John Wells series, The Shadow Patrol is entertaining and well-researched. However, relative to the other books, The Shadow Patrol is not quite as well-plotted, nor is it as much of a page-turner. Further on a comparative basis, The Shadow Patrol falls somewhat short in terms of dimensionalizing his main character and particularly his supportive characters; to the point that readers that have not read any of this author's previous books might feel that they don't know the characters as well as they would have liked in order to care more about them. Additionally, the plot tends to drag too much at various times during the middle of the book.

Despite these comparative flaws The Shadow Patrol is a worthwhile read and one that I think espionage/spy genre readers will enjoy. I'd suggest, however, that before reading The Shadow Patrol new readers to the series begin with The Faithful Spy and at least one of the other John Wells books to enhance their understanding and appreciation of the characters they will meet in this book.
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reminiscent of Nelson DeMille's military novels December 26, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
John Wells, Alex Berenson's "Reluctant Spy", is back again in this novel that successfully mixes genres.

Ever since leaving the CIA, Wells has found himself working more as a freelancing troubleshooter than a spy, last time for the Saudi royal family, this time for his old bosses at the Agency.

An agency op in Afghanistan goes badly wrong, leaving several case officers dead and the resident office in an administrative shambles. An army Stryker unit - a platoon-sized outfit of mechanized infantry - is involved in moving drugs from Afghan Taliban suppliers through to the States, with the help of a couple of Delta snipers and another American who seems to have his own agenda.

Wells is called on to go to Afghanistan as an "unofficial" representative of his old CIA boss Vinnie Duto to assess the effectiveness of the resident office as a viable force, and in doing so he stumbles onto the problems arising from the disaster that wiped out so many of the local Agency operatives.

How this evolves, and Well's actions in addressing these problems, form the crux of the story.

Berenson weaves an intricate and involving story here that blends the espionage and military genres masterfully. In many ways this book is evocative of the military novels of Nelson DeMille - particularly "The General's Daughter" - though the crimes at its heart are of a very different nature. The characters are well-realized and three-dimensional; it's well-plotted; and I found it to be thoroughly enjoyable. In other words, what we've come to expect from Berenson.

A very solid four stars; maybe 4 ½.
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but with no sense of urgency December 27, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
While the subject of this novel is troubling - drug trafficking by US troops - it never reaches a fever pitch of excitement. Okay, soldiers have been dealing in the black market since WWI albeit not with sixteen kilos of heroin but this is not an earth threatening issue and that's the problem with this novel, the topic is too mundane for a novel. Would be a great expose if it was a true story but it seems highly unlikely the government would dispatch a high powered operative like Wells to deal with this type problem.

Berenson writes with his usual flair, the dialogue is enthralling and the book is nicely paced but it left me feeling like the climax never developed. Espionage novels should deal with huge issues like nuclear weapons, terrorists attacks, biological threats, etc.. This one never gets there and reads like a manuscript that may have been sitting in the drawer for a while and got pulled out so the author could submit something to their publisher on time.

If this was a $1 Kindle book from a first time author, I'd give it four stars and say the author had a future with better developed plot and story lines. Since it's from an established author who has already proven he can write five star novels, it gets only a passing grade.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the quality of the preceding books February 26, 2012
By Dsdjd
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book was the least interesting of the series. The sub-plots didn't fit together well. During most of the book I lost track of how the antagonist even fit into the story. It just all seemed too forced. I never felt my heart rate pick up, or really wondering about the resolution of the problem. I sort of didn't care if the bad guys won. All the preceding books were excellent..I was disappointed in this one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top-Notch -- Satisfying and Engaging!! May 20, 2012
By Mike P.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Alex Berenson has hit another home run in this latest Jonathan Wells adventure. Berenson manages to keep the aging spy turned free agaent just as interesting as always -- this time, it's back to Afghanistan for another conspiracy and action thriller.

In a plot turn straight from the real life, an agency operation in Afghanistan goes wrong, leaving several CIA case officers dead and the station in administrative chasos. A a platoon-sized outfit of mechanized infantry (Strykers) is involved in a drug trafficking scheme, with help of two Special Forces snipers and another government agent with a hiddent agenda. disaster that wiped out so many of the local Agency operatives. Wells is invited back by his former boss to investigate the mess.

Berenson does a fabulous job with the plot, writing an engaging series of events that really makes it hard to put the book down. There is a masterful mix of agency and military options, and it's clear Berenson has done his homework. Theres a wonderful mix of military strategy, a touch of politics (without being heavy-handed) and intrigue that makes this book very compelling. Moreover, the characters are multi-dimenstional for the most part.

I am very reluctant to pay full price (12.99 - 14.99) and stick mostly to other authors because of this. This is one book that is well worth the money. It's a great read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gotta read it!
Enjoyed it to the end!
Published 7 days ago by Rachel
3.0 out of 5 stars Still a good read
Good characters and believable. Plot not as strong as others but still fun to read.
Published 11 days ago by Randy Weis
4.0 out of 5 stars Berenson Rocks
I give this book 4.5 Stars. John's Well's is an awesome character and Berenson stories are complex, interesting, suspenseful and fun. Read more
Published 26 days ago by BigDaddy13
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book read it in 3 days
Published 1 month ago by Donald K.
5.0 out of 5 stars Shadow Patrol
I'm reading this series in order. When I finish one, I wonder what next? This had a special twist on it since the bad guys were who we expect to be the good guys. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars great book. could not stop reading it
I loved this book. Felt like I was there. John Wells ca not be stopped. If you like spy novels, yup will love this.
Published 1 month ago by nancy antik
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, Realistic War Mystery
This mystery takes you into the Afghanistan war so you experience what is going on with both sides. As the story unfolds Wells gets deeper into a situation of drug smuggling and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by William Jobert
4.0 out of 5 stars what happened?
I only read reviews after I've finished the book for fear of spoilers (I do a quick scan of star count before I buy). Read more
Published 2 months ago by Unknown
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent Action-Suspense
This series of John Wells stories certainly packs in the adventure and semi-suspense, plus many of the elements are interesting reference points to the current news about our War... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Josh H. Knight
2.0 out of 5 stars Skip this one
This book is not as good as the first two Alex Berenson's book on the John Wells series. It went on and on
about the same thing, John Wells is sent to Afghanistan to look for... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Eugenia Anton
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More About the Author

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.

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