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Showing 1-10 of 339 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 470 reviews
on December 14, 2015
I just discovered Alex Berenson. He writes in the same rich vein as Nelson DeMille and Daniel Silva, along with others.

I hesitate to classify any of these men as thriller writers, although each one definitely uses the elements of that genre, because Berenson and the others infuse their stories with mature dramatic themes that raise their novel above the formulaic. For example, in the Berenson book I’m now reading, a subplot has John Wells challenged by his girlfriend to sacrifice his work with the CIA for the sake of their relationship. The struggle Wells faces adds depth to his character: he loves his girlfriend and he loves his job. In a straight thriller, that type of character development is rare.

Berenson also has a great prose style. Clean, simple, yet elegant in its structure. It’s easier said than done. But it makes for a pleasant reading experience.

Plus, the novel doesn’t offer a simplistic ‘black and white’ world like way too many thrillers. Berenson’s world is complex, like his characters.
These are also the hallmarks that make DeMille and Silva such good reads.

Now that I’ve discovered Berenson, I plan to read more of his stuff.
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on May 16, 2014
I was surprisingly disappointed in this novel. It was my first Alex Berenson novel, so maybe that made it harder to keep the characters straight. Maybe if I had read about some of them in previous novels, it would have been far easier. By the time I figured out the characters, the book was about ended. And the ending was very unsatisfactory. It clearly was just setting up for the next book to come out. Sometimes that can be done very well, but sometimes that approach is so contrived that it just doesn't work. Unfortunately, I felt that the latter was the case for this novel. It felt to me like the end was far less developed in its resolution of the situation than it could have been. It seemed rushed to simply set up the next anticipated novel. My plan is to read an earlier novel from this author to give the author another chance to win me back.
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on October 6, 2014
The Counterfeit Agent is excellent entertainment in a perfectly paced story that introduces the reader to the feel and even smells of countries from North and South America to Asia. Berenson moves his stories along without any lull. There is so much to consider as you travel with his characters from a meeting at the White House to a bar and brothel in Thailand. I recently reviewed a book by another well known author that I could not recommend because the main premise of the story was forced and flat. It was a true pleasure to read and enjoy The Counterfeit Agent. I turned to it after reading and writing a psychology paper when I needed to change my considerations completely. I've read some of the comments that the ending is a disappointment--NOT SO. People, the story is successfully resolved. I, too, would have read on for 8,000 more pages, but John Wells lives on and we can catch up with him, again. This is skillful and satisfying writing that is my honor to recommend.
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on July 21, 2015
The Counterfeit Agent is your typical macho, knows-all, does-all, lone agent. Working for the "good of the world," against both the forces of evil and the stupid U.S. government agency heads, this hero, John Wells, overcomes super-human odds. He fights, by himself, against brutal numbers of vastly armed opponents. Always, of course, opposed by his agency. No matter how long he has to go without food or sleep, he fights his way out, leaving scores of "bad guys" strewn across the landscape. The fight scenes become more absurd as the story goes forward. And, oh yes, Wells is a convert TO Islam, praying to Mecca at all times.
Though the book ends before the story does (buy the next one, folks), he does manage to impugn one of our most trusted allies. Furthermore, he comes very close to slandering a known benefactor to that ally, by name.
Wrong-headed, absurd, and totally predictable, this book is only for the fantasy-driven lover of impossible violence. For the action-lover, there's a whole lot better out there.
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on March 3, 2014
This newest John Wells book deals with America and Iran heading toward nuclear war. An individual is the person giving the United States information about
Iran's intentions. This man's name is Reza. He tells the Americans that a CIA sation chief is going to be killed shortly. The assassin is a former CIA\agent.
He chooses a station chief that he holds a grudge against. The assassin's name is Glen Mason who now goes by the name ofAbraham Duke. He kills the station chief and gives their story authenticity. He is affliated with a group that is trying to provoke a nuclear war between Iran and the United States. This group is headed by a woman named Salome.The next rumor planted by Reza is that the Iranians have planted a nuclear bomb on a ship headed to America. The CIA calls
upon John Wells to investigate. He discovers that the United States is being duped. The American President does a drone strike on Iran. Wells discovers that a billionaire named Aaron Duberman is behing all of this. This story does not get to finish because this is a two parter.
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on May 14, 2014
I love detective series fiction/espionage and felt that this one in particular was soooo promising due to standout, round characters (John Wells' religion and development most notable). However, this promise falls flater as the series progresses. This book (I won't give the details in the spirit of ruining the ending for others) fell flat with a very undeveloped character who is the driver of evil (actually I thought that the character was something of a cheap shot at a person who is very much in the public eye -- someone I personally admire). John Wells seems to have become more a man solely of action and if he is growing and evolving internally, it is less part of the story. Alas....
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on August 14, 2014
This book is not up to the standard set by his previous books. It is slow, drags in spots, and is quite predictable. However it is not a bad book, just a so-so offering. John Wells deserves better. In fact John displays some amazing lack of tradecraft that almost gets him killed. The knowledgeable reader knows this will never happen, but even after his unbelievable escape he still manages to do another act of ineptness that compromises the reason that he was in this situation.
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on March 30, 2017
understandable violence but a gentle ness about the character
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on March 21, 2014
In John Wells, Alex Berenson has created a superhero whose humanity makes him even more compelling and extraordinary. Berenson's almost omniscient understanding of geopolitics, and of the cloaked society of intelligence agencies that operate within that twilight, makes for astonishingly gripping reading. And Berenson's grasp of the human condition in all its muddied and sometimes twisted brilliance is nothing short of breathtaking. From DC to Guatemala to Thailand to Istanbul to Iraq and more, the places and characters in TCA ring with deafening clarity and irrefutable reality. I've read every John Wells novel and observed Wells growing more complex and more at war with himself with every adventure. The ending to TCA gave me chills -- not only do the story and plot grow even more intense at the very end, but Wells himself seems to start to accept his imminent transformation to a full-time tortured superman, longing for a human connection -- but knowing he can't long quite enough to change. I can't wait for Berenson's next book.
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on July 20, 2014
I used to love Alex Berenson's books, but this one is not good. There are too many intertwining plots that quickly become confusing. I am more than 100 pages in and I was thinking about just trashing this one. After reading the reviews saying the book has no real ending and is just a setup to a sequel, I now find it easier to make my decision. Actually, I think it is time to retire John Wells.
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