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The Ghost War (A John Wells Novel) Paperback – January 27, 2009
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Mass Market Paperback
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“A very sophisticated vision...Geopolitically savvy.”—The New York Times
“A fast-paced story of international intrigue and espionage...Wells is a fine character who will likely propel Berenson’s thrillers to success for some time to come.”—Chicago Sun-Times
“Terrific and relentless suspense and action.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Berenson marshals turncoats, the Taliban, and testosterone to produce a tautly paced, credible, and gripping scenario guaranteed to buttress Berenson's niche as one of the stars in the suspense firmament.”—Library Journal
“The author’s plausible scenario distinguishes this from most spy thrillers.”—Publisher’s Weekly
About the Author
- Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
- Paperback : 576 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0515145823
- ISBN-13 : 978-0515145823
- Dimensions : 4.3 x 1.18 x 7.5 inches
- Publisher : G.P. Putnam's Sons; Reprint edition (January 27, 2009)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #144,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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It doesn't last long. He may be happy with his love life, but it isn't enough to domesticate him. Tensions flare up back in Afghanistan, and he takes the opportunity to put the turban back on and slide back into his undercover life.
I’m a huge fan of Alex Berenson’s novels, and his protagonist John Wells. I’ve read them all – more than once – and followed Well’s fictional life from the first story ( The Faithful Spy as mentioned above and see the full listing below) describing how he lived as an undercover agent with Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan, succeeding in earning their trust and becoming the only American agent to actually live and fight with elements of bin Laden’s army.
I love these stories because of the uniqueness of the Wells character, particularly in these early novels where he fights his own internal battles between the Islamic faith he had adopted and learned to respect and even love, and his western life that continued to be under threat.
Over many years of reading novels of this genre, today I have only a very few authors whose works I am certain to purchase. Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels are one. Alex Berenson’s John Wells novels are another. I have been looking forward to this since it was announced months ago, and I had pre-ordered it immediately. When it appeared on my Kindle this past evening as soon as it was released, I opened it up and began reading. I wasn’t disappointed.
For those new to these John Wells stories, this book will be satisfying and it's not necessary to have read the predecessors. Once you have read this story, however, you may well want to go back to the beginning to follow Wells development. Here are the John Wells novels in order of their publication, with links to the books here on Amazon (Kindle versions are linked but hardcover and paperback editions can also be selected on the same page):
Book 1: The Faithful Spy (first published April 2006)
Book 2: The Ghost War (February 2008)
Book 3: The Silent Man (February 2009)
Book 4: The Midnight House (February 2010)
Book 5: The Secret Soldier (February 2011)
Book 6: The Shadow Patrol (February 2012)
Book 7: The Night Ranger (February 2013)
Book 8: The Counterfeit Agent (February 2014)
Book 9: Twelve Days (February 2015)
Book 10: The Wolves (February 2016)
Book 11: The Prisoner (January 2017)
"Ghost War" opens off the coast of North Korea. It spends a lot of time in China, Afghanistan, and D.C. We learn about Chinese politics; the differences between American, Russian and Chinese submarines; tactics for fighting the Taliban; butt-covering in Washington, and much, much more.
Taken in small bites it's all pretty interesting, but unfortunately the wealth of information often slows the pace of what might otherwise be a cracking good read. Many chapters began with a few lines of dialogue, then detour to several pages of background. It was only very late in the book that most of the explanations were out of the way, and the pace picked up considerably.
Berenson's later books do a better job of balancing background and plot. If you're new to this author, try "The Counterfeit Agent" instead. If you're already a fan, this one's worth a read but likely to leave you a tad disappointed.
Top reviews from other countries
If you like action adventure books you will enjoy this one. The plot is a little far fetched, not too much, and the hero is an Arnie or Sly type, who can take on anyone and win. The plot has a few twists and turns, some a little improbable, but the novel motors on at a fair pace and is an exiting and enjoyable read. A Dawson