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The Night Ranger (John Wells Series Book 7) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 418 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
When their captivity drags on John Well's estranged son calls him after years of having no contact to ask him to intervene and try to free the four. One of the girls is his son's girlfriend's sister. John agrees to try and rescue the captives in order to possibly reestablish a relationship with the boy, and travels to Kenya to try and free them. Like the other Well's books the action is fast and keeps the reader glued to the pages. John, while no longer a member of the CIA coordinates his efforts with his ex supervisor since the US becomes officially interested in rescuing the volunteers, up to and including possibly sending in an invading force.Read more ›
I won't rehash the whole story line here, as this is a review and not a synopsis. You can get that on the book's Product Page (and evidently some of the other reviews).
Here's my take. John Wells (Berenson's central character) has, throughout the rest of the series, been involved in missions with very high stakes on the geo-political stage. That lends an element of tension and import to the stories that's completely missing here.
In Africa some kids who work to aid starving Somalis in the camps are kidnapped. Wells's estranged son persuades him to get involved as a personal favor. Wells shows up and starts trying to solve the mystery of who took them: criminals seeking ransom? Terrorists? Somali rebels? Is it an inside job?
The problems as I see them are these. First of all, this is essentially a pretty small story that takes place on a pretty small stage, much smaller than we're used to seeing Wells involved in. This is more a Jack Reacher kind of story.
The book moves VERY slowly, because we follow each event in the book from several perspectives: the kidnap victims', Well's, the kidnappers', and in many cases from the perspective of Wells's ex-boss and friend Ellis Schaeffer. Though this does give us the full picture of events, it really bogs down the flow of the story.
The story never really builds up much tension; I just didn't feel it.
The big mortal blow is that there's a character central to the plot who's definitely responsible for the events that take place (I'm being circumspect so as not to write a spoiler) ... and we never get any emotional payoff of seeing him pay for what he did!
So, a big disappointment. A generous three stars.
On this reading (I've read several of these), I doublechecked that the author was actually a man. Alex could be a woman's name, and if so that might have explained why John Wells is so blatantly drawn as a feminist fantasy. Nope, Alex Berenson is a man. There's just no excuse.
Wells is way too nice. He has politically correct thoughts. When he enters the trailer of two kidnapped aid workers to see if he can find any clues, he actually thinks the following: "The trailer was cluttered with what Wells would always think of as girl stuff, nail files, shampoo bottles, and panties. . . . He poked around halfheartedly, but the search depressed him. He hoped he didn't find anything too intimate, not just topless photos or love letters, but the private stumblings that everyone had at home, expired vitamins and half-finished doodles and unread Christmas cards."
Excuse me, but no man would ever think this. A man would think, "These two girls are kidnapped and might die. Let's see if I can find anything suggesting who did it. Hmm, nice undies. Bet she fills those out nicely. OK, get your mind out of the gutter and back on task." He wouldn't go off on some women's-studies fugue wondering if they'd feel violated by some guy rummaging through their underwear. (Since they're much more likely to be violated by the gunmen he's trying to rescue them from.)
Retired from the CIA, he's living with a woman cop in New Hampshire and completely useless with tools. This might be common among New York Times reporters like Alex Berenson, but I doubt it's common with field operatives like Wells, who was an Army Ranger.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A riveting story, had to struggle to put it down and do what was required of me. Am already looking forward to the next John Wells book. Thank you, Alex.Published 1 day ago by texas red
Not nearly as good as previous books in this series... Getting a bit too coincidental in finding locations that everyone else is supposedly looking for. Read morePublished 16 days ago by David M. Wilson
Kind of a "where's this going to end up?" story that kept me reading it all day. Can't wait for more John Wells adventures.Published 1 month ago by R. Jubitz
I love Africa so this book has a special excitement for me.the scenes with hyenas are worth the whole book. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Newt Gingrich
Good book , not a " page turner " but good enough. Having read the first 7 of Mr. Berenson's John Wells series I'm not a hard core fan. Read morePublished 2 months ago by R. Sanderson
This one was very well done. Wells, as usual, is the reluctant hero, and this time he defeats a Somali warlord virtually single-handed. Read morePublished 2 months ago by S. Crair
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