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The Secret Soldier


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Intelligent, commercial CIA spy thriller fiction from NYT #1 paperback and NYT Top Ten hardback bestseller Alex Berenson

Promotional Information

Intelligent, commercial CIA spy thriller fiction from NYT #1 paperback and NYT Top Ten hardback bestseller Alex Berenson

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. Vist Alex's website:


Those who can't get enough post-9/11 novels about a maverick intelligence operative trying to foil yet another Islamic terrorist group bent on cataclysmic mayhem will welcome Berenson's fifth thriller featuring John Wells (after The Midnight House). No longer with the CIA, Wells flies to France to meet a prospective employer, who turns out to be Saudi Arabia's king, Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz. The king fears that his brother Saaed, the Saudi defense minister, is plotting against him to insure that Saaed's 48-year-old son, Mansour, succeeds to the throne. Saaed's scheming has extended to supporting the gunmen who just shot up a bar in Bahrain popular with Americans. Unable to trust his own people, the monarch asks Wells to find out who's behind the terrorists, a hazardous mission that action-hero Wells readily accepts. The plot unfolds along predictable lines in a story arc that Tom Clancy readers or viewers of TV's 24 will find old hat. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Because he cannot trust his own people, Saudi King Abdullah secretly hires a semiretired American spy to resolve crucial royal problems. The aged king is loath to punish the disloyalty of the numerous princes and their underlings, several of whom intend to inherit the throne, all of whom twist the truth. One prince is secretly sponsoring a plot to destabilize the royal house and thrust the kingdom into chaos. Berenson's fifth page-turner (after The Midnight House) again features Arabic-speaking John Wells as the conscience-burdened professional. Early on, Berenson expertly establishes Wells's ingenuity and intense focus. Much as Daniel Silva details the Holocaust in his thrillers, Berenson, a New York Times reporter, integrates extensive information about the House of Saud. Wells's investigation benefits from a couple of lubricating dei ex machina, the first being unlimited funding by the king and the second, the grudging, not-always-timely assistance of the huge American electronic intelligence apparatus. Verdict Horrifying torture, bombs, and dead bodies abound in Berenson's fast-paced thriller, yet the author also takes care to make his characters and settings keenly memorable. Spy fiction fans will enjoy this one. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/10.]-Jonathan Pearce, California State Univ. at Stanislaus, Stockton (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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