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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. His previous novels include The Faithful Spy, winner of the 2007 Edgar Award, and The Ghost War. He lives in New York City.
Former Edgar Award-winner Berenson returns with another top-notch spy thriller that is as realistic and unnerving as anything in the genre today. After his fiancee and partner is severely injured in an attack, CIA agent John Wells tours the world in search of revenge. With a cast of international characters, narrator George Guidall has a tough task on his tongue-luckily, he comes through with a rousing performance that captures the dialogue with ease and holds listeners' attention from start to finish. Guidall's tone is gritty, dry and speckled with an underlying sense of realism that makes this story all the more frightening. A Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Dec. 15). (Feb.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Verdict: Berenson's third John Wells espionage novel (after The Faithful Spy and The Ghost War) is a swift and gripping read reminiscent of David Stone's thrillers but without the graphic violence. Recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/08.] Background: After a terrorist attack in Washington, DC, leaves several people dead and Wells's fiancee severely wounded, the CIA agent travels to Russia on a private mission that morphs from destroying his nemesis into saving the world. Readers familiar with the characters from the series will especially enjoy the complex-if occasionally fanciful-plot involving stolen Russian weapons, international arms transactions, and a terrorist scheme to construct and detonate a nuclear bomb in the United States.-Jonathan Pearce, California State Univ. Stanislaus, Stockton, CA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.