Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Shadow Patrol (A John Wells Novel) by…

The Shadow Patrol (A John Wells Novel) (edition 2012)

by Alex Berenson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2502945,873 (3.95)9
Title:The Shadow Patrol (A John Wells Novel)
Authors:Alex Berenson
Info:Putnam Adult (2012), Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Shadow Patrol by Alex Berenson



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 9 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
Good, action-packed mystery set in present day Afganistan. The writing is crisp and orderly. The mystery unfolds in a plausible way. Perhaps the only real shortcoming is the ending where the hero acquires super powers. I will read more of Berenson's work. ( )
  DeaconBernie | Feb 2, 2017 |
good reading but I liked the first one in series best. ( )
  carolynsuarez | Aug 4, 2015 |
Even though this book has a very good rating on Goodreads, I've read some fairly lukewarm reviews and I have to say that I'm somewhat mystified. I thought this was another excellent John Wells novel by Alex Berenson. In this one, the CIA station in Afghanistan is in tatters because a double agent blew up a number of CIA agents in one sitting (based on a factual story) and it's never recovered. Now there's reason to believe there's a mole in the unit, so Wells is brought in to go over there to see if he can discover anything. And he's met with overt hostility by the CIA people there. So he heads out into the Afghanistan wilderness, where he encounters some bad guys. He travels to a US military base to give a speech and hears rumors that the military and the CIA are in league with the Taliban, of all organizations, to sell heroin, and that there are special forces people involved too. Working with his old CIA boss back in the US, Wells finds out info that is crucial to his finding those involved and, of course you know he's going to save the day in the end, but it's pretty exciting to see it come to pass in the pages as you read. This isn't Berenson's best Wells novel, but it's pretty good. It sure kept me reading. And I learned a lot about Afghanistan and the military role over there, as well as the CIA. The thing I love about the author is he always seems to write the most realistic thrillers I've ever read, besting his contemporaries by far. Maybe it's his training as a reporter with the New York Times, or maybe he's just gifted, but I really appreciate that about him. I feel like I can trust his books, even though I know they're fiction. I'm giving this book five stars and I certainly recommend it. ( )
  scottcholstad | Oct 16, 2014 |
finalist for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award

A killer is on the loose . . .

In 2009, the CIA officers in Afghanistan's Kabul Station received information from a reliable source regarding the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. But when they followed the informant to bin Laden's apparent location, they discovered it was a deadly trap. The man blew himself up, taking the chief of station and several senior officers with him.

Two years later, the station still hasn't recovered and the situation has deteriorated. Every initiative meets with failure. No one knows who to trust. In desperation, John Wells' old CIA bosses ask him to go over and investigate. Reluctantly, Wells agrees but what he finds when he gets there is more than a station in disarray. There is a full-blown military drug-smuggling operation underway, and worse, a traitor is leaking information to the Taliban. Americans are dying, and an American is responsible - and this is just the beginning. Only Wells stands in the traitor's way . . . for now.

March 15, 2013

Berenson, a former New York Times reporter, won the 2007 Edgar Award for best first novel by an American author for “The Faithful Spy,” his first book featuring Wells. In subsequent volumes, Wells grew into a complex and satisfying protagonist, tackling bad guys across the world’s conflict zones. “The Shadow Patrol,” Wells’s previous appearance, sent him to Afghanistan after a suicide bomber blew up several senior C.I.A. officials, a plot inspired by an attack that actually happened in December 2009.

Berenson’s strength is his deep understanding of geopolitics and of the shoddy compromises it demands. Here he deftly portrays the contradictions of the international aid industry, which is just as prone to waste, corruption and egotistic ­empire-building as its profit-oriented rivals. The self-aggrandizing director of WorldCares/ChildrenFirst, the novel’s fictional aid agency, is especially well drawn. The details of the C.I.A.’s operations and its bureaucratic infighting are also convincing, as is Wells’s planning and execution of his mission. Berenson clearly has excellent contacts in the world of shadows.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on February 27, 2012

If you are a fan of thriller fiction and Alex Berenson is not on your “must read” list, then you need to take the first step toward remedying that state of affairs by reading THE SHADOW PATROL. Berenson’s series of espionage thrillers featuring (now former) CIA agent John Wells are among the most well-written, carefully researched and meticulously plotted novels one is likely to encounter in any genre. Over the course of five books, Wells has penetrated al Qaeda, prevented at least two world wars, and short-circuited terrorist attacks on American soil.

This would be the stuff of fancy in the hands of a less-talented author. But Berenson has that rare ability that renders his characters --- and the events they create --- a part of the real world. At times, Berenson has seemed almost prescient in his creation of events. Wells, his mainstay character, is memorable not only for his skill set but also for the contradictions that form his core. Raised as a Christian who then converted to Islam, Wells seems an unlikely agent for our times. A firm believer but not a strong practitioner of the faith, he knows all too well the frequently hostile territory he treads. Though retired from the CIA, Wells continues to find himself being drawn back, however reluctantly, into the dangerous world of spy craft for the best and worst of reasons: it is what he is, and it is what he does.

In THE SHADOW PATROL, the sixth and newest book in the series, Wells is transported to the American front lines in Afghanistan, a country where his career in espionage began. This time, though, he is tasked with “infiltrating” the CIA’s Kabul station. Years before, the station was attacked by a suicide bomber, leaving all of its senior officers dead. The station still has not fully recovered; worse, there is some concern that the Taliban has somehow infiltrated the station. Wells enters Kabul in his own identity, ostensibly to generally evaluate the station and its personnel, while quietly looking for signs that the station has been compromised. He is met, for the most part, with a veneer of cooperation and barely-concealed hostility.

It is only when he makes contact with enlisted men on the base that Wells begins to make headway, uncovering a plot that stretches from Chicago to Karachi and back again. He finds himself up against any number of dangerous characters, with the worst being those who are at his back. The hills of Afghanistan are full of deceit, lies and treachery, all of it concealing layer upon layer of a plot whose seeds were sown years before in tragedy. Beset at the end from all sides, Wells has nowhere to go but forward, even as the number of people he can trust slowly but steadily dwindles.

Berenson is a master of creating complex yet comprehensible plots that move the reader steadily through an increasingly dangerous maze. At the same time, he understands his territory at any number of different levels. His criticisms of US foreign policy have always been thoughtful and measured --- those hoping for reflexive mad-dog attacks are advised to go elsewhere --- and this is particularly true in his latest novel. His portrait of men, both good and bad, in conflict is first rate; in fact, his psychological description of a sniper who perhaps has been in the field too long is worth the price of admission all by itself.

Berenson is one of the very few authors whose work I deliberately read at a slow, measured pace for the best of reasons: I don’t want the latest book, whatever it might be, to end. I found myself doing this yet again while reading THE SHADOW PATROL. There is no higher praise I can give it than that. ( )
  meadcl | Apr 6, 2014 |
The (unfortunate) uneveness of Berenson's stories continues. With The Shadow Patrol, the entire premise just didn't seem to be that engaging and for the first chunk of the book, the reader is left with a sort of "ho hum" or "why bother" feeling. As the story progressed, it became more interesting, but several sections just seemed not to fit terribly well into the overall story. Most unfortunate, I suppose, is that I was able to identity "the bad guy" about three pages after the character was first mentioned so there was little surprise. With that said, this was an interesting portrayal of what military life in Afghanistan is like. ( )
  MSWallack | Apr 22, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399158294, Hardcover)

In 2009, the CIA's Kabul Station fell for a source who promised to lead it to Bin Laden, but instead he blew himself up, taking the station's most senior officers with him. Now, more than two years later, the station is still floundering, agents are dying, and at Langley the CIA's chiefs wonder if the unthinkable has happened, if somehow the Taliban has infiltrated the station.

When they ask John Wells to investigate, he reluctantly agrees to return to the country where his career as an undercover operative began. But there, he finds a vipers' nest of hostility and mistrust-and clues that hint at a drug-trafficking operation involving the Agency, the military, and the Taliban. Americans are dying, and an American is responsible. And only John Wells stands in his way . . . for now.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:37 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

John Wells, an undercover operative for the CIA, travels to Kabul to investigate a drug trafficking operation that involves the agency, the military, and the Taliban.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

Alex Berenson's book The Shadow Patrol was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Sign up to get a pre-publication copy in exchange for a review.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
22 avail.
7 wanted

Popular covers


Average: (3.95)
2 1
3 12
3.5 12
4 31
4.5 4
5 14

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 116,201,133 books! | Top bar: Always visible