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The Silent Man by Alex Berenson
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The Silent Man (2009)

by Alex Berenson

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3801728,382 (3.6)3
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This is another good book in the John Wells series by Alex Berenson. It's the third book. In the first two, CIA agent John Wells has pretty much saved the world, or at least the US, so it's hard to imagine the author being able to concoct another plot that would live up to the first two. But he does. The book opens with a Russian scientist at a nuclear facility who is pressured into helping to improbably steal two nuclear bombs for Muslim militants. They intend to detonate the bombs in Washington during the State of the Union address. The story of these militants and their travels with the bombs to North America is very interesting.

Meanwhile, one morning Wells and his fiance, Jennifer Exley, are on their way to work at the CIA when they are attacked by Russian assassins who are killed after killing some CIA agents and severely wounding Exley. In the previous book, Wells had seriously humiliated a powerful arms dealer who has, in turn, contracted with some Russians to get his revenge. Needless to say, after this attack, Wells is ticked. This doesn't bode well for the arms dealer. Wells flies to Russia to get at and kill the Russians behind the attack and does kill three of them, but has to fly out of the country as he is pursued by the KGB. The arms dealer is so frightened of a pissed off Wells coming for him, that he offers a truce -- information in exchange for letting him live. Wells agrees when he hears the information. It's about the nuclear bomb theft and all hell breaks loose after that. It's a great race to the finish and the finish is almost anticlimactic, but it's still satisfying, in my opinion.

However, one of my complaints about the book is Exley's very minor role. She's John's fiance and we barely see or hear anything from her. She's an afterthought. Additionally, in the first book, a lot was made of Wells and his conversion to Islam, but that's almost never broached in this book. I found that strange. Still, it was a good book, an exciting read, and the author has this unique knack of taking implausible sounding scenarios and making them seem entirely realistic. The only other thriller author I've read who does it that well is Forsyth. That's high praise, coming from me. I'd read these books in order, if possible, but it's not necessary -- it stands on its own. Good book. Recommended. ( )
  scottcholstad | Nov 17, 2014 |
More intelligent, informed and sophisticated than the average thriller about terrorism. Listened to the audiobook, the reader did an incredible job bringing dialogues to life. Hats off to both, writer and actor. ( )
  tabascofromgudreads | Apr 19, 2014 |
More intelligent, informed and sophisticated than the average thriller about terrorism. Listened to the audiobook, the reader did an incredible job bringing dialogues to life. Hats off to both, writer and actor. ( )
  tabascofromgudreads | Apr 19, 2014 |
The John Wells series is finally hitting its stride. This book was very enjoyable and the back and forth between following the terrorists and Wells worked quite well. ( )
  MSWallack | Apr 22, 2013 |
Another good thriller starring John Wells--very fast read
  walterqchocobo | Apr 8, 2013 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Jackie
First words
A weaker man would have found Shamir Tagli's pain unbearable.
Quotations
[Wells] "...could no longer discount the reality of the threat that he and the agency faced."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Terrorists steal two nuclear weapons from a Russian nuclear complex.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399155384, Hardcover)

The New York Times bestselling author of The Ghost War and The Faithful Spy

CIA agent John Wells has spent years in the company of evil men. He's paid the price and is beginning to doubt if he can ever live a normal life. And when a powerful adversary from his past finds him, Wells must once again enter the fray.

For his country. For his soul. For revenge...

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:45 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

After Russian terrorists kill his fianc and colleague, CIA agent John Wells becomes a man possessed and heads for Russia where he finds what he's looking for--but also a great deal more. A plan of almost unimaginable consequences is in motion, and Wells has no idea if he has discovered it in time.… (more)

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