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The Silent Man
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Product Description

From the #1 New York Times¨C bestselling author comes another remarkable novel of espionage today¡ª and right around the corner.

Alex Berenson¡¯s The Faithful Spy was declared ¡°one of the best spy stories ever told¡± (The Wall Street Journal), and The Ghost War ¡°mesmerizing . . . an extraordinary achievement. Wells is a complex blend of smarts, scars, cynicism and wile. And the book¡¯s imaginings seem not so much ¡®ripped from the headlines¡¯ as eerily destined to be set in type for tomorrow¡¯s¡± (The News & Observer). Berenson¡¯s third novel, however, is his most masterful yet.

It isn¡¯t easy to steal warheads from the heart of Russia¡¯s nuclear complex in Mayak. It requires a great deal of money, coordination, ingenuity, and sleight-of-hand, and just a touch of luck. But if you¡¯re determined enough, anything is possible.

It¡¯s been a rough few years for CIA agent John Wells. The undercover work in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the attack on the United States, the Chinese plot that could have led to war. Wells is exhausted, and his nights filled with disturbing dreams. But he knows he has no time for that. He has made many enemies, and the world won¡¯t stay quiet for long.

Nevertheless, Wells is not prepared for what is about to happen. He and his colleague¡ªand fianc¨¦e¡ªJennifer Exley are driving into work when traffic comes to a standstill, due to accidents on both bridges into Washington. A pretty big coincidence, he thinks, beginning to get a bad feeling¡ªa feeling that only gets worse when he spots the red motorcycle zooming up between cars toward him. Before the day is over, several people will be dead or severely injured, Exley among them, and Wells will be a man possessed.

The attackers are Russian, and it is to Russia that Wells must follow the trail. He finds what he¡¯s looking for¡ªbut 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. The last few years have been rough indeed, but the next few weeks will be much, much worse.

Real-world threats, authentic details, a scenario as dramatic as it is chillingly plausible, Alex Berenson¡¯s new novel is another ¡°timely reminder of the extremely precarious way we live now¡± (The Washington Post).

Customer Reviews:

  • John Wells Strikes Again!
    The hero of the newest Berenson novel is once again John Wells. He had been featured in the two previous Berenson books. In this newest book twss
    nuclear devices called a Iskander ss-26 missile are. stolen from a Russian
    facility. The device is given to Muslim terrorists. They plan on sneaking
    the missiles into the United States and building a bomb. In the meantime Pierre Kowalski decides to gain vengance on John Wells for assaulting him in the previous book. John Wells and Jennifer Exley are caught in a traffic jam in Washington D.C. Two motorcycles attack Wells and Exley.In a
    tremendous gunfight Exley is wounded. Wells mamages to kill the attackers.
    They are traced back to a retired Russian General named Ivan Markov. Wells
    goes to Russia and kills several people in Markov's organization but doesn't get him. Kowalski gets panic stricken an calls for a meeting with Wells. He offers information on the missing nuclear missiles if Wells will
    not kill him. The CIA posts Wells to the case to locate and stop the nuclear threat. In the meantime the Muslims have gotten the missiles into
    the United States and are building a nuclear bomb. It becomes a race against time to stop the nuclear disaster. Of course the book has an exciting ending. Be sure to buy this book. It is good....more info
  • Nuclear
    Alex Berenson reprises superhero John Wells to save the world again in a new novel titled, The Silent Man. Isn't there someone else who can do what Wells does? Just before Wells and Jennifer Exley are about to take a well-deserved vacation, they are attacked while stuck in traffic in their minivan. Exley suffers a gunshot wound, and Wells has to get revenge for that at the same time he needs to avert a nuclear terrorist attack. While reading the prior novels adds some richness to the experience, each novel stands alone, and in some ways, a fresh approach to The Silent Man may be more pleasurable than having the expectations of past performance influence the current book. For fans of fast-paced thrillers, there's a lot of reading pleasure to be found here. If you are reading this book on a plane, you will enjoy any delay that permits you to keep reading.

    Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
    ...more info
  • Alex Berenson and John Wells a Winning Team
    Over the last several months, I have read the thee John Wells novels that Alex Berenson has written. In Wells, Alex has created a character that is sure to be in the list of great recurring spy characters.
    In The Silent Man, John Wells is pitted against terrorists who have acquired two bombs from Russia and are planning to set a bomb off on US soil. Wells, a CIA operative who we meet in the first Alex Berenson novel as having infiltrated Al Qaeda, becomes involved when chasing down a nemesis from the second book. Wells is in a race against time as nuclear destruction is about to be inflicted on the US.
    The CIA often does not know what to do with Wells, who "goes off the ranch" from time to time.
    The writing of Berenson is taut and this book and the other Wells books are page turners. Highly recommended reading....more info
  • Another great book by Alex Berenson. . .
    The Silent Man is another great book from Berenson that features the character John Wells. It is action-packed and suspenseful as the book is centered around the scare of a nuclear explosion. I really enjoy Alex Berenson's writing style, he has a way of keeping your interest throughout the entire book. Alex Berenson is the real deal, anyone who enjoys reading political thrillers should try his books. I will definitely be reading the next book from Alex Berenson....more info
  • Doesn't Disappoint
    I was quite happy when I stumbled across this book because I had thoroughly enjoyed "The Faithful Spy" when I listened to it on my iPhone earlier in the year. "The Silent Man" was at least as entertaining and is exactly what I look for in this genre of books -- interesting characters, a plot rooted in plausibility and a somewhat unpredictable storyline that moves along at a good clip. My only -- very minor -- complaint occurred about two-thirds of the way through the book there were a few pages where some US Government agencies, and their capabilities and roles and responsibilities did not jive with reality. All in all, a this is a highly recommended read if you are a fan of this genre....more info
  • A spy novel worth reading.

    Berenson's The Silent Man is a breath of fresh air for spy novel enthusiasts. Very well written, compelling and manages to stay within believable parameters. I enjoyed it so much that I will be reading his other novels, The Faithful Spy and The Ghost War.
    ...more info
  • John Wells is no Mitch Rabb
    When I saw the jacket comments I thought I'd be getting a book like the ones Vince Flynn writes with Mitch Rabb as his protagonist. I expected fast moving prose with clear lines between good guys and bad. I expected plausible scenarios and exciting adventures.

    None of that happened.

    The early chapters involve a stolen warhead. The coincidences and lapses in security stretch the imagination beyond belief. The story continues in a similar manner, but I won't spoil it for those who do want to read it for themselves.

    The book spends a lot of time examining the motives of the Jihadists (oversimplified and insane by Western standards, of course) and of the CIA desk jockeys. (Politics before safety and security, blame shifting, and other third-rate bureaucratic plot lines).

    The romantic thread is superficial at best. While clear that this is a continuing relationship from predecessor novels, their involvement is not all that particularly exciting or interesting.

    I suppose if you are a fan of the previous John Wells books this might be an interesting continuation. However, if you haven't read them, then don't start here....more info
  • The CIA versus Nuclear Terrorists in a Tense Thriller
    John Wells is a CIA agent. Unlike CIA agents in so many novels, he seems to be the real thing, as does his boss, fellow agents, and even the CIA Director. This gives the story a framework not found in many spy novels. In this tale, we have a network of Muslim fanatics carry out a well-planned plot to steal two nuclear weapons from a Russian, nuclear storehouse. Their objective is to use them to destroy Washington, or failing that, destroy New York. To do this, the fanatics sacrifice as many lives as necessary. Since they cannot steal the access codes to explode the bombs, they intend to use the uranium in the bombs to fashion a new weapon. But first, they must get the big bombs out of Russia and into the United States. And it is here that the first whisper reaches the CIA that something is up. From then on, tension builds, as the terrorists race to enter the United States and construct their bomb, while John Wells and his fellow agents (and finally the entire forces of the United States) attempt to find the terrorists. All in all, it makes for a great thriller....more info
  • OK - but disappointing
    I've read the other two Berenson books, which I enjoyed. The first book, The Faithful Spy, was his best of the three, which seems to be the case many times. This book is just OK - worth the time to read it because it is a quick read, but it isn't compelling or original, as the first one was. Wells is again chasing some fanatic Arabs trying to set off a bomb in the eastern U.S., but this time he has some detours he has to negotiate, as well as the typical political superiors who can't stand him, but need him to, periodically, save the world. It seems like in every thriller writer's world, there is only one man capable of this.

    Wells also has to deal with his girlfriend, Jennifer Exley, who, like in other thrillers, is fine in the first novel, but by now has turned into a whining, complaining girlfriend who wants to change Wells from who he is, which she knew when they "fell in love", to a mild-mannered career man, or teacher, or something, which he is loathe to become. Thus a conflict, which isn't any different than most other thrillers which have to have the "romantic" aspect...which we could completely do without. We don't care! The world would be a much better place if all the love interests of all the thriller or detective "heroes" would just go away. Keep their love lives out of sight. Aren't we tired of the whining girlfriend? I said, the novel is only OK...not only because of the girlfriend, but because in each novel Berenson writes, Wells actually become more distant, less convincing, and he seems to become stiffer in each new book. I feel I knew much more about him, found him much more sympathetic, after the first book than I do now.

    Finally, the technical "bomb making" descriptions go on too many pages. They were tedious and boring - I finally skimmed over them.

    As I said, I liked it well enough - just hoping that the next one, which, based on the ending, is already in the planning stages, brings back Wells, not Exley (let her find the banker or lawyer she so desperately wants Wells to be!), and that he returns to his past - saving the world alone - doing what needs to be done.
    ...more info
  • Okay . . .
    . . . apparently I'm in the minority -- but I found this book to be very disappointing, bordering on awful.

    Let me be clear. This is a genre which I quite enjoy on a number of levels. If you were to visit my personal library, you would see literally dozens of political, diplomatic, mystery, and espionage themed novels, written from a broad diversity of political perspectives over (literally) the past 50 years.

    I found this book to be extremely disappointing. I found the characters to be shallow at best, the violent plot sequences to be contrived and predictable, and the interpersonal relationships to be adolescent. I just could not get "under the skin" of the main characters -- they were flat and superficial. Frankly, I found the essential plot element (terrorists building a rogue nuclear weapon) to have been cribbed from Tom Clancy's work -- more than 20 years ago! And Clancy was, at least in the mind of this reviewer, far more believable.

    Sorry -- I really tried! But this book (free review copy notwithstanding) ended up in the trash can!...more info
  • An Excellent Thriller
    This novel falls into the thriller-adventure-spy genre, a category which I occasionally read just for the pure sake of entertainment and pleasure. There are times in one's life when reading scholarly and "great" books in philosophy and literature (which I have to read because of my vocation) can become tedious and an escape is necessary from the burdens of such thought-provoking texts into something akin to fantasy, something that appeals to one's imagination rather than to one's intellect; a sort of "vacation" from serious topics and controversial issues into a world of chills and thrills. Such, at least, is my personal justification for reading novels which will never make the list of classic literary works. That is, if I need a rationale at all for spending time in pure entertainment and pleasure. "All work and no play, makes Jon a rather dull person," so to speak.

    This is my first exposure to Alex Berenson's hero, John Wells. Berenson has written two previous novels with this hero in play and I intend now to obtain these and read them because Wells is a very interesting protagonist and Berenson writes an excellent thriller. Some activities portrayed in "The Silent Man" seem almost implausible -- stealing a nuclear weapon out of a well-guarded Russian storage facility, for instance -- until one realizes that we currently live in an almost implausible world of international intrigue and state-organized and state-sponsored terror. John Wells, certainly not your run-of-the-mill CIA agent, has to deal with this dangerous situation, along with all sorts of problems and subplots working against him, including his own emotional insecurities and personality defects. He is not the "super-hero," merely a human hero, caught up in a web of invidious schemes that threaten civilized life as we know and live it.

    Of course, these are the makings of an excellent thriller and Berenson's novel is an excellent thriller, a real page-turner which forces one to stay up late into the night and course through the book at a rapid pace. The problem is that, unfortunately, a work such as this has to come to an end. But the reader who is a lover of the thriller genre will not be disappointed and will look forward to the next installment in the adventurous life of John Wells. As for me, I can hardly wait. I need another "vacation." Highly recommended for those who need an escape from the ordinary affairs of daily living into an exciting world of chills and thrills....more info
  • The bad guys are good
    The Silent Man is the third installment in Alex Berenson's series featuring CIA agent John Wells. I have not read the first two books in the series -- The Faithful Spy and The Ghost War -- but although it was clear while reading that I was missing some back story, not having read the earlier books did not impede my understanding of this one. The book has a strong beginning that will keep readers interested: The driver of a tractor intentionally collides with a tanker truck carrying 8000 gallons of gasoline. Meanwhile, a certain Grigory Farzadov, a sympathetic bear of a man, is forced by Muslim extremists to steal material from the Russian nuclear facility where he works as a guard. The two incidents are early steps in a plot to manufacture and detonate a nuclear bomb on American soil. John Wells, of course, is the man who won't let that happen, though he actually doesn't become aware of the threat until we're more than 200 pages into the story. In the first half of the book Wells is instead pursuing a private vendetta and worrying about his relationship with his fianc¨¦e, Jennifer Exley.

    My reaction to The Silent Man is mixed. When Berenson is writing about the bad guys, his book is very good: his characters are compelling and three-dimensional, and we can identify with them despite that they're up to no good. When reading these sections, the book cruises along. Unfortunately, the story slows to a crawl during the sections that focus on John Wells and Exley. Wells himself--at least in this outing--is not an interesting character; neither is Exley, though she doesn't have a big role in the book. And the good guys' efforts to thwart the extremists' plot somehow aren't very exciting. I certainly didn't want Farzadov and his minders to succeed with their plans, then, but I wouldn't have cared in the slightest if Wells met his end while combatting them.

    -- Debra Hamel...more info