THE COUNTERFEIT AGENT by Alex Berenson

THE COUNTERFEIT AGENT

KIRKUS REVIEW

In this newest John Wells novel from Berenson (The Night Ranger, 2013, etc.), the superagent tries to foil a plot to force the U.S. into a war with Iran.

John Wells’ girlfriend responded to his marriage proposal with a counteroffer: Stop doing work for the CIA, or it’s over. Unfortunately for Wells’ love life, Vinny Duto—who recently traded his post as CIA director for a seat in the Senate—chooses that moment to call and ask for a meeting. He’s gotten a tip from a former associate that someone—allegedly a CIA case officer—is out to assassinate a station chief. Meanwhile, the agency station in Istanbul has been talking to an anonymous source who claims to be a Revolutionary Guard colonel. The source mentions an attack on a CIA station chief and insists his fellow Iranians are behind the plot. When the attack happens, the agency takes the source’s next claim—that the Iranians are planning to smuggle enriched nuclear material into the U.S.—very seriously. But Wells, Duto and Wells’ former boss, Ellis Shafer, aren’t sure. Unfortunately, Ellis is on the outs at the agency, and as a freshman senator, Duto doesn’t have any sway at Langley anymore. If the three of them are going to figure this out, they’re going to have to do it without the agency's help. Fans of Berenson's John Wells series will happily find more of the same here. Wells gets himself out of scrape after scrape using his considerable brains and brawn, while Ellis Shafer lets loose his usual array of dry zingers. But as always, Berenson sets this series apart by doing his homework. The locations are meticulously researched and exceptionally well-realized. Berenson also clearly knows his spycraft, and his knowledge of the inner workings at Langley adds an additional layer of detail. The dialogue is occasionally wooden but less so than most novels in the genre. And in a series first, the novel's end leaves plenty of loose threads dangling, allowing copious room for a sequel.

Another well-crafted entry in Berenson's excellent John Wells series.

Pub Date: Feb. 11th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-399-15973-2
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2014




OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for BLOSSOM STREET BRIDES
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for DESTROYER ANGEL
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for CAVENDON HALL
VERDICT:
SKIP IT
Cover art for I'VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN
VERDICT:
BORROW IT

MORE BY ALEX BERENSON

FictionTHE NIGHT RANGER by Alex Berenson
by Alex Berenson
FictionTHE SHADOW PATROL by Alex Berenson
by Alex Berenson
FictionTHE MIDNIGHT HOUSE by Alex Berenson
by Alex Berenson

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

FictionTHE FAITHFUL SPY by Alex Berenson
by Alex Berenson
NonfictionHIDDEN IRAN by Ray Takeyh
by Ray Takeyh
MysteryCHIMES AT MIDNIGHT by Michael A. Black
by Michael A. Black