Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Secret Soldier - Alex Berenson

Alex Berenson is an author new to me. The Secret Soldier is the 5th book in Berenson's successful John Wells series.

In The Secret Soldier, Wells has left the CIA and is now working freelance. When he receives a call about a prospective employer willing to pay big bucks for his expertise, he accepts. The employer just happens to be the King of Saudi Arabia. The King's family is conspiring against him and colluding with terrorists. Overthrowing the King is not enough, they also want war with the West, namely the USA.

As someone new to this character, I was initially quite taken with John Wells. His sense of loyalty, justice and honour created a mental image of a strong character. And he is, but...as the book went on, I wasn't as enamoured as I was in the first half. Wells has converted to the Muslim religion, but I found many of his actions inconsistent with the teachings of his chosen faith.

The plot has lots of twists and turns and is non stop action packed. Some of the plot machinations seem a bit implausible - once you can get over the King of Saudi Arabia asking for one ex CIA operative to save his kingdom it really does move along quickly.

It was an okay read for me, but....my co worker Michelle was jumping up and down when her hold for this title came in. I asked her why she was so enamoured of this series and author.

" I love spy novels. Berenson's writing is current - we've left the Cold War era and Al Qaeda is the new enemy. In this latest book, Berenson shows more knowledge of the religions he's writing about. John Wells has more understanding of who he's fighting now that he's converted. I enjoy the conflict in John Wells - he's at war with his past and past actions but wants to make the world safer. And ...I've read them all!"

Thanks Michelle - so between her 5 and my 3, The Secret Soldier gets a 4 on A Bookworm's World.

See for yourself - read an excerpt of The Secret Soldier.

Fans of the television series 24 or of author Vince Flynn or Christopher Reichs would enjoy this series.


bermudaonion said...

This sounds pretty typical of that genre. Entertaining, but not memorable, which can be good at the right time.

Pam (@iwritienbooks) said...

I like the average review tactic. :O)