Alex Berenson is an investigative reporter with the New York Times. A graduate of Yale, he previously wrote for the Denver Post and TheStreet.com. His first novel, The Faithful Spy, won the Edgar Award. (Alex Berenson Web site|Alex Berenson on Wikipedia)
Books I’ve read by Alex Berenson
Back of the book summary: Years ago, John Wells was an all-American boy from Montana. Now, he is roaming the mountains of Pakistan as a member of al Qaeda. After a decade away from home, he despises the United States for its decadence. He hates America’s shallow, mindless culture of vice and violence. He is a devout Muslim. He is a brave warrior for Allah. He is a CIA operative. And he is coming home.
My mini book review: Several months back, I read The Faithful Spy, the Edgar Award winning debut novel by Alex Berenson, and I have to admit, I am torn. Part of me really liked the book, but another part of me — the part that loves espionage master Frederick Forsythe — couldn’t help but thinking of Forsythe’s 1994 novel The Fist of God and Forsythe’s 2006 novel The Afghan while reading Berenson’s 2006 novel The Faithful Spy. In The Fist of God, a British officer in the Special Air Service named Mike Martin — who grew up in Iraq, looks Middle Eastern and speaks Arabic perfectly — is embedded in Iraq prior to the U.S. invasion. In The Afghan, Martin is sent into Afghanistan to impersonate an Afghani freedom fighter held in captivity in Guantanamo Bay and infiltrate al Queda. After reading those two spectacular books, I was a bit skeptical about an American farm boy from Montana, named John Wells, who is now a devout Muslim and member of al Queda, in The Faithful Spy. While Forsythe may have done the Arab infiltrator bit a little better, Berenson still delivers. Especially in the scenes in the U.S. as Wells must defend his birth country from terrorists with a similar Muslim devotion. And at the same time, Wells must convince his CIA superiors that he is on their side after all that time in the Middle East. Forsythe is still the best, but for a first novel, Berenson is one to watch.
Books on the Alex Berenson reading list
Back of the book summary: Deep-cover CIA operative John Wells barely survived his homecoming when it was thought he’d become too close to the terrorists. Though his wounds have healed, his mind is far from clear. he needs to get back into the fight. And there is a fight waiting for him. A power play in China will result in chaos around the globe. Even as Wells does what he does best, a mole within the CIA is preparing to light the final fuse that will propel an unsuspecting world toward open war and annihilation. This time, there may be nothing John Wells can do to stop it.
3. The Silent Man (2009)
4. The Midnight House (2010)