The Shadow Patrol (John Wells Series #6)

The Shadow Patrol (John Wells Series #6)

by Alex Berenson

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John Wells returns to Afghanistan—the country where his career began—in this gripping thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Alex Berenson.

In late 2009, CIA officers in Afghanistan’s Kabul station allowed a Jordanian doctor into their closest confidence. In truth, the doctor was an al-Qaeda double agent—and when he blew himself up, the station’s most senior officers died with him.
Years later, the station still hasn’t recovered. Recruiting has dried up and the agency’s best Afghani sources are being eliminated. At Langley, the CIA’s chiefs begin to suspect the worst: somehow, the Taliban has infiltrated the station.
When they ask John Wells to investigate, he reluctantly agrees. One thing is certain: Americans are dying, and an American is responsible. Wells is the only one who can unearth the truth—if it doesn’t bury him first...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780515151305
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/29/2013
Series: John Wells Series , #6
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 82,676
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Alex Berenson is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the John Wells series, including The Faithful Spy, which won the 2007 Edgar Award for best first novel. As a reporter for The New York Times, Berenson covered topics ranging from the occupation of Iraq—where he was stationed for three months—to the flooding of New Orleans, to the world pharmaceutical industry, to the financial crimes of Bernie Madoff. He graduated from Yale University in 1994 with degrees in history and economics, and lives in New York City.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Berenson rises above the thriller genre.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“The authenticity Berenson brings to his ripped-from-the-headlines stories makes them seem as vividly real and scary as nonfiction or the nightly news.”—Booklist

“Wells is a refreshing thriller hero, sort of the anti–Jack Bauer.”—St. Petersburg Times

“Superbly paced action sequences and the kind of background that suggests a better-than-average understanding of what soldiers on the ground actually see in Afghanistan.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The book never lets up as it exposes the terrors and boredom of war on the front lines.”—Providence Journal

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The Shadow Patrol 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just finished in 1 day. Couldn't put it down. Fast paced read. Another great John Wells story.
LAStarks More than 1 year ago
Berenson rounds out his characters with depth not often found together with such fast-paced action. Berenson's research forms a welcome foundation for Shadow Patrol, including, (want to see more of these from all authors) a non-stereotyped southerner. Berenson is one of my favorite writers; I look forward to The Night Ranger in February.
CBH More than 1 year ago
The preface for this story took place in 2009 when the CIA, always looking for specialist agents to assist in the war on terror, thought they had found a man who was fully knowledgeable about all the enemies in the Afghanistan area to the point where, except for his immediate handler who had some doubts about this man, polished him to gain access to those who would kill all Americans, then report this information to his superiors. This preface gives the reader an excellent start to the intrigue and suspense to follow. The story advances to present day Afghanistan at a friendly forward operating base where the friendly military, some out to gain only for themselves, could fairly well come and go as needed with few checks on them. They were smart and had most of the superior officers brainwashed thinking they were always on military missions when they left the perimeters of the base. Little did they know about all the money some of these “friendly” military made on their visits to other areas. They were good but there were some higher ups that suspected something wrong was going on and decided to bring in the best intelligence person they had, John Wells, to investigate closely. Wells appeared in the authors preceding book and immediately gave readers a likeable role in almost everything he did, despite being a bit loose in morals and tougher than nails physically even though he was getting up in years. He had kept himself well conditioned, physically and mentally. Before Wells arrived in Afghanistan, there were people disappearing, bodies found, even some in charge were killed. Also before he departed for Afghanistan, he had to make a trip to meet his son who he had not seen in many years. They had their meeting but the son only knew his father as one who always had to leave rather than do things with the family. They did not part with good feelings as his son thought of his father as leaving his family once again, apparently without concern. Such was the life of a deep cover spy. When he left his son he headed for the CIA to obtain the details of his mission, should he decide to go back into action. After learning how the crookedness was going on in Afghanistan he decided he had to take this assignment so off he went to work his way into the area hopefully as an unknown. After some time Wells found a very few he could trust and far too many he did not trust. Men kept dying and not from war action. The military “thieves” had a great drug pipeline moneymaker going so why should they be expected to give that up? Wells worked in personal danger with the few he could trust along with the few he could also trust in the United States. There was a leak somewhere in the CIA and he had to plug that leak. The story is very well written and has lots of intrigue that will drag you into this investigation. I highly recommend it.
qstewart on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my introduction to John Wells and I look forward to reading the previous volumes that Mr. Berenson has written with Wells as the main character. I found the book to be interesting, well written, and to be very plausible.John Wells id an ex-CIA agent who is tasked with going back to Afghanistan to look at the problems within the CIA station there. The job comes along at the time that Wells is trying to start a new relationship with his son. His investigation leads to activities that the CIA should not be involved in and has troops involved in illegal activity and possibly working with some of the tribes that are fighting American troops. Berenson does an excellent job of switching scenes and characters so that the reader knows what is going on at the same time in other areas of the story. It is just not told from Wells point of view.There are bad guys in the story but I do not believe there are any villains. The characters are doing what they think is right for themselves and do not see much past their own interests. It is an intriguing and interesting story that is well written. I look forward to reading more of Alex Berenson.
Draak on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I won this book from LibraryThing as a November Bonus from Early Review and I am so glad I did. I enjoyed it so much because it was a good read, good plots, great characters. I could not put this book down because I had to find out what happened on the next page. You know those books where you say just one more chapter and I will go to sleep and before you know it the sun comes up. Start this book early in the day or you will see the sun come up. Do yourself a favor and read this book.
velopunk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book Immensley. John Wells has been called on again by Vinnie Duto and EllisShafer of the CIA. The CIA station in Kabul is in disarray. Two years ago an Arab agent, "Marburg," proved to be a double agent when he blew himself and 9 CIA officials up at a meeting. Kabul has been through several station heads in the intervening years and intelligence gathering is not going well. The impetus for Wells' summoning is chatter recovered by the NSA that hints at a turncoat in the Kabul station and dealing in heroin by CIA personnel and rogue special forces Delta operatives. Their is a wealth of information on the Afghanistan War and U.S. participation and tactics. The book held my interest from start to finish. The plot was very realistic and action packed. I look forward to another John Wells novel by Berenson.
realfish on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the sixth John Wells novel and Berenson shows no signs of slowing down! The plot development continues to be intricate but more importantly, believable. John Wells is like a fine red wine, he just gets better with age. Kabul station in "Asscrackistan" is still trying to recover from a suicide bomber two years earlier. Americans are dying and the CIA wonders if there is a Taliban mole in the station. John Wells is sent to investigate and discovers an illegal American drug smuggling operation. Delta sniper Daniel Francesca heads the drug-trafficking operation and knows Wells is on his tale and relishes the challenge!Berenson, a New York Times reporter, weaves several plot lines among his cast of characters as he leads to an exciting finish. His characters and story lines are rich and deeply developed though at times brutally realistic and not for the feint of heart. While many series start "getting old" by the fifth or sixth book, John Wells just now seems to be hitting his stride (reminds me of how Walt Longmire just keeps getting better and better after seven books in Craig Johnson's wonderful series). If you like novels featuring terrorists, intrigue, deep characters, and well developed plot lines this book is for you. If you have not read any of the John Wells books, I suggest reading the first book, "The Faithful Spy" it won the Edgar award for first best novel back in 2007.
Sentinel83 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was pretty good. It really focused on the 'mole hunt' and didn't include too many other plot lines, but I like the John Wells series and have read many of Berenson's books. This book was an entertaining and relaxing read and I definitely enjoyed it.
walterqchocobo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the sixth book featuring CIA man John Wells. Of all the CIA/spy thrillers, the John Wells books seem to be the best that I have read. Wells is a smart and capable guy but not the super man that some of the others make their characters to be and he honestly questions himself and what he is doing--a nice change. The secondary characters are also well rounded, like Ellis Shafer and Vinny Duto at the CIA. This book didn't have the huge, far-reaching plot that are seen in the first three or four books but still a good read. I found that this book took a little longer to set up so that it does start slowly but picks up about halfway in. This time, the story picks up after several agents at the CIA station in Kabul are blown up by a suicide bomber who was supposed to be helping them. After years of trying to rebuild that station, something seems amiss. Duto calls on John Wells to do some digging as there is some suspicion that there is a mole over in the office. Wells uncovers several layers of a complicated plot before the satisfying ending. There aren't many strings left dangling at the end of this book to lead into another book featuring Wells but one can hope.
sundance41 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Shadow Patrol is another installment in the life of John Wells. However, unlike the other books, this one was disappointing. It began with John questioning his path resulting from an attempt to reconnect with his son. The story built up to an exciting crescendo, with John looking for a rogue CIA agent and corrupt American soldiers. However, the ending was very disappointing. After an exciting build up, with a convincing interwoven plot with several different subplots, it just ended, all neatly tied up. All the questioning, reasoning and rationale for the build up, just put to rest without a look back. While I will read another installment of John Wells, it will not be on the top of my must read list.
DBower on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in the John Wells saga that I have read. The storyline and writing style reminds me quite a bit of the early Tom Clancy novels which I loved. I really like the John Wells character (although he is a bit of a stereotypical tough guy) and the storyline was great. I particularly like the author's writing from multiple perspectives and bringing them all together in the end (although I would have liked for it to have come together a bit tighter in the end). Other than a few slow spots the book was fantastic. I highly recommend it and plan to read the other John Wells books in the near future.
tottman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
John Wells returns in The Shadow Patrol, and Alex Berenson has delivered another great thriller. Berenson¿s knowledge of the Middle East and Afghanistan adds a level of grittiness and reality to the story for a depth that isn¿t always there in other thrillers.In Shadow Patrol, John Wells must look for a mole in the CIA¿s operations in Afghanistan. A drug trafficking conspiracy involving the military, the CIA and the Taliban leave Wells once again uncertain who he can rely on. Hidden agendas lie under the motives on all sides, and lives will continue to be lost unless Wells can uncover the secrets.John Wells is one of the most complex and interesting characters around. He struggles with his decisions and the morals of his actions. As in real life, nothing is ever black and white and things rarely neatly resolve themselves. He is smart, skilled, and athletic, but he is not perfect. He has limitations and he makes mistakes. Plans don¿t always work out perfectly, and there are consequences when they don¿t. The complex characters and detailed descriptions of the locales and operations involved make this book a cut above most thrillers and spy novels. The pacing isn¿t breakneck, but it is steady and keeps the pages turning. There is real tension in the action sequences that keep you guessing how things will turn out. You may or may not be able to guess some of the secrets, but even if you do, the journey to get to them is rewarding in itself.Alex Berenson has become a must read author, and John Wells an iconic character. I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of The Shadow Patrol, and it has cemented Berenson¿s well-deserved reputation. Highly recommended for any fan of thrillers and spy novels.
Chatterbox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a perfectly adequate spy novel, with most of the key plot elements that readers of the likes of Daniel Silva et al have come to expect. Once again, John Wells pursues bad guys, with the novel spelling out who they are and the nature of the chase. Berenson does a perfunctory job of adding depth to Wells's character by starting the book with his attempt to bond with his long-estranged son, but that fell odd as the plot element went nowhere. While rather well written as spy novels go, this isn't one of those books that are able to transcend the genre in which they are written. Wells is still emotionally damaged by all the violence he has seen; he is still wrestling with his conversion to Islam and his loyalty to the US and his friends in the CIA. In this case, he is recalled to duty by old friend Elliot Schafer and dispatched to Afghanistan to identify rogue Special Forces folks and other military who are engaged in drug smuggling -- and to identify who a CIA mole might be. Like most of the other books, this is more action-driven than anything else -- Wells may be a tortured soul in some ways, bu the brisk pace of events leaves no time to give the reader any more insight into his state of mind much less that of any other characters. The result is an excellent book to read on a plane or the beach -- a kind of "read it and forget it" novel that offers moderate thrills. If you're hankering after another 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy", however, this ain't it. I've given it 3.7 stars and rounded down; I get the feeling that Berenson is teetering on the edge of becoming one of those thriller writers who end up wedded to a formula. Personally, I'd rather wait two years between books and get a richer and more intense book than read another book that is OK, but which could have been so much more.
tjshoe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Shadow Patrol is the first Alex Berenson book I have read. I will certainly read more. I have been an avid reader of Ludlum and Clancy for many years and have been missing a similar author whose books are more relevant. Berenson¿s The Shadow Patrol fills that void. John Wells is a complex hero. Berenson¿s glimpse of the man¿s past sprinkled through the book makes me eager to learn more. If you are a fan of military thrillers, this book is for you.
bobcatnshn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another entry in the saga of our hero, John Wells. This time, Wells goes after America's own, soldiers who are dealing drugs. I found this tale a bit different than the earlier entries and quite enjoyable. There are a few slow spots, but otherwise, a good read and addition to the series.Thanks LTBob in Chicago
ltcl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I received an advance copy of this book. Though I normally don't read many military thrillers I did enjoy the Shadow Patrol. John Wells is a CIA operative who is called back to Kabal (where he started his career) to investigate what happened to an operative and just how much the Taliban knows about what we are doing in the Middle East. It is obvious that Alex Berenson's former life as a journalist adds to his knowledge of the area and CIA. It is also clear that the Americans are not always the good guys. It is how he uses this knowledge to craft a terrifying story that is all too believable that is worrisome. Fast paced and easily a favorite of any reader who loves Vince Flynn, Daniel Silva and Tom Clancy.
mikedraper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
John Wells, CIA trouble shooter is sent to Kabul, Afghanistan when there is trouble at the CIA station in Kabul.An Arab had pretended to become a spy for the CIA but blew himself up and killed many CIA officers. There wer also US soldiers dealing drugs with the Taliban and a possilbe mole.Wells knows the language and the territory so goes undercover and meets with a tribal leader active in the area to try to find if there was a mole.Good action, good characters and a realistic description of the area I think Kabul would be like.
Doondeck on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Much better book than I had expected. It wasn't laced with the typical neo-con nonsense usually associated with these types of thrillers. John Wells seemed like an interesting character although a little farfetched in his beliefs and attitudes. I'll definitely read the next one in the series.
rufusraider on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another enjoyable thriller from Alex Berenson. He writes about the Middle East conflict in a very knowledgeable manner that makes you feel for all of the characters, even the villains. The book is set in Afghanistan during the current conflict with the Taliban. The story is about a problem within the CIA field office in Kabul. The story is about uncovering the person who is behind the plot within the field office.
Randal37 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first John Wells Novel that I have read. I am not a big fan on jumping into a series. But I do have to say I still really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read the whole series.
BookWallah on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another taut John Wells spy thriller. Wells, morally ambiguous, religiously conflicted, relationally challenged, but operationally a killing machine machine is back doing what he does best: sniffing out trouble, and bring down the hurt. This time it is back to Afghanistan, and all the players are dirty. Recommended for lovers of spy and military genres, others can take a bye.
Davidvoz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a book I won to review for Library Early Reviewers. This is also my first read by Alex Berenson. I enjoyed the book as it followed an easy flow and the plot developed as the story progressed. I liked the characters and the background that adds depth to the story. I will read more books by Alex Berenson in the future.
JJKING on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
ii was one of those books that you can't put down until the end...Well done...can't wait for the next one.LOVED IT.
Queenbethanny More than 1 year ago
Thank you John Wells, American Hero. I'm glad he's on our side.
CPAC2012 More than 1 year ago
In 2009, the CIA recruited a Jordanian doctor to infiltrate al-Qaeda. Initially the doctor offered some valuable information that led to the execution of mid-level insurgents. Then, in a twist of fate, the doctor strapped explosives to his body and killed, in the process, high functionaries of CIA's Kabul station in a military compound where a meeting was going to take place. Two years later the Kabul station is still reeling from the loss. They have been left behind in the search for high level al-Qaeda operatives. The director of the CIA believes there's a mole that has infiltrated Kabul station, but no one is talking. Vinny Dutto, the CIA director, sends former CIA agent John Wells to Afghanistan to investigate, and what he uncovers is enough to question friends and foes alike. Oh boy! I wanted to read something different and I got more than I bargained for. I'm not sure I liked The Shadow Patrol enough, but it was rather due to its subject than any fault of the author. The pacing was steady and the action unpredictable most times, and the characters were fleshed out and credible. As a thriller, this novel was a solid four, but I feel I spent this last week in a war zone, that being the double edge sword that makes me feel torn as I finished The Shadow Patrol. War is brutal, I know that, but I got a full immersion in the Afghan war, complete with Army acronyms, homicidal Special Forces snipers, and major drug trafficking between mid-level al-Qaeda members and crooked army officers. I know there are bad apples anywhere, but I hold the US Army and its members in great esteem, and to imagine army personnel in that kind of scenario is simply something I'd rather not do. That being said, if you are willing to overlook that plot detail, it is possible that you gain more insight into the Afghan war than you ever did through the evening news. The good news is that I'm not done with Alex Berenson yet.