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3.6 out of 5 stars10
3.6 out of 5 stars
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In Berenson's previous novel we met John Wells, a spy so deep that there were concerns he had gone native. In addition to being a very intelligent thriller, it had a hero who was a Muslem and was very clear that there are peaceful Muslems and those who are fanatics. This perspective made for a very absorbing novel.
Here we have Wells coping with the stress of his previous experience (and the fact he is now known to the general public for his deeds in Times Square towards the end of the previous novel). This does not stop him getting involved when things escalate with China as a result of a maverick Chinese senior officer.
Well,I think I have seen this plot in more then a few novels, but the author tells it well. Berenson has changed Wells slightly, he is less the man that does not fit into either culture, here he is just an all action spy. And now he is more sarcastic with some good one-liners - I don't recall that from the previous one.
This bordered on the Vince Flynn Rapp novels - no bad thing but it has taken away the originality of the first novel.
So why four stars? Well I almost went three but then I realised that this had kept me turning the pages well into the night, and much as I may have seen this kind of thing before, it still kept my attention. Probably a 3.5 if I am honest. There is a third one in the pipeline and I'll be buying that so this means I must have liked it!
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 31 January 2009
We first met CIA agent John Wells in the book The Faithful Spy. While it's not necessary to have read the first book, you need to know that Wells is a national hero after averting a terrorist attack on US soil. Now acting as a desk agent within the CIA, he craves the adrenalin rush that his former assignment provided.

"The Faithful Spy" was a good old-fashioned thriller. This book is in a similar vein, although it suffers somewhat from trying to cover too many bases. It kicks off with the CIA going into North Korea to rescue a valuable mole. This part of the story is genuinely tense and gripping. However the book loses momentum as it strains to juggle a complicated plot that encompasses (among other strands) the Iranian nuclear weapons programme, Taliban training camps in Afghanistan, an international arms dealer, the hunt for an undercover mole within the CIA and an ambitious General within the Chinese politburo. As with the first book, the pace gets bogged down by Berenson's need to personalize events by fleshing out even minor characters.

The first book set up the intriguing proposition of an agent who has lived undercover with the Taliban for so long that he struggles to adapt to the US way of life. In this book, that struggle seems forgotten and Wells' character is never particularly developed.

This is an action packed and highly contemporary read, but it fell short of the first book for me. Having said that, the ending sets up a sequel and I'll almost certainly be going back for more.

(Be aware that this book was published in the US under the title "The Ghost War")
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on 29 December 2012
Book starts off well but drags on with over-complicated explanation of how a nuclear bomb works and all the variations that could be used. Characters are as strong as ever and Wells saves the day (again).
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on 30 June 2014
A really enjoyable, easy to read book. A cross between Clancy and Child. I would certainly recommend to any reader who enjoys those authors. On a par with both of them.
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on 4 June 2013
Have read all Alex Berenson's Books , and enjoyed his characters, and the plot. This one is in the same genre
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on 10 January 2015
awesome follow up to 'The Faithful Spy'. A bit different truth be told, but still a good read. Very imaginative story line. I have this author on pre-order now!
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on 8 March 2013
I bought 4 of this Author"s books to take on holiday. They were all enthralling and formed a large part of my holiday enjoyment.
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on 6 July 2009
What a disappointment - started to read this Berenson thriller --- and was NOT thrilled to find that I had already got this book under the title "The Ghost War". I thought it was an early sign of dementia, but a friend confirms the double title/single book. Offers, anyone?
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on 11 August 2015
great book
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on 22 July 2011
This was a con, I already have The Ghost War and this is the same book. Although both books appear to have been written at different times. I obviously thought they were different books as one was supposedly released in 2008 and the other in 2010
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