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The Shadow Patrol (John Wells #6)

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  3,011 ratings  ·  182 reviews
In 2009, the CIA's Kabul Station fell for a source who promised to lead it to Bin Laden, but instead he blew himself up, taking the station's most senior officers with him. Now, more than two years later, the station is still floundering, agents are dying, and at Langley the CIA's chiefs wonder if the unthinkable has happened, if somehow the Taliban has infiltrated the sta ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published February 21st 2012 by Putnam Adult
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Community Reviews

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Rick Fisher
I am super stoked about this book...since John Wells first popped up in 2006 in Mr Berenson's "A Faithful Spy", I have loved every single word written...this series is undoubtedly one of the, if not the top series in the genre...John Wells ranks right up there with Gabriel Allon from Daniel Silva's novels and JacK Reacher from Lee of my list of must reads

Another awesome novel from Mr Berenson. This one lacked the same level of pace and excitement as a few of the others, but, overal
Bill Wilson
This book will probably be my last John Wells story for a while. Berenson is a good writer, and varies the stories as much as possible, but he is writing formula novels, and after a while, that genre inevitably catches up to you. In this way, Wells is like Gabriel Allon, Daniel Silva's creation: appealing, deserving of our support, but following a very familiar path with new villains and changing scenery. Wells is an eminently likable character and his sense of honor and doing the right thing ar ...more
Mal Warwick
A thriller that delivers both excitement and insight about the war in Afghanistan

The cottage industry in spy thrillers encompasses a wide range of quality, from those that offer up cheap thrills with one-dimensional characters facing off in unreal circumstances to those, many fewer, that rise into the realm of literature, illuminating the human condition. The finest of the lot, such as Graham Greene and John Le Carre at their best, stand with other exemplars of modern fiction. Alex Berenson’s wr
Alex Berenson is at the top of his game in his latest espionage thriller starring the redoubtable John Wells. The sixth book in this series, following on the heels of the Secret Soldier, has Wells going to Afghanistan to investigate the CIA Station, which has had issues with station heads since a Taliban double agent fooled station personnel and the CIA in Langley into arranging a meeting with up to 10 agents. While there, the Taliban agent detonated a bomb in his vest killing most of the person ...more
Alex Berenson's latest novel "Shadow Patrol" is his sixth novel and I have read them all. The plot was not as far reaching or gripping as his previous novels; therefore in my opinion, it wasn't the can't-put-it-down page turner I have come to expect. Nonetheless, it is well crafted, tightly written and the plot is filled with military and criminal detail which makes it highly credible.

Mr. Berenson's star character, Special Operations pro John Wells returns once again to the service of his countr
Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews
*Genre* Thriller
*Rating* 3 1/2


This, being the sixth novel in the John Wells series, comes with a lot of political correctness and questions about our continued involvement in a war that most Americans have found repugnant. After watching the news tonight about US Soldiers purchasing drugs from their Asscrakistan colleagues, this story could be considered ripped from the headlines!

There are some serious questions that need to be asked as well: Do we really want to read about American sold
Failed to see what all the excitement is about. Main character not sympathetic at all. Plot seemed mechanical and wandering. Mostly accurate military writing and description but the bad guys were not at all believable, except the non-US ones. 2 Stars.
In reading this book, you learn a lot about what is happening in Afghanistan that is not reported in the news. For instance, the ease of obtaining drugs, namely heroin in the poppy-growing region. It is hoped that soldiers returning are not hooked on the drug as were so many of the soldiers returning from Vietnam.

In The Shadow Patrol, rumors spread about a CIA officer helping the Taliban and ex-CIA agent John Wells is called upon to go to Kabul and investigate the allegations. John only has one
Excellent, but,then again, Berenson's work usually, ahem, always is.

Infiltrating either side as a spy should not be that simple but often goes undetected. Somehow Marci Holm seems to feel that one man might not be what he appears to be and she might be the one that is being set up. Feeding him information and hopefully what she receives back will help take down not only bin Laden but al Zawahiri too. But, suspicions fly high in her head and she is not sure whether he can be trusted or not. Suppo
My two favorite authors are Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. I thoroughly enjoy the Mitch Rapp and Scot Harvath characters.
That being said I was determined when starting this book, my first by Alex Berenson, NOT to compare it to those.

I have no problem reading a book that has a mediocre plot but is an easy read. Example: James Patterson or Catherine Coulter. Their stories are never really earth shattering or really that good. But they are quick and easy reads and I'll "suffer" thru a mediocre story if
Dewayne Stark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Another Good reads First reads giveaway--my second by Alex Berenson. Read them back to back but won't do that again--the war in Afghanistan, its futility and its damage to all the people involved, especially the young Americans is just too overwhelming in such large doses. I guess, that, having said that, the comment speaks to the realism of the stories. I liked Midnight House better than this one because I immediately had suspicions of one of the characters almost upon meeting with him. By page ...more
I didn't have strong feelings about the sixth book in this series, unlike the seventh one, which I accidentally read out of order. This made for some good travel reading.

"A poorly defined counterintelligence mission without official authority? Based on rumors from an anonymous Afghan farmer? Where do I sign?" John Wells sets off to discover whether there is really a conspiracy between members of the military and the CIA to smuggle heroin from Afghanistan to Europe. There are some good scenes and
Kurt Young
Enjoyable, but felt like the book was a bit of a contract-obligation, rather then a story Berenson was excited to tell. Poorly edited. Too many interesting scenarios go nowhere: Meeting Wells' son is quick, and short and forgotten. Home with Wells' girlfriend and dog, and gone. The end is also chopped short.

I like Berenson, and John Wells is a far more interesting character then most, but this book wasn't the best in the series.
Lynn Demsky
"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 Jo
This time John Wells is sent to Afghanistan to fix what ails the local CIA station there. I still enjoyed this one but felt a noticeable drop off in quality to the earlier books by Berenson. It just felt and additional month or so of work would have given the story some of the nuance that marked his earlier efforts and more time to tie up the plot.
Bouchra Rebiai
In The Shadow Patrol, we revisit the idea behind The Midnight House: an American killing fellow Americans. However, this book has a new twist to it: treason.

(view spoiler)
Will Herman
While I usually love Alex Berenson's John Wells books, this one fell a little flat for me. It might have been the fact that the bad guys are our own soldiers and CIA personnel, but I think it's more likely that there is just not as much action in this book.

The story is interesting enough and starts out great. A CIA agent is running a Talib Mole who claims to have access to the higher echelons of the Taliban hierarchy. As the agent fears - she has a gut feeling that something is just a little of
Second in a row that was just pretty mediocre.
Michael Sump
This is my 6th John Well's novel and the first that I've reviewed here. John Wells is consistently satisfying and Alex Berenson always delivers a good story.

This novel is no exception. It's set in Afghanistan and begins with a explosion that nearly decapitates the CIA's operations there. There's a big problem and John Wells, once again, goes undercover to battle enemies on all sides (Terrorists, American soldiers, politicians, and brother CIA operatives). It's a complicated plot and one that wi
Scott Holstad
Even though this book has a very good rating on Goodreads, I've read some fairly lukewarm reviews and I have to say that I'm somewhat mystified. I thought this was another excellent John Wells novel by Alex Berenson. In this one, the CIA station in Afghanistan is in tatters because a double agent blew up a number of CIA agents in one sitting (based on a factual story) and it's never recovered. Now there's reason to believe there's a mole in the unit, so Wells is brought in to go over there to se ...more
Toni Osborne
Book 6, in the John Wells series

Alex Berenson excels in creating a meticulously plotted novel in which his protagonist, John Wells, is not only memorable for his skills but also for the man he turned out to be. He is given well-known human frailties, makes mistakes and occasionally finds himself in the middle of sticky situations but always manages to come out with only minor scratches and the same driving force he went in with. The writer’s portrayal of Afghanistan, its people, their cultures a
Although I’m an eclectic reader, I don’t usually choose espionage or military thrillers. After receiving an advance copy of the audiobook of The Shadow Patrol, I had an opportunity to give another one of them a try. Every once in a while it’s good to move outside my usual genres and sometimes I’m surprised to find a good book that I wouldn’t have normally read or listened to.

I approached the story as if it were a stand-alone book even though a quick read through the synopsis told me it was book
Paul Pessolano
“The Shadow Patrol” by Alex Berenson, published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

Category – Mystery/Thriller

For those who have not read Alex Berenson, John Wells is ex-CIA, but continues to work for them when special operations are needed.

Wells is very familiar with Afghanistan, its history and its culture, in fact, Wells has converted to the Muslim faith. He believes in the true Muslim, not those espoused by al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and other rebel factions.

A trusted Jordanian doctor convinces agents in Ka
Probably my third favorite in the series, after the first and The Silent Man. Since this is my favorite thriller series out of the many thrillers I've read, that's saying a good deal. After an attack based heavily on the late-2009 suicide bombing at Camp Chapman, Khost, Afghanistan cripples a CIA outpost in Afghanistan, John Wells is sent in tasked with investigating suspicions of a mole capitalizing on the chaos. In the meantime, Wells gets caught up in protecting an American soldier from a gro ...more
This is one of the best, if not THE best, action/spy thriller series I've ever read. Alex Berenson, former NY Times journalist has covered so many major world events, especially the war in Afghanistan. He has turned his knowledge of that war and tech politics surrounding it on all sides into this best selling series about John Wells, former CIA agent and now "retired."

When we first met John Wells, in the award winning first book in this series, "The Faithful Spy", he was the first American to i
Quentin Stewart
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 C
A man who the CIA think will give them inside information about Arab terrorists, double crosses them and blows himself up at the CIA station outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. Many CIA officers are killed.

We learn that there are American soldiers dealing drugs with the Taliban and someone is giving the Taliban information about American soldiers.

John Wells has been a CIA problem solver and is asked to travel to Kabul to find answers.

Knowing the country and fluent in the language, he poses as a Saudi
Due to the ramdom nature of my library's hold system I have ended up with three books in three weeks that are all similar in genre but different enough in the details that I don't feel like I just read the same story over and over and over again. While each deal with a Special Forces agent tasked with "saving the world", each author hasa different enough angle to keep me ineterested and eager for their next novel. Alex Berenson's angle is that his protagonist, John Wells, is introduced into the ...more
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
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Other Books in the Series

John Wells (9 books)
  • The Faithful Spy (John Wells, #1)
  • The Ghost War (John Wells, #2)
  • The Silent Man (John Wells, #3)
  • The Midnight House (John Wells, #4)
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  • The Counterfeit Agent (John Wells, #8)
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The Faithful Spy (John Wells, #1) The Silent Man (John Wells, #3) The Ghost War (John Wells, #2) The Secret Soldier  (John Wells, #5) The Midnight House (John Wells, #4)

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