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The Silent Man (John Wells #3)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  5,693 ratings  ·  244 reviews
CIA agent John Wells has spent years in the company of evil men. He's paid the price and is beginning to doubt if he can ever live a normal life. And when a powerful adversary from his past finds him, Wells must once again enter the fray.

For his country. For his soul. For revenge...
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published February 10th 2009 by Putnam Adult
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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James Thane
This is the third book by Alex Berenson to feature CIA agent John Wells, after The Faithful Spy and The Ghost War. In each of the first two books, Wells was forced to save the U.S. from incalculable damage, almost single-handedly and at great cost to his own personal well-being. After all he's been through, you'd think the poor guy would deserve a vacation, but no such luck.

As this book opens, Islamic jihadists manage to steal two nuclear weapons from a Russian arms depot. Not surprisingly, they
Kyle Pennekamp
This is the third of Berenson's spy thrillers starring John Wells that I've read... and I think it's the weakest thus far. I loved the first, THE FAITHFUL SPY, because of Wells' uniqueness: he was coming out from under 10 years of cover in the Taliban, where he'd converted to Islam, was deeply religious, and stoo as a real fish out of water when he returned to the Western world of America in order to save it. Interesting moral conundrums abounded, and it felt fresh. In THE GHOST WAR, Wells wasn' ...more
Mar 01, 2010 Samantha rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of spy fiction
Shelves: spy-novels
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ned Frederick
High quality thriller. Exquisite detail about nuclear terrorism. If you are tired of being scared s%#tless by the media about this topic, there is some ironically reassuring comfort in the revealed details that governments to to secure their nukes. Not to oversell its enducational value... Like Berenson's other John Wells books it's also just a great read.
Byron Lord
Feb 18, 2014 Byron Lord rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Byron by: my wife
Another thriller, Alex Berenson takes us to the brink of thermo nuclear destruction. Over 60 kilos of highly enriched uranium, HEU, have been stolen from Russia. We track the plot from the beginning; we see the commitment and dedication of our enemies. We see the commitment of those who serve to protect us from the hatred of all things American by Al Qaeda. We watch as the HEU travels to America and see the bomb assembled. And we see how small strands unravel to reveal what has happened and the ...more
Toni Osborne
Book 3 in the John Wells series

The tale involves the theft of Russian made nuclear warheads to be used in an effort to trigger a U.S.-Russia conflict. Muslim terrorists calculate the ideal time and place would be Washington during the State of the Union address, payback for decades of Western domination and oppression.

The story is vividly told and plunges its readers into a scary minute-by- minute fictional account of how the militants steal two nuclear weapons, smuggle them into the U.S and o
Berenson is a former journalist who writes intelligently and knowledgeably about the war on terror, the context in which his novels are set. And he's developed an interesting but somewhat opaque lead character in CIA operative John Wells. Wells served undercover for many years in Afghanistan, during which time he converted (sincerely) to Islam. Now he's back home and his default situation seems to be that he keeps trying to quit the spy business but keeps getting lured back to the CIA to take pa ...more
Berenson, Alex (2009). The Silent Man. New York: Penguin/Jove.

John Wells, contract government tough guy, is back to fighting Islamic extremists, as he did in Berenson’s The Faithful Spy (2006). But the story begins as a revenge tale, when Russian bad guys from his past attack him and his fiancé. He shoots them all dead of course, but his woman takes a serious abdominal wound and is laid up for the rest of the novel. With CIA/NSA help, he tracks the source of the attack to Moscow. He gets on a pl
John Wells Foils Islamic Nuclear Bomb Plans for DC. Rag heads shape frustration into hatred for the US and hatch a plot to explode a nuclear weapon in Washington. After stealing two small bombs from the Russian depot in Ozersk, they convey the weapons and other components needed to dismantle the existing weapon to overcome its failsafes and assemble a new bomb. Wells and Exley are targeted for assassination by arms dealer Pierre Kowalski, and Jenn is seriously wounded in the attempt. Wells secre ...more
John Wells is the James Bond for the twenty-first century; grumpy rather than glib and frumpy rather than tailored but still with a “license to kill”-- at least in his own mind, and he definitely knows how to use it. Here, he pursues a group of Muslim fundamental extremists after they pull off a monumental theft that has the capability of plunging the world into a new and possibly final war. But his incredible feats of strength and extraordinary runs of luck seem to be more tempered this time ar ...more
Good book, better than the last one I thought. It started out to the a Russians are the bad guys kind of a book, but ended up with the middle east as the bad guys again. I think his books tend to go a little long, but that may just be me. I was finishing this one up so I could read Stephen King's latest.
Daniel Audet
The third in the series with the infamous John Wells. Ya gotta love this guy. Why? He likes motorcycles, that's why. Wells is on the case in another adventure that will put him face to face with evil, yet again, with edgy realism. Berenson is, no doubt, an intellectual, judging from the all-to-real detail of what's really going on in the world and the articulate narration and dialogue, however......the author also succeeds in keeping Wells, and the story, and all the players, including the guys ...more
Aug 01, 2011 Emily rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
I keep giving these books three stars, but if you evaluated them only against other novels in the same genre, they'd be worth five. Sure, John Wells has a Forrest Gump-like knack for turning up wherever something important's going on (or he can talk someone into flying him there in a helicopter at government expense), and he can bounce back from gunshot wounds like I would from a papercut. But what makes these books rise above their genre is the portrayal of the bad guys and especially the well- ...more
I had to really force myself to finish this one. It was plodding and dragged boringly on in spite of the storyline being decent.
At times I wondered if the author was politically and/or religiously on the side of the fundamentalists.
There were some details and passages that showed lack of research. Can metal parts fit together with a tolerance of 1 mm after being cast in a mold? There is strangely no mention of a metal lathe or milling machine.
Do teams of special ops really say a prayer before a
Jun 05, 2015 Jim rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of spy thrillers and military fiction.
Recommended to Jim by: Previous Alex Berenson books
I love spy thrillers and military fiction. ALEX BERENSON is a leading proponent of both categories but in single stories. THE SILENT MAN is book 3 in a multibook series featuring John Wells and his friends. What makes JOHN WELLS unique is that he spent 10 years undercover as an Arab speaking, Islam believing, undercover agent in the Taliban in Afghanistan. When Wells finally comes in from the cold, he has a tough time readjusting to life in the United States. His wife has divorced him and will n ...more
The Silent Man is another great book from Berenson that features the character John Wells. It is action-packed and suspenseful as the book is centered around the scare of a nuclear explosion. I really enjoy Alex Berenson's writing style, he has a way of keeping your interest throughout the entire book. Alex Berenson is the real deal, anyone who enjoys reading political thrillers should try his books. I will definitely be reading the next book from Alex Berenson.
Jason Bruen
What started out as a good series with a twist (operative converted to Islam and who was in deep cover for a decade and his challenges with re-introduction), has become a somewhat derivative series with this, the third book in the series. The plot was rather bland, straight forward, and not all together novel (terrorists try to get a nuke!) and the relationships pretty rote (love interest doesn't want main character to be involved, main character's conflict with authority, politicians vs operati ...more
Bouchra Rebiai
As a person who prefers movies to books when it comes to action and thrillers, I found this book far more better than any movie I watched so far. John Wells isn't depicted as the super-spy with great skills and some personal conflict, rather, the personal conflict is what puts most of this story into action. First of all, the assassination attempt. How Wells is affected by it, and what his immediate impulses are. In a movie, you can't see what's going on in the head of the character, so you fill ...more
Christopher Taylor
This is the first Alex Berenson book I've read. The story is of a sort of super spy agent who is trying to have a quiet life after his last adventure in the previous book The Ghost War, but whose past catches up with him.

A revenge attempt spirals into a Muslim terrorist plot to steal nuclear warheads from Russia, and the story is off and running. I am not an enormous fan of this genre, so it didn't particularly hold my attention as well as it could, and the characters were not very distinct or i
Book 3 of the John Wells series features a plausible scenario and unexpected plot twists - help from an unexpected source and the apparent departure of a primary character from the first three books - that make for tense reading that is less predictable than other books of this genre. I am anxious to read the 4th installment in this series.
Gr Howard
Gave it a 3 but really want to give it 3.5 stars. While I found myself wanting to get more of the story, I really thought at times that "the hero", John Wells, was a bit of a dick, and inconsistent as a character. There were times when he showed great insight, and intelligence as an operative should, and other times, when he reacted solely through anger and rage depending upon his skills to get him through. While I liked the former part better as it was more interesting to see the thought proces ...more
CIA super operative John Wells is back for a third adventure and while I found this to be a perfectly enjoyable listen (read by George Guidall) it was not quite as good as the previous two books. This one got bogged down a bit with technical details of nuclear weapons and the ending, while exciting, seemed a bit rushed.
Will Herman
Another great John Wells book. I previously compared Alex Berenson and his hero, John Wells, with Vince Flynn and his troubled CIA agent/assassin, Mitch Rapp. Towards the end of Flynn's short life and in his final Rapp books, Flynn got a bit right-wing preachy in his writing. At least as of this point in the series, Berenson seems more level in his geo-political thinking. I like how he doesn't seem to have any problems discussing America's role in the troubled world. Not completely objective, of ...more
Phil Hait
If you enjoy books with a myriad of intertwined plots, suspense & drama, then Alex Berenson is your type of author! John Wells super agent for the CIA, finds himself the target of one of his past international enemies. What makes this unusual is that the attempted murder happens in Washington DC while traveling with his fiancé Jennifer who is seriously injured. Wells is out for revenge & quickly is in Moscow. Multiple scenes of action are happening in Russia & elsewhere in Europe, in ...more
Berenson’s protagonist John Wells is faced with what is likely his most harrowing assignment, i.e., to locate some missing nuclear bombs stolen from a Russian nuclear facility, identify those who stole it, and stop what could well be an apocalyptic explosion somewhere in the world – most likely in the USA – all without the help or cooperation of the Russians. The clues are almost non-existent, so Wells is forced to use very unorthodox methods. The perpetrators always seem to be several steps ahe ...more
Bruce Scott
I'm referring to the audio book, read by George Guidall who I find a little annoying but he does a good job here. Berenson has created a durable hero, a CIA spy named John Wells who works essentially solo except for a smart, likeable controller back at the office who has a wise mouth and ambiguous sexuality. In this book, which I think I've listened to before, radical islamists steal the makings of a nuclear bomb from the Russian arsenal and set about to build a bomb intending to blow up an Amer ...more
Rob Damon
John Wells has to save the world from terrorists who have stolen a nuclear warhead from Russia. This sounds familiar. I have seen The Peacemaker and Sum of All Fears which were great films from the 1990's. I read up to page 250 of this novel and started skipping sections. I just know our hero John Wells is going to foil the terrorists attempts to detonate the warhead so didn't feel the need to read on.

The book is well written and I liked the characterizations of the Russian's early in the story
Scott Holstad
This is another good book in the John Wells series by Alex Berenson. It's the third book. In the first two, CIA agent John Wells has pretty much saved the world, or at least the US, so it's hard to imagine the author being able to concoct another plot that would live up to the first two. But he does. The book opens with a Russian scientist at a nuclear facility who is pressured into helping to improbably steal two nuclear bombs for Muslim militants. They intend to detonate the bombs in Washingto ...more
Another solid spook book. I give it 3 stars because there is a bit of sexuality that I prefer to not read, and also because of the gross amount of detail into making a bomb. I appreciate the author likely researched and wanted to come across as authentic, but it was paragraphs of overkill in my opinion. Excited to read the next in the series.

My scale:
1 star: Strongly dislike. Likely did not finish the book and would not recommend.
2 stars: Blah, boring, or mostly disliked. I would likely not re
in a way this was a continuation from the previous book where the international arms dealer gets back at Jack Wells. That part I didn't find unexpected. However, how that stretched into a nuclear bomb being created was in my opinion a stretch. One of the things that I found particular in this book is how the author would write about one thing and then describe it in detail later, which I thought was quite good, although this made the book quite jumpy. As for the plot, its interesting to see how ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Coup d'Etat (Dewey Andreas, #2)
  • The Assassin (Ryan Kealey, #2)
  • Enemy of Mine (Pike Logan, #3)
  • On Target (Court Gentry, #2)
  • Foreign Influence (Scot Harvath, #9)
  • Black Site (Delta Force, #1)
  • The Secret Servant (Gabriel Allon, #7)

Other Books in the Series

John Wells (10 books)
  • The Faithful Spy (John Wells, #1)
  • The Ghost War (John Wells, #2)
  • The Midnight House (John Wells, #4)
  • The Secret Soldier  (John Wells, #5)
  • The Shadow Patrol (John Wells, #6)
  • The Night Ranger (John Wells, #7)
  • The Counterfeit Agent (John Wells, #8)
  • Twelve Days (John Wells, #9)
  • The Wolves (John Wells, #10)
The Faithful Spy (John Wells, #1) The Ghost War (John Wells, #2) The Secret Soldier  (John Wells, #5) The Midnight House (John Wells, #4) The Shadow Patrol (John Wells, #6)

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“Rosette disappeared onto the dance floor. Wells sat in silence for a minute, watching the dancers. The worldwide cult of fast money spent stupidly. The worldwide cult of trying too hard. Moscow, Rio, Los Angeles, Tokyo, New York, London, Shanghai--the story was the same everywhere. The same overloud music, the same overpromoted brand names, the same fake tits, about as erotic as helium balloons. Everywhere an orgy of empty consumption and bad sex. Las Vegas was the cult's world headquarters, Donald Trump its patron saint. Wells had spent ten years in the barren mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan. He never wanted to live there again. But if he had to choose between an eternity there or in the supposed luxury of this club, he'd go back without a second thought.” 5 likes
“But no one was indispensable. These guys, they lost a step and the game moved past them. The teams were eternal, but the players came and went. One” 0 likes
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