The Midnight House (John Wells, #4)
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The Midnight House (John Wells #4)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  3,388 ratings  ·  218 reviews
CIA agent John Wells returns in a cutting-edge novel of modern suspense from the #1 New York Times-bestselling writer.

Early one morning, a former CIA agent is shot to death in the street. That night, an army vet is gunned down in his doorway. The next day, John Wells gets a phone call. Come to Langley. Now.

The two victims were part of an eleven-member interrogation tea...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published February 9th 2010 by Putnam Adult
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Joel Margolese
I've enjoyed the John Wells series immensely. And how could I not like an author who went to Yale, but makes his hero/protagonist a Dartmouth grad? This book is a dramatic change of pace from the rest of the series. Things slow down as Wells spends this book investigating a crime rather than fighting terrorists. The author goes to great length (sometimes too great) to flesh out even the minor characters and sometimes the book drags a bit, which didn't really happen earlier in the series. That sa...more
Daniel Audet

Finished the book last night, sorry it was over. Alex leaves us with an ominous tease at the end. Subplots and back-story are weaved seamlessly by Berenson by jumping to the past and back to the present setting us up for the finish. But is it the end? No, it's not. Love the way he brings it all home but leaves us with, like Wells, our bags packed both personally and professionally. Can't wait for the release of The Secret Soldier early next year!

I'm a little better than halfway through The Midn...more
3.75 stars. An international spy thriller. CIA agents, terrorists, corruption in government, fist fights, macho guys, tradecraft, all that fun stuff (fun to read about, I mean, seriously awful in real life.) It's a genre I enjoy, and this is better than a lot of the books in the genre because of the political sophistication of the international story. Terrorist are not always cardboard cut-out bad guys. They are real people with their own stories, as often as not. Sometimes bad guys get tortured...more
2 1/2 stars.
John Wells is a CIA agent who is currently recharging his energy after his last activity for the government.

He's called back to Langley when two members of a ten member interrogation unit are killed within twenty four hours of each other.
This unit worked in a secret location in Poland known as the Midnight House and was known to use the harshest treatment on the most hardened jihadis, to get the information that they thought the jihadis possessed.

When these two members of the unit ar...more
Byron Lord
Feb 23, 2014 Byron Lord rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Byron by: my wife
Midnight House is a revealing insight into the dark side of our war on terror. The gathering of intelligence though interrogation is not a pretty business. Alex Berenson is still the great story teller; Midnight House is filled with intrigue and excitement. John Wells and Ellis Schaffer unwind the tightly wound and highly protected secrets of Midnight House.
It was good, the detective angle was interesting, but I'm not entirely happy about Wells's new-found squeamishness about killing. I don't think any of the books in the series after the first one have captured the sheer awesomeness of The Faithful Spy, but Midnight House was good enough that I'll definitely pick up The Secret Soldier and any other John Wells books that come out.

I do wish Berenson would do a better job of keeping his own politics out of the stories, something he's usually good at...more
CIA Agent John Wells is called back after a voluntary leave of absence. A retired operative of the CIA is murdered, a former friend of Wells and 5 other that have been killed are all related to an interrogation of prisioner group that operated out of the a base in Poland called "The Midnight House". I did not like to much the going back in time where they were recanting the two prisioners confessions and how they had extracted the verification information given. This information was related to m...more
This was a Goodreads giveaway and the first Alex Berenson I've read. One of the nice things about these giveaways is the chance to read authors that are new to the reader and, at times, an author becomes a favorite. That is the case with Berenson.

This particular book deals with the black ops carried out by the various intelligence agencies, and they are myriad, which operate world-wide under the aegis of the American government and the most recently passed laws that hold few accountable for the...more
Bouchra Rebiai
This book was my least favorite so far from all the John Wells books. There are two storylines in this book, one beginning with the capture of Jawaruddin bin Zari, a top-ranking Pakistani terrorist, and the other beginning with a suicide followed by a series of murders. As the two stories unravel, we learn that the victims of the murders are members of an interrogation team - one that dabbles in illegal methods. The team was based in Poland, and one of the prisoners that the team handled was bin...more
Not nearly as good as the previous books in the series. John Wells, super agent for the CIA, seemed to be off his game and just kind of floundered around during the entire book. The ending was a bit flat and, I thought, highly predictable too. Listened to the audio version read by George Guidall who did his usual excellent job.
This is the fourth book in a series about John Wells, a CIA agent. This is the first of the series I have read. (I was provided a free copy for review through the First Reads program on As a result of reading this one, I have bought three more in the series. I didn't encounter any problems as a result of not reading the previous books. There were a few blanks that I will get filled in later (i.e., what's the deal with Exeley? What's the story regarding Times Square? )

John Wells i...more
I quite enjoyed this novel about CIA agent John Wells. I believe it's the first time I've read one of Berenson's novels featuring this character, but it probably won't be the last. Author Berenson weaves a believable tale about an interrogation team who operated out of a secret base in Poland known as the Midnight House. They were tasked with trying to get information from terrorists and employed any means necessary to do so. Now that their mission is over, several of the team have been murdered...more
Another glimpse into the life of John Wells. Lots of great dialogue. Only downside was (in my opinion) a little too much detail in the torture of possible terrorists. Already have the next book in the series, and look forward to reading.

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 recommend.
3 stars: Solid book choice. I enjoyed reading and would likely recommend.
4 stars: Great book. Wou...more
Alex Gherzo
I had this fourth book in Alex Berenson's series lying around, hovering at the top of my "to read" list while I concentrated on the newer stuff I bought and made a point of getting to it. I'm not particularly a fan of the John Wells books. They're not bad or anything, but they don't knock my socks off either, and there's very little I could tell you about the plots of the first three (references to them in The Midnight House jogged my memory a little). They sound good on paper (well, finished bo...more
Tex Reader
3.0 of 5 stars – Interesting Spy Thriller with Mystery and Political Intrigue.
(I'm excited to have won this as a Goodreads First Read – so thanks!)

This is a fairly fast-paced, nice combo of thriller and mystery taking you from Pakistan, Egypt and a secret prison in Poland to DC and other parts U.S. As part of the story, Berenson nicely interjects the realistic and moral dilemmas of how we protect America, treat prisoners, get information, and end terrorism.

This is my first John Wells novel, but...more
Toni Osborne
Book 4, in the John Wells series

This story is a fictional account about people, their politics on interrogation and the harsh techniques performed on detainees to obtain information.

CIA agent John Wells was on R&R in New Hampshire when his superior Ellis Shafer calls him back to Langley. An assassin has been killing one by one, members of the defunct team of 10 called 'Task Force 673 '. They were based in Poland at a place code name Midnight House and their mission was to interrogate high-...more
Mal Warwick
The CIA and the Pentagon Take a Lot of Punishment in This Novel of Rendition and Torture

The Midnight House of the title is a secret site in Poland where high-value prisoners in the “war on terror” are clandestinely flown to be interrogated outside the jurisdiction of U.S. law and even the U.S. Military Code of Justice. The term of art for this process is, of course, rendition, and the tactics employed by the secret team assembled by the CIA and the Pentagon can only be called torture. There’s no...more
4.5 stars.

There are spoilers for previous books in this review.

So, it’s been about six months since John once again saved America, and most likely the world, from disaster, and though he hasn’t quit the agency, he’s escaped to the mountains of New Hampshire to forget about D.C. and Exley, who he hasn’t been in touch with since she left him. Of course, we know this book isn’t going to be about John communing with nature, though he did adopt an adorable dog named Tonka, and when two members of a s...more
My first Alex Berenson novel. "The Midnight House" is a very readable spy thriller. It is all about the ultra secretive American unit 673 stationed in Poland. Captured Taliban fighters, presumably with important information, are flown in to the "Midnight House" in order to extract from them whatever secret information they have. The unit uses whatever means of interrogation it chooses, with two exceptions: However harshly the detainees are treated, they must not have telltale marks on their bodi...more
Someone is killing the members of a unit (composed of CIA and Army) which interrogated "high-value" detainees from the War on Terror at a base in Poland. The results of the questionable techniques for extracting information resulted in actionable intelligence that could shake the foundations of our coalition allies.

John Wells travels to Egypt (and to New Orleans and San Diego) to try to figure out why the members of the unit are being killed. What he finds may lead to the highest levels of the i...more
Aug 07, 2011 KarenC rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to KarenC by: series
Best to read the first 3 in the series before you read this one. Berenson seems to work from the premise that readers are already familiar with Wells as a character and his work relationships and background. Wells's role changes from undercover spy to crime investigator as he gets involved in the politics of a cover-up while trying to find the killer of the members of an interrogation squad.
There is a multi-layered plot that is even more complicated than it initially appears. Developments and cl...more
Kevin Kazokas
Hardly astonishing.
While "The Midnight House" featured many of the usual ominous and mystical locations of a high-stakes espionage thriller, it lacked the grit, punch and urgency to hit home in any lasting way. That's because the plot moved like a painstakingly slow whodunnit. Instead of feeling like a race to stop a global catastrophe, this Alex Berenson book felt more like spending a lazy afternoon on John Grisham's porch, sipping iced tea and contemplating the legal nuances of various war-cri...more
Alex has done it again...but in a whole new way. His previous books (The Faithful Spy, The Ghost War, The Silent Man) were completely different than his fourth, The Midnight House. They were "on the edge of your seat" John Wells is saving the world reads. Literally, in John Wells 1-3...he saves the world...or America that is. Murica!! Anyways, this one slows things down, but not to a level of boredom. This story brings out Johns humanity more than the previous novels when he was too focused on s...more
Katherine Clark
This, I think, is 4th in Alex Berenson series about John Wells, CIA spy who in the first book was undercover/embedded in an Islamic group in Afghanistan. Interestingly enough, he begins the first book as a devout Muslim. This book won an Edgar award. I liked that book, but didn't love it, so didn't bother reading others in the series. By accident, I picked up The Midnight House. It is possible to read this and like it without having read the other 2 books in the series. I like Berenson's take on...more
The CIA had to find a place to interrogate captured terrorists where they didn't have human-rights attorneys looking over their shoulder for any violation of the rights of the prisoners. Such a place was set up in eastern Poland and had gotten some excellent results on obtaining extremely useful data in the war on terror. Now the members of the 10-man (actually 9-men and 1-woman) unit are being killed one by one. Or more correctly, 5 had died, 1 was missing, and 1, the woman, had committed suici...more
Jun 09, 2013 Will rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fox '24' Fans
Shelves: mandatory-read
John Wells Solves Poland Rendition Retribution. Following a raid in Islamabad, two high value targets are wisked to eastern Poland for interrogation at The Midnight House run by a joint US Army-CIA team. The prime target breaks after three weeks of torture and gives up damning evidence about Qaeda collusion by the head of the Pakistani ISI secret service. The conditions of the torture overwhelm Rachel Callar, the Army psychologist assigned, and she returns home to San Diego and commits suicide....more
WOW! WOW! WOW! Reality check! High crimes and misdemeanors in govt. Not surprising, if true, which it very well could be. Even the great John Wells could not make this right, but he tried, with his side kick Ellis. Tsk, tsk, tsk. At least a few of the bad guys resigned, ha, ha. That part was not very realistic. Am really liking this series. Good writing, and spell binding plots.
Wilde Sky
A rogue CIA agent investigates when someone starts killing off members of a ‘black ops’ US interrogation team.

The story was quite good, but the writing was long winded (with every single background item being explained), which stopped the flow of the story.

In my opinion this would have been a much better if edited – removing (roughly) a quarter of the length.
Phil Hait
I have come to enjoy the John wells series. This book had a slight twist to the format since much of CIA super spy John Wells is stateside investigating mysterious deaths of a double secret interrogation squad that operated at the height of the Taliban intrusion in Afghanistan. The author kept two story lines going that gave a sense of why the disbanded squad's work needed to be kept secret. A lot to think about!
I didn't know this was a series, but if i remember to, I will look for more of John Wells' adventures. the Midnight House is a contemporary, exciting spy vs spy mystery. There is violence, but not swearing or sex so it was a clean read. In fact there was one comment ( here is the problem with listening, rather than reading a paper book, it's tough to go back and find a quote) the essence of which is " Heck? who uses that word, only Mormons or----"
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