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The Midnight House (John Wells #4)

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  5,800 Ratings  ·  279 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 te
Hardcover, 385 pages
Published February 9th 2010 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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May 10, 2015 Maddy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010-reads
SERIES: #4 of 4
RATING: 3.75

The subject of enhanced interrogation has provided headlines in the world news for the past few years. Those in favor of using these techniques feel that they provide information that would not be obtained using gentler methods. Breaking terrorism suspects might help dismantle terrorist networks responsible for thousands of deaths. There are others who feel that treating terrorism suspects more humanely results in more accurate and credible
Lewis Weinstein
Nov 04, 2014 Lewis Weinstein rated it liked it
A good but not spectacular read. Perfect for my "break" reading after hours of research and writing.
Joel Margolese
Sep 14, 2011 Joel Margolese rated it liked it
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
Apr 14, 2016 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: completed
I thoroughly enjoyed this fourth outing of CIA operative John Wells. Why? Because first, it offered a mystery that was quite intriguing. Someone is murdering members of a special task force (now disbanded) that specialized in interrogation of "enemy combatants" who proved resistant to normal interrogation. That mystery is well thought out and I must say I like it when the author plays fair and I was simply too dense to see the clue dangling right in front of my eyes.

The political chicanery and
Linda Munro
Feb 03, 2016 Linda Munro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When two men, both part of an eleven man ‘interrogation’ team at a secret outpost in Poland, known as the Midnight House, are murdered; CIA agent John Wells is called into action to not simply find the murderers, but to also find the story of the Midnight House. A letter to the Attorney General indicated that two prisoners had seemingly vanished. If this assignment isn’t tricky enough since the CIA is to nothing on home turf, to many alphabet investigative teams are involved, and many facts, inc ...more
Daniel Audet
Dec 02, 2010 Daniel Audet rated it it was amazing

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
Jul 12, 2013 Zora rated it really liked it
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
Byron Lord
Feb 23, 2014 Byron Lord rated it liked it
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.
Jun 18, 2011 Zach rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 05, 2010 Leo rated it really liked it
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
May 30, 2013 Srfotog rated it it was amazing
Great book. This was the first one of Berenson's I read and now I'm almost finished with the whole list. He's the best thriller writer I can remember since Le Carre was young. Not only are the plots up-to-date with the Muslim hook, but the stories are from actual events. You needn't know the real stories to be totally engrossed. I can't remember the last time I was so hooked into an author that I had to read the whole batch at once.
The one thing that absolutely astonishes me is how young Berenso
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
Apr 04, 2015 Jacki (Julia Flyte) rated it really liked it
This is the fourth book in Alex Berenson's series about CIA agent John Wells, which started with The Faithful Spy. It's not necessary to have read all the previous books - in fact, this is a significantly better book than installments 2 and 3. If you're new to the series, all that you need to know is that John Wells is a fluent Arabic speaker who spent several years undercover for the CIA infiltrating the Taliban and then became a national hero after averting a terrorist attack in New York. Sinc ...more
Apr 19, 2014 Katherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, reviewed
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
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
Feb 19, 2016 Linda rated it it was amazing
Excellent espionage thriller. John Wells has a conscience but he doesn't have his compass right now. He is finding his inner strength in a house in New Hampshire, he adopts a dog named Tonka, and meets a local sheriff named Ann. So, then he is called back to the CIA for a special mission. From there the mystery gets messy. Members of a black ops are being murdered and the mission is to find out who is doing the killing and does it have to do with the mission of the black ops. In this story, John ...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.
Dewayne Stark
Oct 07, 2014 Dewayne Stark rated it liked it
This is an earlier John Wells in the series for me after #6 and #7. Page 51 Wyly stops and IN-N-Out but changes his mind "He was eating too much junk these days" (I would not consider their food junk)
Somewhere it is mentioned that silencers are illegal but that is not quite correct. Some state do not permit them but many other do allow the sale and ownership after obtaining a permit.
John Wells is a Muslim yet he goes to the animal shelter and get a dog and bring him home. In the states some Musl
Feb 05, 2014 Betty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
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
Feb 13, 2015 Paula rated it liked it
I've been making my way through Alex Berenson's John Wells series and this one was as good as the predecessors, filled with the typical espionage intrigue and Wells' super-human achievements, wrapped in a fairly flawed but inspiring package. In The Midnight House, Wells is asked to investigate a super secret interrogation team whose members are being killed off one-by-one. Wells' on-again, off-again relationship with Jennifer Exley is off in this book but Wells has acquired a dog, Tonka, and a p ...more
Rob Smith
Dec 14, 2014 Rob Smith rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
Another great book from Berenson. I have yet to be disappointed in a Berenson novel. This one is very well plotted,written and with very well written characters.

This one being a bit different than most books of international thrillers in that the hero is in more of a Philo Vance mode than a terrorist killing machine. The mystery threaded through the book is constructed as if Berenson had been crafting Agatha Christie stories for years.

The last half of the book could have used some editing secti
Scott Holstad
Sep 29, 2014 Scott Holstad rated it really liked it
This was another John Wells book and it's hard to go wrong with this character. So I enjoyed this book. Mostly. But not as much as the first two. In this one, members of a super secret interrogation unit based in Poland -- The Midnight House -- are winding up dead, most killed by an unknown killer. The CIA brings back Wells to try and find this killer and stop what's happening. What follows is a mystery of intrigue, a semi-action novel, and a book on how the US treats its terrorist prisoners. It ...more
Jan 04, 2014 Linda rated it liked it
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
Apr 19, 2015 Derek rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meh.. I gotta take a break from this series after those last two. Tired of reading about how the good ole' USA has ruined the world and it's mostly our fault. Of course this was written about the same time we were apologizing to the world for ruining it. However, I am curious what his more recent outlook is in light of the past 6 years.. and ISIS.. and all the other horrible things still happening in the Middle East.. how that's our fault also.
Nonetheless this is a good writer and engaging stori
Christopher Taylor
Feb 08, 2015 Christopher Taylor rated it liked it
Although this was a better read than the previous two Wells books I've read I'm still not very impressed with him as an intelligence agent. He does reasonably well while in Arabic areas, but reverts to basic thug in any other situation.

The plot is interesting and less momentous than previous ones (such as saving Times Square from a dirty bomb). The roots of the problem go deep into US intelligence and military but not in the usual HBO special movie way where they're all corrupt monsters trying t
Aug 09, 2014 Tolkiengirl rated it liked it
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
Will Herman
May 04, 2015 Will Herman rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alex Gherzo
Sep 03, 2014 Alex Gherzo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Toni Osborne
Aug 23, 2011 Toni Osborne rated it liked it
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-
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Other Books in the Series

John Wells (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Faithful Spy (John Wells, #1)
  • The Ghost War (John Wells, #2)
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