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The Ghost War (John Wells, #2)
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The Ghost War (John Wells #2)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  4,849 ratings  ·  265 reviews
CIA operative John Wells is in a running battle with an enemy that may have already won the war.
ebook, 576 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Jove Books (first published February 12th 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Daniel Audet
The Ghost War - here's the review: BUY THIS BOOK!
In fact - read all 3 of Alex's books, and get behind me in line for his latest: The Midnight House (in hardcover NOW!)

Alex Berenson's John Wells is a unique guy. Action heroes are a dime a dozen in the fiction world as we all know, however, there comes along - not often enough - a guy like John Wells. You'll never figure him out, not completely, maybe not even close, but his core values teach you to trust him. He can move through the night like a
Paul Pessolano
Last year we were treated to Alex Berenson's first book, "The Faithful Spy" that featured John Wells, a CIA operative, who was able to infiltrate and become a trusted member of al-Qaeda.

"The Ghost War" brings John Wells back and this time he is involved in a plot, by an unknown foreign power, to give aid to the Taliban in Afghanistan. John and a team of Rangers are dropped into an enemy camp. After a fierce firefight they are given information that may lead them to those financing the insurgents
Georgina Allen
I finally admitted defeat with this book on chapter 4. I just couldn't get into the writing style at all.

I felt I had no connection with the characters, and description/flashbacks kept getting in the way of the narrative, so I never felt settled into the storyline.

The final straw was when the female character entered an office where she had been before and had a coffee while speaking to a colleague. We had a paragraph of dry description without her interacting with any of the surroundings, then
Byron Lord
Feb 16, 2014 Byron Lord rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Byron by: my wife
This was a real barn burner. I could hardly put it down. The plot is so real. Berenson has taken real events and woven them in to a spectacular read. A Mole in the CIA, has taken down our limited human intelligence capability in China. A power struggle in the Politburo is taking China to the brink of war with the US. A deeply hidden mole in the Chinese army, who had dropped off the grid, is our only hope. John Wells the super secret agent, going in where no one in their right mind would go facin ...more
Berenson has done it again! I picked up The Ghost War wondering if it would be able to keep me reading without being a duplicate of his first novel, The Faithful Spy. However, soon after starting it, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed.

The Ghost War was similar to The Faithful Spy, while being vastly different at the same time. Berenson was able to develop a plot that incorporated his previous work, but also created a new world of danger for his characters, mainly John Wells.

We meet Wells again d
Clif Hostetler
This book is a geo-political adventure thriller novel with the basic required contents; (1) tough guy, (2) attractive woman, (3) danger and violence, (4) threat of more danger and violence, and (5) international intrigue tuned into current events. Also, any of the characters in the book may be wiped out at any moment, except for that tough guy and his attractive woman. The plot is based upon the premise that the People's Republic of China wants respect for its military power that is commensurate ...more
Feb 21, 2010 Samantha rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of spy novels
Shelves: spy-novels
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is the second book for Alex. I found it written very well and held my attention the entire book. As with other spy/murder/military mysteries, for me, that is, there is more of a description of things like bombs, helicopters,planes, etc than I need. Although the description of the Blackhawk held my interest more so than the the others.It was to the point and I could almost invision myself riding along with John Wells.Looking forward to reading the next book in his series, The Silent Man.
I reviewed Berenson's debut novel (The Faithful Spy) a few months ago by saying this was looking like a promising series. The Ghost War is the second entry in Berenson's John Wells series and it is a great read, almost on par with Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan books in their heyday.

The book concerns rising tensions and intricate behind-the-scenes political maneuvering between the US and China. Berenson deals with a large and very diverse cast of characters and covers a vast geographical spread as well
This is the second book in the series about CIA agent John Wells. It has more political intrigue and information about China and its navy that one can barely understand, but this just adds to the feeling of impending threat that permeates the story. I don't know how Berenson gets all his information but there sure is a lot of it.
I was never a fan of Tom Clancy but I think his fans would like these books.. In addition to all the military, political information, the writing is excellent and the si
Women aren't supposed to like spy novels, but ever since I read Robert Ludlem's The Bourne Identity in High School, I was hooked. Since then, I've enjoyed Ken Follett, Clive Cussler, and Nelson DeMille as regular authors I've turned to to get my fix. Unfortunately, now there are numerous spy novels out there. How to choose? I've tried to read Tom Clancy, but he switches back and forth in narrative so many times in one chapter it made me dizzy. I may try Clancy again because I loved the movies ma ...more
Bouchra Rebiai
A few months ago, I came across a copy of The Faithful Spy in the sales rack of my local bookstore, which is the second-most-frequented bookstore-rack by me. I read it, and I loved it. It was a new idea, at least to me, one that kept me questioning what was going to happen next all through the book. Then, at the end of the book, I found out that there were more John Wells books, so I decided to read them someday. That someday came along yesterday, and ended with the words: "He would never quit." ...more
Scott Holstad
The Ghost War is an exciting sequel to The Faithful Spy, starring CIA agent John Wells. I loved the first book so much, I didn't think the author could duplicate his effort, but I was wrong. In this book, China is making a power grab against the US, in part by tipping of North Korea about a spy, and in larger part, because it is making a deal with Iran to provide it with the means to make nuclear weapons. Hidden amongst all this, it turns out that China secretly funds the Taliban as they fight t ...more
Closest thing I have read to the Larry Bond world war thrillers, with a Chinese plot to become world dominant by using pawns like Iran and North Korea. Recovering superagent John Wells gets in the middle and helps save the one man with proof of China's complicity in staging conflicts to undermine America. Guess I need to read first JOhn Wells book...
Tom Tischler
Johm Wells the only CIA agent to penetrate the al-Qaeda, but his
handlers become distrustful of him and he of them. He had to stop
a terrorist attack nearly alone. Now he is back in Washington. His
wounds have healed but his mind is far from clear. When the CIA finds
evidence of a surge in Taliban activity backed by an unknown power
Wells is convinced to return to Afghanistan to investigate. What he
discovers is far from what he expected. A power play in China, a
mission to North Korea gone wrong, an
I am making my way through Berenson's "John Wells" series featuring a CIA agent pitted against all forms of terrorists, sometimes including those in our own government. The Ghost War is the second in the series and Wells is dispatched to China after the US Navy is involved in the deaths of Chinese civilians, an incident that brings US-Chinese tensions to a near breaking point. Wells' relationship with his handler, Jennifer Exley, has progressed to significant other status and this gives him a mo ...more
Abdullah Obaied
Not my style. To be honest, I reached about 60% of the book and couldn't finish it because it became way too cold and mundane. The narrative kept getting interrupted by flashbacks. The scenes kept jumping back and forth between uninteresting characters, and the entire book was a pain to continue reading. Honestly, the only good character in the book was John Wells, and there wasn't enough about the character for me to be interested (at least not to the part that I read).

Some people might like th
Another excellent addition to the John Wells saga.
Really solid spook book. Much better than the first in the series. It could have been because I was already familiar with John Wells, but the pages turned much faster than the previous book.

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. Would recommend.
5 stars: Life changing. Would hig
Alex Berenson. His work is basically about merging the journalistic style of Forsyth with a version of Mitch Rapp who has a tendency to angst more about his job. Most of the stuff he does focuses on the geopolitics of the Middle East and the war on terror. But in his second book, he took a detour, being one of the first spy thrillers to seriously focus on the growing power of the People's Republic Of China. What resulted was a well researched story about a subject matter which has become a lot m ...more
Toni Osborne
Book 2 in the John Wells series

The follow up to "Faithful Spy" is a smart and captivating spy novel of tic and tack scenarios between rulers of two powerful nations vying for ultimate control and on the brink of war.

The action moves quickly and the author triggers many different plots at the same time. It opens with an American destroyer accidentally ramming a Chinese trawler killing students on board and triggering strong nationalism and hatred towards the U.S. . Beijing quickly goes into cri
Mal Warwick
North Korea, Afghanistan, China, Iran: they all come together in this superb spy novel

Contemporary novels about espionage tend to focus on the rise of China, North Korea, Iran, or Middle Eastern terrorism. The Ghost War, the second of Alex Berenson’s six spy thrillers, brings all four of those themes to the fore in a heart-pounding story that thrusts the CIA ’s preeminent soldier-spy, John Wells, into circumstances that threaten not just his life but also the beginning of war between China and t
Kevin Allmaras
I would probably rate this three and a half stars if I could. Not bad story line criss crossing the world with John Wells. One problem I had was that there were parts where I wanted more story and follow up and others where I wanted less. John Wells is a CIA operative who is also a national hero for breaking up a terrorist cell in Times Square. A little too much into his psyche as he is trying to understand his death wish. His companion and lover Jennifer Exley also a CIA agent are together tryi ...more
Carl Alves
The Ghost War features CIA agent John Wells, who much like Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp character, is the kind of agent that doesn't play nicely with others, but does manage to get things done when others can't. The novel starts off with a sequence of events that are seemingly unrelated. First is the killing of a North Korean scientist who is a mole for the US, along with a top CIA agent, a secret deal between a Chinese general and the Iranians, a double agent in the CIA feeding the Chinese sensitiv ...more
GS Nathan
Berenson's background as a NYT journalist shows in the way he writes, easily and with felicity. Starts well, sort of flags in the middle and then picks up towards the end. The book has a good story too, taken it sometimes seem from headlines and real life events. But an one dimensional and perhaps shallow story too, with some parts of the plotting that is quite amateurish, such as the way the CIA detects the mole in its midst. And that is a pity because in the hands of a gifted writer a story su ...more
4.25 stars.

While John Wells has been cooling his heels in Washington, D.C. for months, something that is slowly driving him crazy, causing him to seek excitement on a speeding motorcycle in the middle of the night, there’s trouble brewing in North Korea, where a CIA informant who’s been tracking his country’s nuclear weapons program has requested immediate extraction. When things go from bad to worse, it’s clear that America most likely has a spy in their midst and it’s up to Jennifer Exley and
This is one action packed spy novel. Listening to it from an audio book, I appreciated the reader’s ability to go from one accent to another as characters in the book came from varied countries in the Far East and Russia, as well as the United States. This book is chock full of sub plots as evidenced by the fact that there are 10 cd’s.

If you are taking a long car ride, a road trip somewhere, this is the book to take. It will keep your mind jumping from the constant suspense and yet the plot is r
This starts off with our hero riding his Honda at 125 mph at 3 AM because he can't sleep even though he has left his beautiful CIA boss in his bed worrying about him. He is pulled over by a macho cop who tries to give him a ticket but a black CIA helicopter descends from the night sky and orders him to leave our hero alone. Sure.

Berenson makes comments in this book about how the US is "now" torturing prisoners of war -- like it is something new that has never been done before in the wars the US
I had forgotten that I listened to an audio version of this book a few years back until the story started to seem very familiar about a quarter of the way into it. (In fairness, I listened to the audio book at a job while working two full-time jobs, so my concentration level was not always high, and that was 5 years ago.) That being said, now that I have read the first book in the John Wells series, it made more sense about Wells' past (and his love interest, Jennifer Exley's, too).

As for the bo
Randall Dunn
I have tried for the second time to read through this book, and once again, I could not get past page sixty-something. The first time I tried, I was listening to it as an audiobook.
After his outstanding debut novel, The Faithful Spy, journalist-turned-novelist Alex Berenson fell into the trap of many popular novelists: he forgot to tell a story. People read stories about people, not technology or politics or cultural facts, but about the people who are affected by those things. Berenson keeps la
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Other Books in the Series

John Wells (9 books)
  • The Faithful Spy (John Wells, #1)
  • The Silent Man (John Wells, #3)
  • The Midnight House (John Wells, #4)
  • The Secret Soldier  (John Wells, #5)
  • The Shadow Patrol (John Wells, #6)
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  • The Counterfeit Agent (John Wells, #8)
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