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The Silent Man (John Wells, #3)
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The Silent Man (John Wells #3)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  7,908 Ratings  ·  313 Reviews
"It's been a rough few years for CIA agent John Wells. The undercover work in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the attack on the United States, the Chinese plot that could have led to war. Wells is exhausted, and his nights filled with disturbing dreams. But he knows he has no time for that. He has made many enemies, and the world won't stay quiet for long." "Nevertheless, Wells ...more
Hardcover, 418 pages
Published February 12th 2009 by Putnam Adult (first published February 10th 2009)
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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
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Our friend Wells, who we met after he infiltrated the Taliban for a decade, is on the trail of a global arms dealer. The only way to get the CIA shark off track is to throw out some other bait - Arab bad boys who want to build their own Hiroshima-type bomb.

I enjoy the Wells persona - a Dirty Harry spy. He's in a regimented, team universe who wants to wing it, shooting from the hip. His minders would rather he play by the rules. Is there a rebel among us who doesn't empathize with the man who lov
Kyle Pennekamp
Mar 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Ned Frederick
Feb 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-fiction
ohhh my lord these books
Toni Osborne
Dec 16, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Apr 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller
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
Oct 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 20, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Byron Lord
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 01, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Jan 30, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not quite sure why I didn't like this story better. The plot is certainly interesting and really horrifying: terrorists planning to explode an atomic bomb in the United States. I think part of the problem is the characterization of Mr. Wells. He seems rather generic in this book, interchangeable with any covert operative in the CIA.

One thing I really liked about this book: its lack of foul language. Midway through the book I realized that I hadn't heard "that word that starts with f" at all
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: berenson
six twenty-two ay em the morning of the 21st of february 2018...still dark...winter...just finished good read four stars kindle library loaner. intense. terrorists, a bomb, russia, the u.s.a., other places, the black sea, the atlantic, canada...been reading this in order and that makes a kind of sense considering the stories are chronological, but maybe one could read them out of sequence.
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Mike by: Dixon
I do enjoy Berenson's John Wells series. They are a nice break from the constant barrage of police procedurals/serial killers. The stories are plausible, the protagonists intelligent and likable, and the bad guys are never two-dimensional. I look forward to the next installment.
Mike Worley
Jan 05, 2018 rated it liked it
So far so good, I just started reading "spy thriller" books about a year ago. I was pleasantly surprised by some of these books. Interesting characters, attention to detail, wide-ranging and accurate geographical settings, excellent research, and competent writing makes for good reading in any genre.
Good fun read, 3.5 stars
Mal Warwick
Apr 26, 2012 rated it liked it
An Able Spy Story About Terrorism, Nuclear Weapons, and Russia on the Rise

When I read a spy story, I tend to look for credible characters and plausible plots as well as the usual fare offered up by the genre, such as suspense, exciting action, and (sometimes) exotic locales. In virtually all these ways, The Silent Man passes my litmus test as an excellent example of the craft — but one decision by the President of the United States, not even critical to the plot, struck me as so implausible and
Apr 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed
This an another exciting entry in the John Wells series. A crackerjack of a spy story, even if the wrap up seemed to occur very rapidly and seemed to be almost based on coincidence then good spymanship.

Wells continues to be an interesting character. Sickened by killing, but always prepared to do it again. Further, his girlfriend is increasingly uncomfortable with Wells' willingness to get back to where the action is, even though the agency pretty much holds him on as tight of a leash as they ca
Daniel Audet
Nov 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Mr. Gottshalk
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
When I read a book about deep undercover agents, I expect certain things. First, I have to be able to understand the plot. Not too much techno mumble-jumble. I have to be able to trace the side stories, of which this novel had several. Lastly, I want to be able to go back to the action and entertainment and remember what happened since I last put it down. I was able to do all of these things with this John Wells story. I'm relatively new to the series, but I think I'll catch up!
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009, reviewed
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.
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
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.
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Alex Berenson's John Wells series gets better and better with each book. This one was excellent!
Marty Fried
I enjoyed this book, but not as much as some of the previous ones in the series. I think it may be getting too predictable - the renegade hero/cowboy who wants free reign for his personal grudges, but is never sure what he really wants. In this one, his girlfriend gets hurt as a result of his earlier poking of some enemy, so he decides to get even, even though his girlfriend and everyone else says not to do it. He goes ahead, and almost causes an international incident.

This, of course, doesn't
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Actually, I would give this book 3.5 stars as I thought it was slightly less exciting than Berenson’s previous Wells novels. The story was plodding at times, especially with the detailed description of bomb making. Others may find it interesting. I found it a bit tedious at times. Also, I thought the bomb plot was solved much too quickly and easily for my liking. All the pieces seem to fit together much too easily for Wells. Still, John Wells is an interesting character and his relationship with ...more
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
The third installment of John Wells did not necessarily disappoint, but did resolve very quickly following a long build. I did enjoy the fact that John doesn't always get his way, and suffers from his previous injuries; he's not the ubermensch we've come to expect. The relationship between him and Exely is somewhat predictable in that she knows he can't commit because of who he is; he is who is because he can't commit. Ouroburous.

Onto the next chapter.
Maniissh Aroraa
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A plan of terrifying consequences has been set in motion - terrorists have infiltrated Russia's nuclear complex and got away with two nuclear bombs. An arms dealer in Europe is trying to strike a deal with a spy serving in Afghanistan to save the world. A doctor practicing in America has to be killed to execute the plan. Great Book....Must Read!!
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Other Books in the Series

John Wells (1 - 10 of 12 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)
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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.” 10 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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