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The Prisoner

"If they don't come back, you won't have to worry. I'll be dead already." - Alex Berenson, The Prisoner

The Prisoner is the eleventh book in Alex Berenson's John Wells Series, and as you might expect, it takes the protagonist,a former CIA operative, on quite an adventure. The John Wells books are more inventive and a little deeper than any other series of thrillers I have read, which keeps me going back to it every time a new book is published. The hero - definitely a fitting word - is clever and capable in ways one can only imagine, and the stories Berenson comes up with are terrifying, because they seem eerily plausible. The Prisoner shows us Wells as he has settled into a post-CIA life, though unable to completely separate himself from his past and the world he lived in most of his adult life. Of course, certain events force him to decide whether he is able to stay away when his old bosses call on him. Will he stay home and go walk the dog or will he try, once again, to infiltrate a hostile place to prevent a major disaster from striking? Can you guess the answer?

This book is a solid addition to the series, and it shows Wells refreshing some of the skills he learned in the first book, when he infiltrated Al Quaeda. I liked that there was a bit of his personal story, which I always think makes him a more interesting character, rather than your run-of-the-mill shoot-em-up type of action hero. At times the book felt a tiny bit formulaic, but that didn't keep me from turning the pages. This is a smart, well-plotted and written thriller, and I definitely look forward to the next book in this series!