4?/series. Indomitable John Wells of Times Square fame (read best-seller The Faithful Spy) returns in this complex and edgy suspense novel. Stalked by images of those he's killed, Wells constantly pushes his luck (weapon of choice: motorcycles). When his lover, CIA agent Jennifer Exley, discovers evidence that the Taliban is getting outside training help, Wells volunteers to return to Afghanistan (where he spent a harrowing decade as an undercover spy) and join a special mission. Meanwhile,
in China, a
power struggle pits the greedy old guard against a power-hungry
reformer. CIA agents die, secrets are stolen, nuclear plans are honed.
Wells and Exley pull a his-and-hers caper, then Wells goes out on his
own as east-west tensions reach flashpoint. The denouement is
finely-tuned and suspenseful: will John Wells get out of the impossible
situation he's in? Will there be war? How many demons can Wells continue
to carry? Berenson, a reporter with the New York Times, is in total
control of his story, his facts and data, his armaments, and the
politics that could make this story all too real. For me, this is a
solid 5, a perfect read for international suspense junkies.