THE SECRET SOLDIER, by Alex Berenson

Iron man, ex-CIA undercover agent John Wells, the indominable one, is back...and about time. Once again immersing himself in the Muslim world of intrigue and jihad, this excellent tale takes a turn with a look at the internal working of the Saudi royal family. The story wraps up the preceding Wells novel by finishing off a traitor, holed up in Jamaica's wide-open drug culture. Then events in the mid-east force King Abdullah to ask Wells for help. A meeting in Nice is followed by a series of outwardly unconnected terrorist attacks in the mid-east. But Wells find the link - through an abandoned terrorist camp in the Bekka Valley - and traces it to an unexpected kidnap plot. But is ransom the goal? Berenson, a former New York Times correspondent, knows his settings and their culture and politics. He's produced a gripping, only-slightly-unbelievable, suspense novel that you'll thoroughly enjoy. It's a 4.