Friday, August 26, 2011
"The Midnight House", by Alex Berenson
Book 4, in the John Wells series
This story is a fictional account about people, their politics on interrogation and the harsh techniques performed on detainees to obtain information.
CIA agent John Wells was on R&R in New Hampshire when his superior Ellis Shafer calls him back to Langley. An assassin has been killing one by one, members of the defunct team of 10 called 'Task Force 673 '. They were based in Poland at a place code name Midnight House and their mission was to interrogate high-value terrorists with whatever means necessary and extract vital Intel from the most dedicated and most radical. Could the killings be a question of pay back at all cost?
With Wells back in the fold, he poses as an Arabic-speaking journalist in Cairo with the ultimate mission to find and interview Alaa Zumari and back at the home front, Shafer works his contacts he has developed over the years. Soon into the investigation they realize members of the 673 are being not only targeted by the enemy but also back at home by high ranking officials who do not want the truth to become public.
This 4th instalment is a tale of moral corruption, cynicism and political manipulation. I find the storyline has a deeper message than the author's previous novels and has a slight philosophical and political overtone. It also covers an interesting topic: the torture of enemy combatants by Americans on foreign soil. The story jumps back and forth in time; it covers the 673 operations in Poland and the present day investigation. The pacing is slow at times with only a few vivid action sequences to provide a good adrenaline rush, however the writer has cleverly incorporated events of the past years with some plot twists to intrigue and challenge us. The story is driven by a large cast of interesting and well-drawn characters and Mr. Berenson has expertly developed his protagonist into multi-dimensional patriot extraordinaire.
'The Midnight House' is very engaging and a mind stimulating read.