Book 5, in the John Wells series
I am a huge fan of this series and with “The Secret Soldier” Mr. Berenson’s ability in storytelling shines. I really enjoy his forensic details and the picture he paints of deadly situations in highly volatile locations. This time we follow the intrepid former Special ops soldier John Wells on a mission while he tries to defuse an impending war on Arabian soil. It is believed a terrorist group that is even deadlier than Al Qaeda is at the heart of the well-orchestrated plan.
The action starts with simultaneous terrorist attacks in Bahrain, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, they are protesting King Abdullah’s hold on power of Saudi Arabia. The King believes his family is conspiring against him and want to over through him and place his more fundamentalist brother Saeed in his place, he also suspects they are secretly funding a group of terrorists to cause unrest in the Arab world and trigger a war with the West. The King faced with few options and few people he can trust calls on John Wells for his expertise in highly volatile situations and offers him a financial reward that is very hard to walk away from, especially when you are doing a job you love and excel at. John takes the assignment and soon finds himself in the middle of a very explosive plot with numerous sub-plots facing terrorists and counter terrorists. Things are moving at the speed of light and it is very hard to distinguish between the good guys and the bad guys and those who only want to make trouble in order to reap the benefits in the long run.
With all of the violence and carnage that we have read about in the past decades in world news, it is easy to see where this thriller got its roots. With the help of well-placed research notes, Mr. Berenson gives the reader just enough detail to explain the intricacies and complexities of the Arab culture. As an adrenaline junky I especially enjoyed the endless action and the excellent characterization. The ending left just enough unanswered questions to open the door to another exciting sequel.