The Counterfeit Agent by Alex Berenson

The-Counterfeit-Agent-A-John-Wells-Novel-by-Alex-BerensonThe Counterfeit Agent is an excellent installment in the John Wells spy thriller series.

The prologue takes us to South Africa, where a mysterious woman that goes by the name Salome, is purchasing a couple of pounds of highly-enriched uranium. We’re given no further details, but we know the woman is up to no good.

Chapter 1 finds Wells on a cruise ship with the love of his life, Anne, as Wells is getting ready to propose to her. Then, the story begins to develop at a steady pace. The CIA station in Istanbul receives a tip from a man claiming to be an Iranian agent about the Iranian Revolutionary Guards planning to assassinate a CIA Station Chief. The man has provided solid intelligence in the past and his handler has every reason to believe the man. So, Wells is sent to Guatemala City to investigate a thread that can help unravel the assassination plot.

Mr. Berenson is a master of suspense and has a vast knowledge about spy craft. The story for the most part rings genuine. On occasion, Wells behaves in unreasonable ways—stupid, to use Wells’s own words on page 83—but the suspense of disbelief allows the reader to continue enjoying the story. There’s not much action in the first part of the book, as the characters make their moves toward the bigger, powerful plot that is to come. And the storyline runs on many parallel tracks, so the reader needs to pay attention in order to follow along and not miss important details.

A disgruntled CIA agent and the woman by the name of Salome have a plan in the works that may turn to be perhaps the biggest threat to the US safety and security. How will Wells uncover the plot and who is The Counterfeit Agent?

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