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The Silent Man    by Alex Berenson order for
Silent Man
by Alex Berenson
Order:  USA  Can
Putnam, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Alex Berenson's The Silent Man is the third (following The Ghost War and The Faithful Spy) in a save-the-world espionage/thriller series starring maverick - and significantly larger than life - CIA agent John Wells.

As the story opens, Wells is enjoying quiet time with his partner and fiancée Jennifer Exley, both under the protection of a government grateful for their roles in averting global catastrophe in previous adventures. Said protection fails however when they're attacked by Russian assassins hired by Wells' old enemy, billionaire weapons dealer Pierre Kowalski. Jennifer is seriously injured, igniting a passion for revenge in John Wells, whose CIA superior orders him to refrain from acting on it.

In parallel with the attack on Wells - and his reactions to it - readers see the development of a deadly conspiracy to not only ignite a nuclear device on US soil, but to use that to foment global war. First comes its well planned theft from a Russian nuclear city, followed by a long journey by sea, and then overland to an isolated US farm. When it transpires that Kowalksi holds the key to unlock the location of this terrible threat, will Wells be able to forego the revenge he craves in order to save countless lives?

While his hero and villains are over the top (in the James Bond tradition), Alex Berenson develops an (unfortunately) credible threat and offers gripping entertainment in The Silent Man, which is not to be missed by fans of the genre.

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