|John Wells returns in a cutting-edge novel of modern suspense from a #1 "New York Times"-bestselling author. After a plot against the aged monarch of Saudi Arabia is uncovered, Wells reluctantly agrees to go undercover, with the secret blessing of the CIA. But the more he learns, the more complicated things become, and soon he, too, is unsure of whom to trust, in Saudi Arabia or Washington.|
|From the Publisher:
In Saudi Arabia, a series of terrorist attacks has put the Kingdom on edge. King Abdullah is losing his hold, and his own secret police cannot be trusted. With nowhere to turn, the king asks for ex-CIA agent John Wells's help.
Reluctantly, and with the secret blessing of his former CIA boss, Wells begins to unravel the conspiracy, and realizes that there is more than one country at stake-because the plotters want more than the fall of a monarch. They want to start the final battle between America and Islam-with only themselves as the victors...
Peace between the United States and the Middle East is tenuous, to put it mildly and optimistically. So he cannot refuse to help when ex-CIA Agent John Wells receives a personal entreaty from the King of Saudi Arabia: the King needs Wells to prevent a domino effect that would destabilize the region and threaten the security of the United States. Without the support of the CIA, he goes undercover, but the cause and effect relationships Wells thought he would be dealing with turn out to be much more volatile and complicated than even this veteran spy could have predicted.
Alex Berenson is best known as the author of a series of high-octane thrillers featuring CIA operative John Wells. No stranger to dark milieus and subcultures, Berenson began his career as a financial journalist and has written extensively about Ponzi schemes, the dangers of the pharmaceutical industry, and other such topics.Berenson was born in New York and grew up in the suburb of Englewood, New Jersey. His mother, Ellen, worked as an antiques dealer and his father, Harvey, as a tax consultant. After graduating cum laude from Yale University in 1994 with degrees in history and economics, Berenson joined the Denver Post as a business journalist. When the financial Web site TheStreet.com was founded in 1996, he signed on as a reporter, and he remained with the enterprise until 1999, when he was hired away by the New York Times. There, Berenson covered a wide range of global events, and in 2003 he was sent to Iraq. While reporting from the Middle East, Berenson got the idea for the initial John Wells novel, THE FAITHFUL SPY, which was published in 2006. The first CIA agent to infiltrate al Qaeda, Wells has nonetheless earned the distrust of his superiors because of his conversion to Islam and his tendency to go long periods of time without making a report. THE FAITHFUL SPY won an Edgar Award for best debut novel of the year, and the paperback edition rose to the number-one spot on the New York Times bestseller list. Berenson has since written several other bestselling John Wells novels, each of which has garnered praise for its gripping plot and timely terrorist-related subject matter. In 2009 Berenson married Jacqueline Basha, a psychiatrist. He has sat on the board of City Harvest, which provides food to hungry New Yorkers, and has often auctioned off signed copies of his books to benefit that organization.
"THE SECRET SOLDIER luxuriates in violence, positively raging with Tarantino-style carnage....But one of the most provocative passages...is one many readers won't notice. Set in tiny type on the copyright page is a long, unorthodox disclaimer, reaching far beyond the 'any persons living or dead' boilerplate to detail how this novel turns Saudi Arabia's very real (and very much alive) King Abdullah into a central character, locked in an invented power struggle with invented brothers and invented sons. If the story doesn't send you racing to Wikipedia to catch up on the House of Saud and Mecca, this mind-bending footnote will."
- Todd Pruzan