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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Secret Soldier - a review

The Saudi government is in trouble. One of the princes of the kingdom is undermining the King in an effort to seize the throne. So, who do the King and his trusted henchmen turn to? Former CIA operative John Wells. This demonstrates the fiction in this incredulous turn of events; as the prince says “You think this pleases us? To ask an American we don’t know for help.” What else would you do though when your own secret service is compromised?

Once Wells gets his head in the game, he and his partner Brett Gaffan go deep undercover, with literally a king’s ransom at their disposal, to race to find out who the secret operatives are, where they are and what diabolical plot they’re hatching against the government. From New Hampshire to Montego Bay, South of France to Milan, or Lebanon to Cyprus the pair race against time to discover the truth.

When the leader of the rebel force goes rogue and inflicts pain not only on the king, but on ‘the American infidels,’ the CIA gives it’s blessing to send in the secret soldier while government red tape holds up any involvement from a Delta Force unit confined to the embassy grounds. Using the latest satellite technology they are able to pinpoint the location of the missing Ambassador. Since a video of impossible demands has already been broadcast over the airways through Al Jazeera, it is a race against time before a video of his decapitation is shown next, leading to the scenario of an American invasion and the downfall of aging King Abdullah.

Berensen takes his time establishing his characters credentials in an effort to make this a fine stand-alone novel for those not already introduced to his protagonist John Wells. His work is as much a historical and political fact finding tour of the Middle East as is it a spellbinding page turner and espionage thriller, one that his hard to put down.

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