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Extended Audio Sample The Faithful Spy Audiobook, by Alex Berenson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,510 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alex Berenson Narrator: Robertson Dean Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The John Wells Series Release Date: May 2006 ISBN: 9781415934913
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A New York Times reporter has drawn upon his experience covering the occupation in Iraq to write the most gripping and chillingly plausible thriller of the post-9/11 era. Alex Berenson’s debut novel of suspense, The Faithful Spy, is a sharp, explosive story that takes readers inside the war on terror as fiction has never done before.

John Wells is the only American CIA agent ever to penetrate al Qaeda. Since before the attacks in 2001, Wells has been hiding in the mountains of Pakistan, biding his time, building his cover.
Now, on the orders of Omar Khadri–the malicious mastermind plotting more al Qaeda strikes on America—Wells is coming home. Neither Khadri nor Jennifer Exley, Wells’s superior at Langley, knows quite what to expect.

For Wells has changed during his years in the mountains. He has become a Muslim. He finds the United States decadent and shallow. Yet he hates al Qaeda and the way it uses Islam to justify its murderous assaults on innocents. He is a man alone, and the CIA—still reeling from its failure to predict 9/11 or find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq—does not know whether to trust him. Among his handlers at Langley, only Exley believes in him, and even she sometimes wonders. And so the agency freezes Wells out, preferring to rely on high-tech means for gathering intelligence.

But as that strategy fails and Khadri moves closer to unleashing the most devastating terrorist attack in history, Wells and Exley must somehow find a way to stop him, with or without the government’s consent.

From secret American military bases where suspects are held and “interrogated” to basement laboratories where al Qaeda’s scientists grow the deadliest of biological weapons, The Faithful Spy is a riveting and cautionary tale, as affecting in its personal stories as it is sophisticated in its political details. The first spy thriller to grapple squarely with the complexities and terrors of today’s world, this is a uniquely exciting and unnerving novel by an author who truly knows his territory.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Faithful Spy offers a well-informed, often chilling look at how al-Qaeda might launch a major new attack in the United States—and how one intrepid undercover agent might do his darnedest to foil it…The Faithful Spy is a first-rate thriller.”

    Washington Post

  • “A thriller worthy of Le Carré.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “An intriguing thriller studded with alarming possibilities.”

    New York Daily News

  • “One could hardly ask for a more skillful, timely, and well-rounded translation of our worst fears into satisfying thrills; a sure bet for fans of Jack Higgins and Vince Flynn.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • A 2007 Barry Award Finalist for Best First Novel
  • Winner of the 2007 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel
  • A 2007 CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa McCubbin | 2/19/2014

    " Well-written, interesting characters, fast-paced. Really enjoyed this and passed it onto my 17-year-old son who is now hooked on Berenson's books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martin Tobias | 2/16/2014

    " OK. I picked this up at the airport. Was looking for a light airplane read, spy thriller. I got a great thriller and a very engaging read, but not exactly light. You could read it that way if you don't read the newspapers. This one is literally "ripped from the headlines". About a CIA agent under cover with jihadi Islamic extremists trying to prevent the next big attack. We all know it is coming. We all know there are sleepers in the US. This book, although fiction, is a credible and very plausible potential path. The Islamist are not irrational crazies. They are people, deeply hurt, intelligent, just misguided. These people are out there. They won't go away if you sit down and have tea with them. Obama should read this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Doug | 1/27/2014

    " So I finally read the first book of the series - Amazing! If you like spy novels and action books this series if for you.It is a perfect kickoff to the series, and is well worth the purchase. I own it on Kindle so if you want to borrow let me know. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eric | 1/26/2014

    " This was an okay book to me. At times it seemed to drag on at points to me. It is a new author to me so it will be interesting to see where he takes the characters from here. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patrick | 1/26/2014

    " Awesome for what it is. Wish I had saved it for a plane. Will make a great movie. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shannon | 1/20/2014

    " Eh. Another spy book. A CIA agent infiltrates a terrorist cell in Afghanistan. The Cell sends him on a mission in the United States. The CIA wants to know if they can still trust him... The Cell wants to know if they can trust him... Etc. Etc. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrie Luciano | 1/19/2014

    " Great book. John wells is another hero America needs more of. This is the type of book that could keep you up at night wondering when and where the terrorists may strike again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 1/14/2014

    " Fantastic spy novel. Could hardly put it down. Can't wait to read the next John Wells story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sue | 1/12/2014

    " Wow - This is without question the best spy/thriller novel I've read in a number of years... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angie | 1/2/2014

    " Excellent, excellent spy novel. Conflicted characters in a gray world try to locate a moral center as they are called to serve their country. John Wells, our hero, could be a cowboy: watch for the "shot-out" at the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 12/24/2013

    " Liked it. Cold war meets Al Qaeda. Hero saves the day. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cody | 11/27/2013

    " Listened to the audiobook from Audible. I enjoyed it. Quick, plausible, entertaining, and occasionally frightening. I plan on reading the next book in the series eventually. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caithlin | 10/19/2013

    " I picked this book at random since I like spy books and really enjoyed it. It was a great fix of realistic fiction and entertainment. Can't wait to read book 2! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chad | 8/12/2013

    " Fun thriller. It was fairly predictable, but the story was still interesting and worth the read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nikki | 6/25/2013

    " I wish I could give this one 3.5 stars. It was better than 'I liked it' but not quite up to 'I really liked it'. I plan to read the next one in the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan | 5/8/2013

    " It did win the Edgar Award. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janice Reisman | 11/3/2012

    " This is about the CIA trying to penetrate al Qaeda. Very exciting "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maggie | 10/6/2012

    " Good suspense and very timely. Will appeal to high school readers especially those who want military and war stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cmc1012 | 6/14/2012

    " One of the best new spy novels I've read in a long time and it was very timely.... Love John Wells. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 6/6/2012

    " John Wells is no Mitch Rapp, but he can probably fill the void until the next Mitch Rapp book comes out. I'll read the next one in the series... maybe he'll grow on me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mona S | 4/17/2012

    " Fast and entertaining. I can see similarities (plot, characterization) between this and Frederick Forsyth's The Afghan, but in my opinion Alex Berenson did it much better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bryan Waters | 1/3/2012

    " This book was fantastic. A completely immersive read even more incredible when you realize was the first novel for this author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chelsea | 6/6/2011

    " A fun page-turner that seemed terrifyingly realistic! Fun for a quick thriller. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jake | 5/6/2011

    " Audio Book. It was pretty depressing. A CIA operative infiltrates Qaida and lives in Afghanistan for years. It sounds like a rough existence. Then he gets sent on a mission by Bin Laden but not told what the mission is. He goes home where his mom is "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Al | 4/15/2011

    " Espionage and violence in the age of Islamist terrorism. Berenson's protagonist is in the Jack Reacher mold. Good airplane reading, but not as good as the espionage masters like Furst and Ambler. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cody | 4/11/2011

    " Listened to the audiobook from Audible. I enjoyed it. Quick, plausible, entertaining, and occasionally frightening. I plan on reading the next book in the series eventually. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arman | 4/3/2011

    " USA's fears of al-Qaeda available in this book's content "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brigid | 3/14/2011

    " Readable, but not too exciting account of a deep cover spy on the Taliban, and what happens when he finally comes home.

    A little draggy in spots. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathrine | 3/7/2011

    " If you like Vince Flynn books, you will love The Faithful Spy. several twists & very "24" like. I can't wait to dive into Alex Berenson's second book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amber | 2/27/2011

    " Berenson does a good job of staying away from the controversial political issues and focuses on the fictional intrigue. He incorporates a smart interpretation of Islam and makes John's struggles with faith believable. Overall, this is a good read and I'm willing to give Number 2 a shot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rock | 2/21/2011

    " Better than 3 stars, but couldn't really justify 4. Probably would not have won an Edgar on my vote. "

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About the Author

Alex Berenson is the Edgar Award-winning author of nearly a dozen suspense novels in the New York Times bestselling John Wells series, as well as three works of nonfiction.

About the Narrator

Robertson Dean has played leading roles on and off Broadway and at dozens of regional theaters throughout the country. He has a BA from Tufts University and an MFA from Yale. His audiobook narration has garnered numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards. He now lives in Los Angeles, where he works in film and television in addition to narrating.