I was watching a piece on CBS News Sunday with the title of ‘based on a novel by . . . “
It featured none other than the master spymaker, John LeCarre. Few of us can forget the Cold War and the novelists whose stock-in-trade were those “spies” who applied their craft, and by doing so kept us safe.
LeCarre, in 22 novels, revealed the frailties of the human condition and exploited it, building up tension in the reader with characters that lived in the shadows, dark and mysterious. LeCarre, along with Len Deighton, Frederick Forsyth, and Ken Follett showed us the face of British counter intelligence.
Gradually, US spy novelists came to par in the genre created and dominated by British writers. The Scarlatti Inheritance caused Robert Ludlum to be regarded as the first American spymaster. In the 1970s, former CIA operative Charles McCarry began the Paul Christopher series with The Tears of Autumn. The first American techno-thriller was Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October. It introduced CIA analyst, turned field agent, Jack Ryan.
With the end of the Cold War the genre went on hiatus. Spies lost their luster and relevance. No secrets needed exposure, or so we thought . . .! To survive, the novelists had to re-invent (more…)
VJ Books is now shipping signed 1st editions of The Secret Soldier by Alex Berenson.
Author Signed Hardcover. February 2011 NY: Penguin First edition, first printing, mint, new/unread in a flawless dustjacket, signed by the author. Each dust jacket is protected in an acid-free archival quality acetate cover.
Reluctantly, and with the secret blessing of the CIA, Wells goes undercover; but the more he learns, the more complicated things become, and soon he, too, is unsure whom to trust, in Saudi Arabia or Washington. One thing, however, is clear: If the conspirators prevail, it will mean more than the fall of a monarch-it may be the beginning of the final conflagration between America and Islam.
See all titles by Alex Berenson.
Having foiled an al-Qaeda plot targeting Time Square in 2006′s The Faithful Spy (which won an Edgar for best first novel), maverick CIA agent John Wells returns in this sequel, which PW called “pulse-pounding. . . [although] the characters and the perils they face aren’t as nuanced as those in John le Carre or even David Ignatius, the author’s plausible scenario distinguishes this from most spy thrillers.”
Alex Berenson is a reporter for The New York Times who has covered topics ranging from the occupation of Iraq (he reported from Iraq in 2003 and 2004) to the flooding of New Orleans. He currently covers the pharmaceutical and health care industries, specializing in the coverage of dangerous drugs. He lives in New York City.
Alex graduated from Yale in 1994 with degrees in history and economics. Before joining The Times, he worked at TheStreet.com and The Denver Post as a business reporter.
In late 2003, after coming back from almost three months in Iraq as a reporter for the New York Times, Alex Berenson decided to write a novel that would explore the complexities of the fight against terrorism in the post- (more…)
(Publisher’s Weekly, Dec. 15)
Bestseller Berenson‘s well-plotted and thoughtful third thriller to feature CIA agent John Wells (after The Ghost War) finds Wells and his fellow CIA agent and fiancée, Jenny Exley, living happily together in Washington, D.C., content to devote themselves to fighting the forces of evil. One morning, while stuck in traffic on their way to CIA headquarters, men on motorcycles attack them in their minivan. Exley suffers a serious gunshot injury in an act of revenge by minions of Pierre Kowalski, an enemy from an earlier book. Meanwhile, jihadists bent on destroying America steal two small atomic bombs. These extremely clever villains, per Berenson’s style, aren’t mad dog idiots but credible characters with reasons, at least from their own perspective, to be doing the great evil they’re planning. Fast and furious when it needs to be, this is a welcome addition to an excellent series. Berenson won an Edgar for his first novel, The Faithful Spy. (Feb.)