Framing the Dialogue

The Silent Man

I was looking for a quick book to read as I took a break from Tim Ferris’ Four Hour Work Week.  It is not that the book is bad, but there is so much to absorb that I wanted something mindless.  The Silent Man caught my eye as I searched the newly released paperbacks.  None other than the New York Times extolled it virtues; “The Silent Man succeeds in seizing the attention from the start and never letting go.”

Author Alex Berenson introduced me to federal agent John Wells an undercover operative who pushes the rules to kill bad guys trying to destroy America.  As a fan of the television series 24, Vince Flynn novels and Daniel Silva’s jewish hero Gabriel Allon this novel should have been right up my alley.   Super agent Wells, nearly killed, goes after his assailants only to have to work with them to solve an even bigger problem.  Let’s just say there are Russians, Islamic jihadists, and a potential big explosion.

The novel was very entertaining, but the New York Times’ quote was not accurate.  I was not seized nor was I held in suspense.  I found the story to lurch from moment to moment and somewhat predictable.  When I compare it to other books in this genre by Vince Flynn or Daniel Silva, it does not measure up. 

It is nice that the good guys won, but Berenson gives too much voice to America-hating views in his characters.  The jihadists are somewhat portrayed as having a legitimate complain…almost.  I guess this is how much of the Islamic world blames America for all of their problems, but I really do not want to hear in a novel that I read for pleasure.  This is apparently the third novel featuring CIA operative John Wells.  Based on this book, I am not likely to go back and read the others.

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