The Silent Man
Putnam, Feb 2009, $25.95
In the DC area CIA Agents John Wells and Jennifer Exley are driving to work when traffic comes to a standstill because of accidents on twoe bridge. John thinks it is too much of a happenstance and quickly is proven right when three assassins on motorcycles start shooting at them. They kill their attackers, but Exley is critically wounded in the crossfire. When he knows she will live, John goes to Russia to obtain proof that arms dealer Pierre Kowalski put out the hit on him for embarrassing him and marking his face in a duel years ago.
The mission fails but Kowalski is deathly afraid that Wells will come after him. In Russia, two nuclear warheads are stolen from the secure Facility in Ozersk and placed on board a freighter heading to Canada where Jihadists wait for the arrival to drive them into the States. They intend to nuke DC on Inauguration Day led by Sayyid Nadiji whose family was killed during the Iraq War and occupation. Kowalski is asked to deliver beryllium to give to a third party who will supply it to those targeting Washington. He tells Wells to maintain the peace between them. John runs with the information, which is the first step in finding and preventing Jihadists from devastating DC.
This is an invigorating thriller that will frighten readers as the scenario is plausible with the terrorists capable of the theft, delivery, and destruction on a scale that could make 9/11, London and Madrid seem minor. John is a dedicated agent risking his life to keep the world safe while his beloved Exley wants him out of the deadly field game that he cannot walk away from even if it means losing her. Fans will enjoy the latest spy thriller, as Alex Berenson continues to deliver top rate realistic tales (see THE GHOST WAR and FAITHFUL SPY) on a par with Le Carre and Silva.