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John Wells enters new territory as he goes underground in East Africa to track four kidnapped Americans and the Somali bandits who snatched them in the tough thoughtful electrifying new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Four friends recent college graduates travel to Kenya to work at a giant refugee camp for Somalis Two men two women each with the I liked this book less than the previous John Wells books but not because the plot seems smaller I actually liked that Wells isn't saving the entire world for once The problem he's solving here seems to have a realistic scale Instead I liked the plot writing and characterization less than in the previous books Wells and Shafer communicate almost entirely by cell phone and nothing in this book advances the plot strand about maneuvering within the CIA The plot also implies a conspiracy that's never really unraveled One major character Owen gets a personality transplant midway through the book that could have been an interesting portrayal of how a retiring nerd chooses to become a leader but isn't Meanwhile all the African characters talk in what sounds like Jamaican patois from a 90s movie which is sort of understandable when they're communicating in English with Wells but makes a lot less sense when they're having pages long conversations with each other presumably in languages they speak fluently Above all I strongly disliked Berenson's portrayal of women not ever his strong suit exactly but not something any of the previous plots has lingered over much In this book there are three main female characters two of whom drop out of the plot entirely the comely kidnapping victim the ugly but smart aid worker and the savvy sexy love interest There is something deeply sexist about the reduction of these women into such stereotypes that is really beneath Berenson's previous level of work and it's especially troubling when combined with the constant patter about rape in this book which just so coincidentally takes place in Africa It would be one thing to have three characters of this type in the story that would be fine in a page turner like this But Berenson doesn't use his narration to portray these women in any detail instead he just flat out says that Moss is plug ugly in Wells's eyes Rather than you know describing what her face looks like None of the women even the kidnapping victim who is a POV character has anything resembling a mental life at least not one that extends to thoughts beyond her looks or effect on men Gwen's inner monologue is patronizing and inane It's hard for the reader to get really worried about this blow up doll being in perilThis goes on and on page after page and I ended the book liking both Wells and Berenson less than I did before reading it I suppose this makes me sounds like a pissed off feminist but when this is the peek we get into the worldview of even a smart guy like Berenson it seems there's a lot to be pissed off aboutThis installment reads as though Berenson has a new editor and that editor is Scott Thompson the book's fratty jerk character Since I actually have some faith in Berenson and actual editor Neil Nyren I'll hope for a better book next time

Read Ü E-book, or Kindle E-pub Ç Alex Berenson

The Night Ranger

Ield And when he arrives he finds that the truth behind the kidnappings is far complex than he imaginedThe clock is ticking The White House is edging closer to an invasion of Somalia Wells has a uniue ability to go undercover and to make things happen but if he can’t find the hostages soon they’ll be dead – and the US may be in a war it never should have begu The Night Ranger was an excellent book exciting suspenseful and well written It is my favorite Alex Berenson book I think I have read the first six but I'm too lazy to check so far To my mind the only thing that prevented it from receiving the coveted five star rating was that it wasn't brilliantly written Please do not take that to mean that it wasn't well written because it certainly was I simply don't think that Berenson's writing good though it may be is in the same class as James Lee Burke or Daniel SilvaI much preferred the storyline in The Night Ranger to Berenson's earlier works as it was far plausible John Wells ex CIA c'mon who isn't these days didn't have to defeat entire well euipped armies single handedly to save the world but rather he went to Kenya to try to rescue four young aid workers from unknown kidnappers Frankly there are so many Mr Fantastic saves the world books being written that they are becoming pedestrian and a bit tiresomeBerenson did a nice job of fleshing out the main characters so much so that I dearly wanted to punch a couple of them in mouth interestingly enough they were not the bad guys but rather two of the kidnap victims The leader of a marauding band that was central to the story was a beautifully written young Somali bandit who had named himself Wizard because he felt invincible I found him to be the most interesting character in the story and his presence elevated the story from very good to excellentEach time I picked up the book I was excited to find out what would happen next and to me that is the earmark of a well written thriller One need not read all of the John Wells books to thoroughly enjoy this one In fact my memory is so bad and it has been so long since I last read one that well you get the idea As you might imagine I have no trouble in recommending this book to anyone who enjoys a good CIAMr Fantastic going after the bad guys novelThe End An Affair with My Mother prevented it from receiving the coveted five star rating was that it wasn't brilliantly written Please do not take that to mean that it wasn't well written because it certainly was I simply don't think that Berenson's writing good though it may be is in the same class as James Lee Burke or Daniel SilvaI much Peppa Pig preferred the storyline in The Night Ranger to Berenson's earlier works as it was far Dot.Homme plausible John Wells ex CIA c'mon who isn't these days didn't have to defeat entire well euipped armies single handedly to save the world but rather he went to Kenya to try to rescue four young aid workers from unknown kidnappers Frankly there are so many Mr Fantastic saves the world books being written that they are becoming The West (3rd Edition) pedestrian and a bit tiresomeBerenson did a nice job of fleshing out the main characters so much so that I dearly wanted to The Maddest Idea (Revolution at Sea punch a couple of them in mouth interestingly enough they were not the bad guys but rather two of the kidnap victims The leader of a marauding band that was central to the story was a beautifully written young Somali bandit who had named himself Wizard because he felt invincible I found him to be the most interesting character in the story and his The Ultimate Guide to Trail Running presence elevated the story from very good to excellentEach time I A Biggles Omnibus picked up the book I was excited to find out what would happen next and to me that is the earmark of a well written thriller One need not read all of the John Wells books to thoroughly enjoy this one In fact my memory is so bad and it has been so long since I last read one that well you get the idea As you might imagine I have no trouble in recommending this book to anyone who enjoys a good CIAMr Fantastic going after the bad guys novelThe End

Alex Berenson Ç 9 Summary

Ir own reasons for being there But after twelve weeks they’re ready for a break and pile into a Land Cruiser for an adventureThey get than they bargained for Bandits hijack them They wake up in a hut hooded bound no food or water Hostages As a personal favor John Wells is asked to try to find them but he does so reluctantly East Africa isn’t his usual playing f The Night Ranger is the latest John Wells novel by Alex Berenson Instead of Aghanistan and the Middle East this time the action takes place in Africa specifically Kenya and Somalia Alex Berenson is one of the rare authors who seem to get better and better each time out This book is exceptionally well researched I felt like I was in Africa The complexities of both everyday life and the political situation in Africa were clearly conveyed while also being smoothly integrated into the storyJohn Wells is one of my favorite action characters As it says in the book “John Wells is awfully simple and awfully complicated” He is not superhuman bullets don’t bounce off him and he makes mistakes He also makes choices that aren’t always the right or moral ones but he uestions those decisions himself and has to bear the conseuences He feels “real” than just about any action character I can think ofBerenson also makes great use of Wells’ former CIA bosses Shafer and Duto and his complicated relationship with them and their complicated relationship with each other The conversations between Shafer and Duto highlight the political considerations that take place and the dichotomy between loyalty and callousness With limited page time these characters are very well fleshed out The plot and the action here are also top notch The plot moves forward steadily punctuated with great action seuences combining both brute force and the latest in military technology Berenson does a good job of conveying the limitations of both You are left guessing as to what’s really going on and none of the characters are guaranteed to be safe Some guesses may be right but nothing is certain until the last page Exciting plot and action with real depth both in the locale descriptions and the characters make for a page turning thriller Alex Berenson is at the top of my must read list and The Night Ranger cements that status Highly recommendedI was fortunate to receive an advance copy of this book


10 thoughts on “The Night Ranger

  1. says:

    I liked this book less than the previous John Wells books but not because the plot seems smaller I actually liked that Wells isn't saving the entire world for once The problem he's solving here seems to have a realistic scale Instead I liked the plot writing and characterization less than in the previous books Wells and Shafer communicate almost entirely by cell phone and nothing in this book advances the plot strand about maneuvering within the CIA The plot also implies a conspiracy that's never really unraveled One major character Owen gets a personality transplant midway through the book that could have been an interesting portrayal of how a retiring nerd chooses to become a leader but isn't Meanwhile all the African characters talk in what sounds like Jamaican patois from a 90s movie which is sort of understandable when they're communicating in English with Wells but makes a lot less sense when they're having pages long conversations with each other presumably in languages they speak fluently Above all I strongly disliked Berenson's portrayal of women not ever his strong suit exactly but not something any of the previous plots has lingered over much In this book there are three main female characters two of whom drop out of the plot entirely the comely kidnapping victim the ugly but smart aid worker and the savvy sexy love interest There is something deeply sexist about the reduction of these women into such stereotypes that is really beneath Berenson's previous level of work and it's especially troubling when combined with the constant patter about rape in this book which just so coincidentally takes place in Africa It would be one thing to have three characters of this type in the story that would be fine in a page turner like this But Berenson doesn't use his narration to portray these women in any detail instead he just flat out says that Moss is plug ugly in Wells's eyes Rather than you know describing what her face looks like None of the women even the kidnapping victim who is a POV character has anything resembling a mental life at least not one that extends to thoughts beyond her looks or effect on men Gwen's inner monologue is patronizing and inane It's hard for the reader to get really worried about this blow up doll being in perilThis goes on and on page after page and I ended the book liking both Wells and Berenson less than I did before reading it I suppose this makes me sounds like a pissed off feminist but when this is the peek we get into the worldview of even a smart guy like Berenson it seems there's a lot to be pissed off aboutThis installment reads as though Berenson has a new editor and that editor is Scott Thompson the book's fratty jerk character Since I actually have some faith in Berenson and actual editor Neil Nyren I'll hope for a better book next time


  2. says:

    Change of scenery Wells story with our hero traveling to East Africa Kenya and Somalia to attempt a rescue of four young aid workers kidnapped for ransomGood action scenes with Wells' former CIA handler Shafer providing remote support and intel with John's nemesis Vinny trying to hold off a military intervention


  3. says:

    An outstanding thriller set amid the refugee crisis in Kenya and SomaliaThe biggest difference between a superior thriller and one that’s just so so lies in the degree to which the setting and circumstances are inherently interesting — and in the research the author has done to bring them to life in a fully credible manner Though others may best him in other ways it’s hard to find a thriller writer who is diligent or ingenious at research than Alex Berenson who is a former New York Times correspondentIn The Night Ranger the seventh novel in his John Wells series Berenson casts a spotlight on one of the greatest tragedies on Earth the plight of hundreds of thousands of refugees from the recurring drought and unending civil war in SomaliaIn most respects The Night Ranger is a conventional thriller with the doughty hero taking action against great odds to save humanity from great evil In this case he even gets to rescue two beautiful young damsels in distress all the while his actions prevent another ill considered invasion of a distant country by the US military The action is virtually non stop and tension builds steadily toward a shattering climax making the book progressively difficult to set asideWells now ex Army and ex CIA rushes to Dadaab site of an enormous camp for Somali refugees in northeastern Kenya There four young American volunteers working temporarily for a US charity are kidnapped on their way to a nearby luxury vacation site Having volunteered to attempt the young people’s rescue without pay Wells teams up with his former CIA boss Ellis Shafer to take advantage of the agency’s electronic surveillance capabilities As his search begins Wells uickly learns that the situation is far complex than he could have imaginedWhat sets aside The Night Ranger from other thrillers set in exotic locales is the abundance of credible detail Berenson offers up from a snapshot of Kenyan bureaucracy and a portrayal of Somali bandit gangs to discussions of weaponry and the tactics of hand to hand fighting Alex Berenson knows stuff that few of the rest of us doThe Night Ranger is a thoroughly enjoyable bit of escapist literature with than a dollop of education about the refugee crisis thrown in for good measure


  4. says:

    Love this series however TNR wasnt my favorite John Wells outing Lots of unanswered uestions and the ending felt abrupt The epilogue did not feel like an epilogue to mejust a continuation of the book I would have loved a confrontation with Thompson that explained the motive for him and Scott Also wasnt uite sure what the point of the make out session with the weird lady was all about Maybe to plant the seed that John doesnt have deep feelings for Anne and the return of Exley is nigh? Wishful thinking on my part maybe but I dont feel a connection between him and Anne Shes boring Also I had a hard time connecting with the hostages Just when you felt sorry for Gwen she turned into a dumb blonde And all the emphasis on their looks was distracting What happened to Owen? He went from mild mannered push over to violent mental case? Again distractingScott is murdered right before their eyes and noone sheds a tear? I was also left jonesing for action at some pointsHowever the dialogue between John and Wizard was hilarious as were numerous other parts throughout the book I will always read this series but found this outing a little disappointing


  5. says:

    PROTAGONIST John Wells CIA agentSETTING Kenya SomaliaSERIES #7 of 7RATING 35Four friends—Gwen Hailey Owen and Scott—have recently graduated from the University of Montana and decide to volunteer to help at a Somali refugee camp located in Kenya which is overseen by Scott’s uncle James Thompson The assignment does not meet their idealistic expectations The Somalians are not at all grateful for their aid and the work they do is not particularly fulfilling The exception is something that Gwen Murphy decides to do on her own teaching the children in the camp English although that endeavor is not greatly successful eitherAt Scott’s suggestion the four decide to take a short vacation to an area near the Somalian border They are captured by a rogue group who takes them to an encampment where they are held hostage Their disappearance gets the attention of the US authorities who send in agent John Wells to get them to safety In the meantime however one of the hostages is killed and the others kidnapped yet again by a smaller force led by a charismatic young man “Wizard” who holds them for ransom Wells comes in and is able to negotiate with the abductors coming up with a clever idea that may save the day At the same time he has to figure out who is behind these acts of terrorismTHE NIGHT RANGER is the seventh book in the John Wells series Wells is in no way a superhero; in fact he is beginning to feel the effects of age However that doesn’t diminish his ability to come up with innovative solutions The book was action packed My only uibble had to do with the four students who didn’t have a lot of depth to them with dialogue that was rather triteAlthough THE NIGHT RANGER is basically a standard international thriller it is saved from mediocrity by the timeliness of the narrative Certainly we are all aware of the dangers posed by the country of Somalia who have been in the news freuently for acts of ship piracy and kidnapping of their crews The other aspect that was uite interesting was around a topic that has become uite a point of contention in the US today the use of unmanned drones in a military operation


  6. says:

    The Night Ranger is the latest John Wells novel by Alex Berenson Instead of Aghanistan and the Middle East this time the action takes place in Africa specifically Kenya and Somalia Alex Berenson is one of the rare authors who seem to get better and better each time out This book is exceptionally well researched I felt like I was in Africa The complexities of both everyday life and the political situation in Africa were clearly conveyed while also being smoothly integrated into the storyJohn Wells is one of my favorite action characters As it says in the book “John Wells is awfully simple and awfully complicated” He is not superhuman bullets don’t bounce off him and he makes mistakes He also makes choices that aren’t always the right or moral ones but he uestions those decisions himself and has to bear the conseuences He feels “real” than just about any action character I can think ofBerenson also makes great use of Wells’ former CIA bosses Shafer and Duto and his complicated relationship with them and their complicated relationship with each other The conversations between Shafer and Duto highlight the political considerations that take place and the dichotomy between loyalty and callousness With limited page time these characters are very well fleshed out The plot and the action here are also top notch The plot moves forward steadily punctuated with great action seuences combining both brute force and the latest in military technology Berenson does a good job of conveying the limitations of both You are left guessing as to what’s really going on and none of the characters are guaranteed to be safe Some guesses may be right but nothing is certain until the last page Exciting plot and action with real depth both in the locale descriptions and the characters make for a page turning thriller Alex Berenson is at the top of my must read list and The Night Ranger cements that status Highly recommendedI was fortunate to receive an advance copy of this book


  7. says:

    I've been a fan of John Wells the protagonist of most of Alex Berenson's novels for a while but I found the latest installment in the series disappointing I've grown accustomed to John Wells saving the world or at least preventing a major disaster but in this book his exploits focus on the kidnapping of three aid workers in Africa none of whom are even terribly likable It's as if James Bond got involved in breaking up a small time check kiting ring in North Dakota Valuable work certainly but where is the evil genius residing in the hollowed out volcano with dreams of nuclear annihilation?That said The Night Ranger is readable enough It passed the time on a long flight back from Japan just fine The story hangs together reasonably well John is true to his character cynical brave troubled and just a bit reckless and the usual secondary players Ellis Schaefer and Vinnie Duto play their reuisite roles


  8. says:

    Another John Wells thriller I hate to use the cliches associated with reading I couldn't put it down or A real page turner but with this book I found myself putting off chores to sit in my chair and read another 50 or so pages instead of doing what needed to be done That doesn't happen too often to me any The only negative I have is Berenson left too many loose ends to this story Some I can understand he would address them in the next novel The relationship with his son for example As his estranged son's phone call was the reason Wells became involved in the search for the kidnap victims in the first place I thought it odd that there was no communication at the end of the book There were a couple of other instances but I'll let other readers form their own opinion on those


  9. says:

    The Night Ranger was an excellent book exciting suspenseful and well written It is my favorite Alex Berenson book I think I have read the first six but I'm too lazy to check so far To my mind the only thing that prevented it from receiving the coveted five star rating was that it wasn't brilliantly written Please do not take that to mean that it wasn't well written because it certainly was I simply don't think that Berenson's writing good though it may be is in the same class as James Lee Burke or Daniel SilvaI much preferred the storyline in The Night Ranger to Berenson's earlier works as it was far plausible John Wells ex CIA c'mon who isn't these days didn't have to defeat entire well euipped armies single handedly to save the world but rather he went to Kenya to try to rescue four young aid workers from unknown kidnappers Frankly there are so many Mr Fantastic saves the world books being written that they are becoming pedestrian and a bit tiresomeBerenson did a nice job of fleshing out the main characters so much so that I dearly wanted to punch a couple of them in mouth interestingly enough they were not the bad guys but rather two of the kidnap victims The leader of a marauding band that was central to the story was a beautifully written young Somali bandit who had named himself Wizard because he felt invincible I found him to be the most interesting character in the story and his presence elevated the story from very good to excellentEach time I picked up the book I was excited to find out what would happen next and to me that is the earmark of a well written thriller One need not read all of the John Wells books to thoroughly enjoy this one In fact my memory is so bad and it has been so long since I last read one that well you get the idea As you might imagine I have no trouble in recommending this book to anyone who enjoys a good CIAMr Fantastic going after the bad guys novelThe End


  10. says:

    Alex Berenson continues to write engrossing thrillers starring the redoubtable John Wells who is again called upon to find victims of a kidnapping but in this case its young teenagers in Africa Again and again Berenson has had Wells involved in different corners of the world in interesting plots that do not involve your standard thriller tropes Night Ranger is no exceptionJohn Wells receives a call from his son Evan in Montana Four college kids volunteering in a charitable food relief effort in Kenya have been kidnapped by suspected terrorists on their way by truck to a vacation at a resort Evan is the friend of the sister of Gwen Murphy one of the hostages and asks Wells if he will go to Africa and investigate and find the hostages Wells hops on the nearest plane with is sunglasses and old and reliable gun and flies to AfricaBerenson adeptly switches back and forth between the terrfied hostages and Wells who first finds something fishy in the fact that James Thompson the leader of the charity who seems to be about to come out with a new book and the Uncle of one of the teenage hostages has a blank burner phone on him Enlisting the help of his old boss Shafer at the CIA Wells becomes suspicious that the teens may be the unwilling victims of a money making operationMeanwhile the teens are being treated harshly but not harmed and the story of their abduction has become big news A local warlord the very young Wizard and his band of White Men who all wear white tee shirts hears about the kidnapping and thinks the teens may be a way to make some money and thwart another warlord band led by his arch enemy Awale Awale has many men and 12 technicals pickup trucks with heavy machine guns on themWizard's men find the teens kill the teens' kidnappers and retakes the teens with the idea of selling them to the highest bidderUnknowing of Wizard's involvement Wells and a local fixer follow the trail of the teens' trip to the resort and come upon a killing zone where hyenas are feasting on dead men Soon Wells and his friend will come under fire from several of Wizard's men Wells uses a cellphone found after the firefight to contact Wizard to offer a ransom for the hostage's releaseBut deals with local warlords sometimes reuire than money and Wells and Shafer will have to get involved in a confrontation between Wizard and Awale with Wells' life and the hostages at stake Wells has offered the USA's help against Awale in turn for the teens' release but suspects that Wizard intends to kidnap WellsThere is a lot of hot action in this novel but its also a story of Wells using his insight and military skill to track and bargainBerenson has shown an admirable ability to keep Wells books fresh and interesting by limiting the stories to real world situations in the much wider world Far from the Middle East Saudi Arabia and the hills of Afghanistan Wells stories standout in the increasingly crowded thriller worldIts another winner


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