The “John Wells” series is a book series to read if you enjoy spy thrillers. The series begins with John Wells working undercover for the CIA as a terrorist with al Quaeda. Due to an imminent terrorist attack he returns home however the CIA can’t trust him. They’re worried he has been turned and is actually working for the bad guys.
This sets the theme for the entire book series with trust and lack of trust amongst Wells and the CIA – from both sides of the coin.
The series is a great series and doesn’t really have to be read in any order. You can pick up any Wells book and jump right in as if it’s a standalone. The only one I’d recommend against that is Twelve Days which is a direct follow-up of The Counterfeit Agent.
Here are my top 5 John Wells Books:
#5: The Midnight House
Sometimes it’s nice just to get some actual mystery into your spy action thriller and that’s what we get here. It keeps you guessing with 11 members of a secret interrogation team getting killed off one by one. Wells is brought in to find out who is doing it. It could have had a bit more depth to it but it was still a great book and something different from the norm.
#4: The Night Ranger
Let me tell you why this book is so high on my list – it’s set in Kenya. I’ve read many books by many authors set in places within Africa – like in the Nick Stone series by Andy McNab for example. I’ve always hated them.
This is one that I started out groaning due to the setting and ended up absolutely loving. It’s a fairly simple story – 4 volunteers go missing, suspected kidnapped, and Wells is out to save the day. Nice and simple and also a solid standalone book if you don’t want to jump in at the beginning.
#3: The Faithful Spy
A winner of the prestigious Edgar awards for “First Best Novel” there’s no doubt The Faithful Spy is one of the best books by Alex Berenson.
Working undercover for al-Quaeda, Wells is sent to the United States to assist in a terrorist attack. He immediately contacts the CIA who are worried he may have been turned. This sets the tone not just for the book but the whole series – a strong level of distrust between Wells and who he is working for.
While I feel this is an incredible book I just can’t have it at #1. I think there are some things Berenson learned from it which he changed in future books such as the removal of a key character in Wells life and a change later on in the relationship of Wells and Duto.
Still a fantastic book though.
#2: The Counterfeit Agent / Twelve Days
These are the only two books in the series that are directly tied to each other. The Counterfeit Agent is an incredible book and Twelve Days is the conclusion – even though there’s a final act after this.
It begins with a CIA agent being warned by a source that Iran are going to muder a station chief of the CIA. However there’s so much more to it than that and only Wells seems to get that. It all leads to Twelve Days – Twelve Days for Wells to essentially stop the next World War while the US president doesn’t seem to want to hear about it.
I’ll still never forget when he’s trying to leave Russia on the plane – one of the most heart beating moments of a book ever.
#1: The Wolves
This is the final act following the last two books. Essentially it’s the fallout from them however it’s Wells at his best – going after one direct enemy. It’s fun seeing Duto as an ally for once of Wells and the relationship between the two just feels so real and natural.
What’s your favourite John Wells books? Post them below.