As The Shadow Patrol, the sixth John Wells novel, begins, Alex Berenson's star agent is longer officially part of the C.I.A.. He still freelances for them, though, and at the director's personal request, he's off to investigate the Kabul office. Two years after a suicide bomber gutted the station, the C.I.A. is still struggling to get back on its feet and reestablish its contacts in Afghanistan.
John Wells--agent, killer, faithful Muslim--is always willing to do what he can for his government. Going undercover to find the source of the problems in the Kabul office, he hears rumors of drug smuggling, and as he follows the trail, his suspicions soon fall on a team of Delta Special Forces stationed at Kandahar Air Base. Convinced that the drug smuggling is linked to the problems in Kabul, John heads to Kandahar; unfortunately, both soldiers and Taliban are determined to stop his investigation permanently.
The Shadow Patrol is a fast-paced thriller with an insider's view of up-to-the-minute espionage techniques in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Refreshingly, Berenson's agents are all intelligent and quick-acting, determined to assist Wells in finding the source of the problems in Kabul. Through Wells's mission, Berenson explores what it means to be a soldier in a war that few support, and what the future of Afghanistan may be. --Jessica Howard, blogger at Quirky Bookworm