cover image The Counterfeit Agent

The Counterfeit Agent

Alex Berenson. Putnam, $27.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-399-15973-2

Edgar-winner Berenson's action-packed eighth John Wells novel (after 2013's The Night Ranger) finds the ex-CIA man on an Atlantic cruise with his girlfriend, Anne, to whom he proposes. Anne turns him down, saying he must choose between her or his job, and soon enough he's off on a new mission to stop Iran from killing a CIA station chief. A woman calling herself Salome, who's working for an international secret agency that may have no ties to any government, is running the operation, whose actual purpose is to trick the American government into bombing Iran. Wells must go up against the CIA as well as the secret agency in trying to ferret out the truth, but he can't accomplish it all, so the end, while satisfying, almost certainly points to a follow-up volume. Thriller fans will eagerly await the return of the estimable, if romantically challenged, Wells to finish the job. Agent: Heather Schroder, ICM. (Feb.)