cover image The Wolves

The Wolves

Alex Berenson. Putnam, $27.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-399-17614-2

Edgar-winner Berenson’s exhilarating 10th spy thriller featuring ex-CIA agent John Wells wraps up a trilogy within the series that started with 2014’s The Counterfeit Agent. With the tacit approval of the U.S. president, Wells sets out to kill American billionaire Aaron Duberman, who almost tricked the U.S. into invading Iran in 2015’s Twelve Days. Duberman, a casino magnate with vast holdings in Macao, is now hiding out in his mansion high atop Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak. Wells, deeply undercover and using the latest in surveillance technology as well as gut-level tradecraft, spends weeks trying to find a crack in Duberman’s security armor. It finally comes when the Chinese and the Russians both become intrigued by the prospect of exploiting Duberman’s vulnerability. Typically unflappable in tight situations, Wells uncharacteristically freezes up at one point. Yet when the call of duty summons, Wells rises to the occasion; his emotions may be mixed, but he still puts on a great show for readers. Author tour. Agent: Bob Barnett, Williams & Connolly. (Feb.)