cover image The Shadow Patrol

The Shadow Patrol

Alex Berenson, read by George Guidall. Penguin Audio, unabridged, nine CDs, 11.25 hrs., $39.95 ISBN 978-1-61176-044-6

In this latest installment in Berenson’s popular series, former CIA agent John Wells is hired by the agency to go undercover and investigate deadly and divisive activities at its flagging facility in Kabul, Afghanistan. There, Wells discovers the situation is worse than expected, with a drug-trafficking operation in full flower, morale bottoming out, an assassination being planned, and an unidentified American calling all the shots. George Guidall provides solid, naturalistic narration and offers up a variety of international accents. Much of the novel consists of Berenson’s darkly sardonic descriptions of war and its weary and jaded warriors—and Guidall adapts his naturally comforting, avuncular voice accordingly, adding a touch of cynicism and irony. Additionally effective are the narrator’s skillful flourishes: a hesitant speech pattern to indicate deceit, the hint of uncertainty in a killer’s boast. A Putnam hardcover. (Feb.)