The Midnight House, Alex Berenson. ISBN 0-399-15620-8 (9780399156205). New York: Putnam Adult, 2010. Also available as a paperback (ISBN 978-0425253229) and a mass-market paperback (ISBN 978-0515148954)
The fourth in the John Wells series, this story finds Wells investigating a series of murders of members of a special unit that had been tasked with interrogating important prisoners. It seems several members of a unit that had tortured some Islamic terrorist ne’er do wells in Poland were murdered after the unit was disbanded and its members were discharged on their return to the States. The head of the CIA commissioned Wells and Ellis Shafer to look into the murders. Long story short, they did and found who committed the murders (no spoiler alert here).
As might be expected of a thriller, the plot twisted and turned, with some surprising (or perhaps not so surprising) revelations to Wells and Shafer. And, yes, it was not just Wells doing everything this time – Shafer actually played an important, if still minor, role in the plot line. Deals made with foreign powers and individuals that reflected badly on America, power brokers in the United States who wanted nothing more than to obtain more power irrespective of side-effects and so on.
The book was mostly a good read with some annoying parts (like the all too-frequent interruption of dialogue with a hyphenated aside explaining acronyms, euphemisms, etc.). Is it the best book I’ve ever read? No. It’s also not the worst, far from it. It’s a good way to escape from life for a while, which is about all that anyone should ask of a book. I’d recommend it, especially for those who have read the others in the Wells series. Go ahead and pick up the book if you enjoy espionage/thrillers. If not, move on.