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February 26, 2012 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: The Shadow Patrol by Alex Berenson

Shadow Patrol
by Alex Berenson
Read by: George Guidall

Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Publish Date: February 21, 2012
Format: Audio CD | 11 hours and 30 minutes
Rating: 4 of 5

In 2009, the CIA’s Kabul Station fell for a source who promised to lead it to Bin Laden, but instead he blew himself up, taking the station’s most senior officers with him. Now, more than two years later, the station is still floundering, agents are dying, and at Langley the CIA’s chiefs wonder if the unthinkable has happened, if somehow the Taliban has infiltrated the station.

When they ask John Wells to investigate, he reluctantly agrees to return to the country where his career as an undercover operative began. But there, he finds a vipers’ nest of hostility and mistrust-and clues that hint at a drug-trafficking operation involving the Agency, the military, and the Taliban. Americans are dying, and an American is responsible. And only John Wells stands in his way . . . for now.

Although I’m an eclectic reader, I don’t usually choose espionage or military thrillers. After receiving an advance copy of the audiobook of The Shadow Patrol, I had an opportunity to give another one of them a try. Every once in a while it’s good to move outside my usual genres and sometimes I’m surprised to find a good book that I wouldn’t have normally read or listened to.

I approached the story as if it were a stand-alone book even though a quick read through the synopsis told me it was book six of a series. It’s always nice to have more background information on the characters but this didn’t stop me from following the plot itself. In a perfect world I would go back and read every series from the beginning but that’s not always possible, so I just jumped in.

I’m not sure what Wells role was in previous books but now he is working for the CIA as an independent contractor on a mission to find out who the mole is at Kabul Station, Afghanistan. The story moved along at an even pace. I was provided with enough character background to stay engaged and as I listened I got wrapped up in the adventure and forgot that this was part of a series.

I admit I am not very knowledgeable about Afghanistan but the writing and descriptions brought the dangers in the country and the tensions among the locals to life. While I eventually had a pretty good idea who the bad guy was, it wasn’t until the end that I was sure. There were enough characters with hidden agendas to keep me guessing.

Narrator George Guidall was, as usual, a pleasure to listen to. His voice was perfect for tough guy John Wells plus I had no trouble believing his different Arabic accents. As a bonus, I know when I see his name as narrator that there will be believable female voices and I was not disappointed. He is one of the few I’ve listened to that pulls it off nicely.

While a cast of terrorists, snipers and soldiers is not my usual choice in books, the story was well written and kept me entertained. I would definitely recommend it to fans of the genre and to anyone wanting to stretch outside their usual reading.

Source: Review copy.


Leave a Comment
  1. BermudaOnion / Feb 26 2012 11:25 am

    Oh, I do love a book like that from time to time!


  2. cbjames / Feb 26 2012 12:45 pm

    Nice to read outside your usual taste now and then.


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