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Review: The Counterfeit Agent, by Alex Berenson

HERB JOHNSON – GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR
This is a John Wells novel, Wells being the hot-shot adrenaline junkie who thinks he might like to settle down with his true love and have children but who nonetheless continues to hunt down bad guys, causing havoc along the way.
In the previous Wells novel, he went to Africa and found four young peace workers who had been kidnapped. All very straightforward and easy to follow. Not this time. This time there is a serpentine plot that snakes its way through the Orient, the Mid-East and the White House.
At the heart of everything is a woman who calls herself Salome. Nothing about her is ever revealed, except that she is the prime mover in a plot, the purpose of which is shrouded in mystery. She has unlimited funds, the source of which is shrouded in mystery. There must be somebody rich behind the scenes. Somebody with money and an axe to grind.
The serpentine plot seems to lead toward creating a confrontation between the United States and Iran.
It starts with a confidential informant in Turkey named Reza who predicts several car bombings and an assassination. Having established his credentials, the mysterious Reza informs his U.S. case officer of some enriched uranium (good for making a hydrogen bomb) on its way in a tramp steamer to the U.S.A.
By this time the U.S. intelligence agencies are worried enough that word gets up the ladder to the White House and the people there decide it might be a good idea to bomb Iran just a little bit, since it is assumed Iran is the source of the uranium. A decision based on speculation and not much evidence.
Meanwhile a couple of other guys in the spook world are busy trying to track down Salome and whoever is working for her. John Wells is their man in the field and John follows several thin leads to a former CIA guy named Mason, who has had plastic surgery and changed his name to Abraham Duke.
Wells is relentless and it can be assumed he will get his man. But will he be in time? Will he find out anything from Duke about the true nature of the plot? Will the White House pay any attention? Will Wells go back home and marry his true love?
And exactly who is the Counterfeit Agent?

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