The Wolves: Alex Berenson
Creating a deception to convince the President of the United States to invade Iran was the primary purpose of multibillionaire Aaron Duberman but sometimes your every thought and plan appears to be as solid as a icy glacier and at times the sun melts it and the cracks will cause you to fall through. With the impetus to cause the United States into an unnecessary war he claimed that Iran was trying to smuggle some type of weapon into the United States in order to help Israel where Duberman resided.
John Wells is a former CIA agent; connected quite high up in our government and not someone you want to anger. John Wells with the help of his contacts managed to sift through the brick and mortar of this plot and find where the cement or cracks were and foiled the plan before it was too late. Now, Wells was out for Duberman and no matter what the danger or the cost his aim was to eliminate him from this world making it safer for everyone else to breath the clean fresh air. But, each man has his own resources and although Wells deals with the situation head on as we meet him at the start of the novel along with former CIA director Vinny Duto, Chief Security Office Donna Green and the President of the United States, we realize that each one of these players has his/her own agenda and cross to bear. Wells has now converted to Islam and some might treat him as being suspect but when the President of the United States asks him to take out Duberman his response will not only shake the foundation of the meeting but allows readers to know just how far Wells will take things to have them done his way.
Alerting the Israel Government about what Duberman has done sends their Prime Minster to his mansion in Israel telling him he has two days to leave and find another place to hide. But, Duberman has other plans and finds himself having to confide what he’s done to his younger wife and she, loving his power and money agrees to go with him to Hong Kong with the entire family. Duberman is a billionaire and has made some enemies but he has his own powerful contacts and when the President does not live up to his word to take him out within a specific time period that was agreed at this first meeting, Wells finds a way to asks Duto, not his best friend of ally for some help which he cannot refuse.
Alerting the Israelis, getting him kicked out of Israel and now in Hong Kong Duberman through the author relates to readers how he began to amass his fortune, dealing with a man called The Roller and the debts he had to overcome and pay in order to own the casinos free and clear. But, things are beginning to heat up, as Duberman is about to learn just how relentless Wells is and to what lengths he will go to destroy him. Meet arms dealer Mikhail Buvchenko who sells death for a living and despises Wells as much as Duberman does if not more. Learning more about him and what happens when he too fails in his mission, lies to his superiors and pays heavily for his mistakes you realize that no one is exempt from punishment even this dangerous assassin.
Chinese General Cheung Han loves to gamble, women and hates losing. As he enters the casinos of 88 Gamma with millions of dollars to blow at the tables he begins his gambling spree with a bet of 2 million dollars. Drinking, card counting, thinking he is so astute and won’t lose he begins to slur his words, unstable but manages to win quite a bit before passing out and having to be placed in a suite to sleep it off. Cheung Han is a pervert and although Duberman has granted him huge credit lines and young women to take care of his fantasies when he desires someone underage he needs to decide how to draw the line.
John Wells is resourceful and meeting Wilbur Wright allows him more resources and access to Duberman and his minions. Finding out about his head of Security, meeting with him and learning about what Duberman has fabricated will amuse readers and help you understand to what lengths Duberman will go to in order to safe face and not alert anyone to the real reason he’s in China including his head of security. Will he remain in China or will he wind up seeking help from Russia? Approaching Duberman with a plan of his own the Russian Killer thinks he’s about to make him a offer he cannot refuse in order to become a Russian citizen and have the protection of Putin and the government. But, will Duberman fall prey to what this man wants and why give up all that he worked so hard for? Is his safety really in danger and will Wells find a way to get his head of security to betray him?
This is one complex but intricate plot that will keep readers glued to the text and wondering just how true to life these events really are since the author’s research is quite extensive into the changes in the geo-political climate in China and Russia. Claiming that he works for the FSB this killer thinks he has snagged Duberman but did he?
Throughout the novel we meet many different players that fit the description related by the title The Wolves which is defined by Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary as: a fierce, rapacious, or destructive person or a man forward, direct, and zealous in amatory attentions to women as Duberman appears to be and the Chinese General. Wolves are dangerous people and Wells might fit that description, as he is quite direct, rapacious and destructive to others as well. Wells finds himself in need of Duto’s help one more time and enlists it but hopefully the situation will resolve itself but Duberman is trying to cover his tracks in his own way. A cat and mouse game with dangerous players and the end result just might take more than one out before the final showdown.
With his body guard in tow and angered by his failure to eliminate Wells Duberman needs to reevaluate his next move and just how he can get Wells while Wells decides if he wants to remain in Hong Kong or get Duberman another way.
Wells finally realizes after all of his surveillance that getting to Duberman might just be impossible and his security too tight. Asking for help once again his best friend Eli comes up with a solution that might not be nice but just might work as he realizes that he has to take drastic measures to let Duberman know he’s not giving up.
Each side is playing their own triumph card as the President of the United States exerts his power of Wells and the end result is something he never expected. While he is dealing with his confinement Duberman is trying to convince the Russians to give him citizenship and dupe the Chinese General into complying with his demands. Money, greed, power, lust, betrayals and gambling fever take over Cheung and he never sees it coming until it’s too late as Duberman makes a deal with you might say the devil in order to keep some of what he has and not lose it all. But, the author relates his early life, his affinity to Israel and how and why he became the man he is.
Orli Duberman gets caught in her crossfire from both sides and has to decide whether to stay true to Aaron or defect to the other side in order to save herself and her sons. The scene is heartfelt, the shock to Orli quite compelling as the decision is taken out of her hands adding to the suspense and the final dramatic ending. Duberman is now working with Mikail and has not choice but to give him access to his gamblers for his own purposes. First up his the Chinese General that should learn to curb his drinking and beware of friends. Betrayals on both sides, deceits, lie but who will come out ahead? Will Duberman get political asylum in Russia for himself and his family? Will Wells take him out or has Wells finally used up his nine lives you might say?
Wells and Shafer have one agenda in mind as they search for Orli and hope to find her before it’s too late. Duberman and his group are working their end as the General has instructions about selling planes. A devious plot that can only end in one winner as the United States, Russia and China each with their own arsenal, each thinking they are more powerful and each acting like a pack of hungry Wolves searching for their prey and hoping to take the final bite.
When Duberman’s bodyguard decides to switch sides will he double cross-Wells or will he stick to the plan. An ending that only Alex Berenson and John Wells can create with truths coming out and one man’s fate in the balance. The President of the United States is supposed to protect the people and honor our Constitution. Three people were in on what was planned and just who makes it to the end and who needs to understand that some Wolves never give up? From China, to Russia to Macao to the Oval office secrets are told, conspiracies unfold and lies revealed as a trick to lure the United States backfires but where, on who and when?
This is an explosive novel that will make readers wonder just how close to what is going on in the world are these events. An ending filled with suspense, heart stopping scenes and characters that are diverse, unique and well defined as we hear many different voices expressing their opinions, emotions and actions in a novel that you don’t want to miss reading. Can’t wait to see what Alex Berenson has in store for John Wells next.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine