Reviews

THE MIDNIGHT HOUSE

Editorial Review - Kirkus - Jane Doe

Superspy and serial country-saver John Wells (The Silent Man, 2009, etc.) seeks to uncover the truth about a string of murdered operatives from a top-secret unit.Last seen stopping an Islamist plot to detonate a nuclear device in Washington, D.C., CIA agent Wells is called back to duty from a rest period in New Hampshire by his grouchy but loveable Agency handler Ellis Shafer. It seems CIA head ... Read full review

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Interrogators from a secret terrorist prison are murdered. Media is kept dumb to avoid panics as national securities bargain with devils. Characters exhibit various levels of symptoms of psychosis, which has some elements of contagion. The price is life and the people are fierce. Wells has to navigate the darkest times without former associate and emotional compass Exley. Clues cover Pakistan, Islamabad, Cairo, Poland, San Diego, New Orleans, and NH. The subject would probably lack such unique subtleties in other hands as the plot manages to evoke controversial concepts without the expected chains dragging it down. Thanks. 

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2 1/2 stars.
John Wells, CIA agent, is enjoying time away from work, recharging his energy when he's notified to returen to Langley.
He's told that two men were recently killed. They were part of a ten member interrogation unit working out of a secret location in Poland called the Midnight House. These interrogators were known to use the harshest treatment against the toughest jihadis, to get the info that these jihadis possessed about threats to the United States.
Now, someone is killing the members of the unit and Wells is asked to find out who and the reasons for the killings and put a stop to them. He goes undercover and meets up with danger and finds answers that are unsetteling.
Although John Wells has been an enjoyable character in the past, in this story, it is as if the author assumed that the reader has read the other stories about the character's actions. There isn't much character development and as a result, Wells isn't very sympathetic or particularly likable.
The idea of stopping terrorists and resorting to harsh interrogation techniques feels like it has been done many times and doesn't generate the drama that it might have in the past.
 

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Fourth in the John Wells series, read it in SB in Feb 2010, Starts slow, weakest of the four but finishes strong

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