Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Night Ranger-Alex Berenson

The Night Ranger

Alex Berenson

Putnam, Feb 12 2013, $27.95

ISBN: 9780399159725

Four recent University of Montana graduates (Gwen Murphy, Hailey Barnes, Owen Broder and Scott Thompson) volunteer to work for the Worldcases Children First at the giant Hagadera Refugee Camp in Kenya. Scott’s Uncle James Thompson runs the relief organization out of Houston, but is at the East African site because a Houston Chronicle reporter Pamela Hutchins is writing a story on the camps and the aid groups.

Three months later, local worker Suggs drives the volunteers for an R&R weekend at the Lamu island resort. However, to avoid a police blockade delay, Suggs uses a different route. Somali bandits abduct the four grads, but no one claims responsibility or demands a ransom. Back in the states; clamor for an invasion grows stronger every day.

The last time Evan Wells spoke to his father John, he called him a war criminal. Now a decade later, Evan contacts his dad to ask him to rescue the four hostages as he is good friends with Gwen’s sister Catelyn. Though no longer a CIA vigilante and unfamiliar with East Africa, John leaves his New Hampshire home and his lover Anne for the only person who could get him back into the field.

The latest John Wells thriller (see The Shadow Patrol) is a terrific suspense story with plenty of action. Though an excellent Wells tale, much of the superb fresh storyline focuses on the camp, the plight, the bureaucracy and the various bandit groups. Readers will believe they are on the Kenyan Somali border as Alex Berenson, like a writing wizard, provides a strong twisting rescue mission.

Harriet Klausner

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