Title: The Night Ranger, John Wells #7
Author: Alex Berenson
Publication Date: 12 February 2013
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
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Buy it: Amazon|Book Depository
John Wells enters new territory, as he goes underground in East Africa to track four kidnapped Americans and the Somali bandits who snatched them, in the tough, thoughtful, electrifying new novel from the #1 New York Times-bestselling author.
Four friends, recent college graduates, travel to Kenya to work at a giant refugee camp for Somalis. Two men, two women, each with their own reasons for being there. But after twelve weeks, they’re ready for a break and pile into a Land Cruiser for an adventure.
They get more than they bargained for. Bandits hijack them. They wake up in a hut, hooded, bound, no food or water. Hostages. As a personal favor, John Wells is asked to try to find them, but he does so reluctantly. East Africa isn’t his usual playing field. And when he arrives, he finds that the truth behind the kidnappings is far more complex than he imagined.
The clock is ticking. The White House is edging closer to an invasion of Somalia. Wells has a unique ability to go undercover, and to make things happen, but if he can’t find the hostages soon, they’ll be dead – and the U.S. may be in a war it never should have begun.
So I just realized that this book was part of a series… I was looking for the book on Goodreads to add to my list and evidently it’s part of a series. Grrrrrrrrrrr! I hate reading books out of order and now I feel like I’ve probably missed out on some character development that would have made an already fantastic book even better. There’s not much I can do about it now, so on to the actual review.
I love a good mystery novel any day of the week and this novel did not let me down. But this mystery was different from most others that I’ve read, I knew a lot more about the kidnapped characters as a reader than any of the characters knew. I have a read a few that are like this and I’ve often enjoyed them but something about this one wasn’t as nice. I understand why Berenson chose to use this alternating point of view system but I thought it ruined some of the elements of mystery. However, Berenson couldn’t have gotten rid of this alternating point of view. It was vital to understanding the novel as a whole and, I believe, made for a more interesting novel. Yeah I know I just said I didn’t really like it, but the novel would have been worse if it wasn’t there. I think Berenson should have tried to create a bigger, more interesting mystery that would have also kept the readers shrouded under a veil just like the characters.
Aside from that everything else about this novel was fantastic. Each of the characters were very well thought through and it’s clear that time was taken to make each one unique. My favorite character throughout the novel was Gwen, she was definitely her own character who lived to do things her way. She was a bit of an oxymoron in that she came across as a bit of a goody- goody but was sexually promiscious; something about that made her more of a real person than anything. Owen was another character who was like this. As his character changes throughout the novel it was interesting to see his behavior be in complete contrast to that of Gwen. Owen and Hailey were lesser developed characters but they were also not nearly as important as Owen and Gwen.
I can’t make too much commentary on John Wells because his character development occurs throughout the series and not just withing this single book. But he too was an obviously developed character.The ending was another point of disappointment. I would have liked a more complete ending that would have left readers without so many unanswered questions. It seemed abrupt Berenson got tired of writing the novel and just wanted it to be over. The changing point of views and the ending are what caused this novel to drop one star.
Berenson created a novel that places the reader in a superior area of knowledge than anyone within the book and, although not well done, it adds to the beauty of the book. I would recommend this book to someone who is looking for a nice easy read that doesn’t require too much thought but packs a lot of emotion and action.