The Night Ranger

The Night Ranger

Mysterious Book Report No. 100

by John Dwaine McKenna

Okay.  We admit it . . . this one is special . . . one we’ve been looking forward to for a while.  It’s our Double Diamond Jubilee:  MBR number 100.  That’s right . . . this is our one hundredth book review.  And it’s just in time for the start of the summer reading season, so kick back and relax with your favorite adult beverage . . . and enjoy!

This week’s MBR makes for great summertime reading by an author I hadn’t heard of before although he has a number of adventure, thriller and spy novels to his credit.  He’s been hailed as “one of the best espionage writers” by the Chicago Sun-Times and as one who writes terrifying stories with absolute authenticity by other notable reviewers.  He’s won an Edgar award and is a former NY Times Reporter.  His name is Alex Berenson.

The Night Ranger, (Putnam, $27.95, 387 pages, ISBN 978-0-399-15972-5) is a wild chase and rescue mission in the lawless areas of western Somalia.

John Wells, a retired CIA operative, is asked by a family member to try and rescue four college students who’ve been kidnapped in Kenya and may have been taken into Somalia.  The four are recent graduates of the University of Montana, working in Kenya for an NGO: a non-governmental relief organization.  They’re in Kenya as part of a humanitarian relief effort, feeding and providing basic medical care for Somali refugees.  When the four students and their Kenyan bodyguard and interpreter disappear, bandits and militants are suspected.  John Wells goes undercover, alone and at his own expense, into an unfamiliar area of the world where few assets and many enemies prevail.  With the whole country watching, it becomes a race against time and overwhelming odds, and a question of whether any of them will survive.  Using guts, determination and a little bit of high tech magic, Wells is soon battling for his and the hostages lives against hordes of competing warlords and terrorists.  The threats are real, the action non-stop and the writing crisp and believable.  Read this fun novel on your front porch with your dog in your lap and enjoy a walk on the wild side.

You’ll find Alex Berenson’s spy novels and many, many other adventure, thriller or mystery novels on the shelves of your local library.  That’s where all the smart people are.  They read.  They aren’t surrendering to ignorance . . . how about you?

Lots of folks are showing up as new and old friends on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  Thanks and welcome aboard to each and every one of you.  They’ll get the new MBR first thing Thursday morning and first looks at the BS & Donkey Dust Blog.  They’ll also get the inside scoop on all the happenings out here, “east of the mountains and west of the sun.”

And hey, don’t forget to check out our websites:


It’s where you can find hundreds of reading suggestions, book lists, essays and a free story or two, biographies and reviews of any and all of my books as well as every Mysterious Book Report ever written . . . yep!  All one hundred and counting.  And while you’re there you can leave your own mark in cyberspace, ask questions, or leave comments and suggestions of your own.  Check it out.  If you prefer doing it the traditional way, send your cards and letters to:  P.O.   Box 2406, Colorado   Springs, CO  80901.  We’d love to hear from you.  Drop us a line.

That’s it for this week.  Be sure and check out next weeks MBR . . . we’ve got an exciting, scary, murder mystery on tap.