Let's start with the positive. The set-up for "The Silent Man" was quite good, describing a plausible means for terrorists to steal a nuke from a fortified Russian warehouse where security has been taken for granted. Berenson's style is heavy on description and process with less page space devoted to action. I'm fine with this, but it's the other part - the formulaic part - of Berenson's style that's letting me down.
Berenson's personal formula for the first three books has been 1) establish a plausible conflict, 2) wind up the CIA's brains & brawn to hunt the bad guys down, 3) cast plausibility aside to close the story out. The ending of all three of Berenson's novels have been real let downs. In Faithful Spy it was the Hollywood shootout; in Ghost Wars it was the casting aside of plausibility from step 2 of the above formula; in Silent Man it was the leaps of logic to find the bad guy.
Don't get me wrong - the stories are OK, but they're nothing that will have you recommending the author or fondly remembering reading anything he's written....Continua