About a year ago, David Forsmark urged me to read one of Alex Berenson’s novels. “He writes for the New York Times,” said Dave, “but don’t hold it against him.”
I take Dave’s recommendations seriously. After all, he liked The First Assassin.
Seriously, though, when it comes to thrillers, he reads virtually everything. He also possesses an invaluable right-of-center sensibility. When I read a political thriller, I generally don’t want the villain to be a anti-abortion senator from Texas who has a personal right-wing death squad. That’s what movies are for. So before trying a new author, I often turn to Dave. Is this writer worth my time? What book should I start with? Last year, I persuaded Dave to write a consumer’s guide to war-on-terror novels. Be warned: Following the link will cause your books-to-read pile to grow about a foot taller.
Here’s what Dave wrote about Berenson: “Alex Berenson is further evidence that the New York Times editorial writers don’t read their own foreign correspondents. Anyone who read the dispatches of … Alex Berenson would certainly know who the enemies of humanity are in the world, and George W. Bush would not make the list. … Berenson’s thrillers are sophisticated, literate, and mostly believable. But don’t let that stop you: They are gripping, suspenseful, and contain enough action to keep the pages turning.”
So I made a mental note: The next time Berenson publishes a book, I’ll try to record a podcast with him. Today marks the official publication of The Midnight House, Berenson’s fourth novel–and also the posting of our podcast conversation.
Next week’s podcast: Patrick Garry, author of Conservatism Redefined.