57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
This is the 3rd book in the Griffin series that centers around Homeland Security. The only problem with this new WEB Griffin book is that I could not put in down. AT 2:30AM, I finally had to stop for sleep, even though I was only a little more than half done. Mr. Griffin's new book is full speed ahead, from beginning to end, continuing where The Hostage finished, but it seems to move at an even faster pace, which I enjoy.
Carlos Castillo continues to build his team with the best people he can find, from the various intelligence agencies, as well as the military. I love this aspect of his books, because it is so much like true life, where people progress in their careers, or die, and new people join the team.
The hunt for the bad guys crosses many international boundaries, proving that today's intelligence operatives need to be multi-lingual and very intelligent. An agent who only speaks English is no longer an effective agent against international terrorists. Hungarian, Russian, German, Spanish and English were the languages of choice for most of this operation. You have to read to the end, to find out who all the good guys and bad guys really are. Carlos Castillo and his growing band of experts move from country to country, progressing through firefights that reveal bad guys at the highest levels.
As with any Griffin book, the winners are the people who have both the intellignece to analyze complex data, and the strength of character to act on it. In addition to people with military and intelligence skills , Castillo's team now has: a financial analyst (with the financial and computer expertise to track billions of dollars through the labyrinth of secret international bank accounts); a newspaperman (with the instincts and contacts to uncover bad guys at the highest levels); and Max (who can actually smell bad guys).
For me, this book was as exciting and fast moving as Mr. Griffin's books on WWII, Korea and Vietnam, with so much action that you feel like you are in the middle of a declared war.
This new series continues to highlight Griffin's contacts with, and knowledge of, the modern military and intelligence communities. Although he points out some infighting between government agencies, he also points out that there are good people in every agency, and if they work together, they can stop the bad guys. The book deals with heroes from Homeland Security, the Diplomatic Corps, the FBI, the CIA, Special Forces, and other US military units, as well as like-minded patriots in Argentina, Germany and Uruguay.
WEB Griffin is truly the dean of American military story tellers, and this book reveals his understanding of the complex relationship that exists between varous intelligence organizations, as well as the military.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
With more than 35 novels published, W. E. B. Griffin presents THE HUNTERS, the third installment in his Presidential Agent series. Griffin's protagonist is Charley Castillo --- tough, skilled in Special Operations methods and answerable only to the President of the United States. The story takes place in the summer of 2005, in locations from Europe to South America and the United States.
Post-9/11, the Office of Homeland Security is in place. The Director of National Intelligence, Ambassador Charles W. Montvale, resents Castillo's presidential appointment as Chief Officer of Organizational Analysis. Montvale would rather supervise Castillo but accepts the President's wishes for the time being. Amidst subtle reminders that Montvale requires constant updates on his progress, Castillo steams ahead with his task.
The action begins at Estancia Shangri-La in the Republic of Uruguay. Castillo and his small band arrive at the sprawling "big house" in time to find target Jean-Paul Bertrand, holder of a Lebanese passport. Bertrand's real identification is that of Jean-Paul Lorimer, who is suspected of heavy involvement in the oil-for-food scandal. Bertrand's sister had been kidnapped and drugged, and her husband was murdered before her eyes in order to drive home the serious intent of her tormenters. Castillo's mission is to determine the true identity of Bertrand and bring him back to the United States. By the time Castillo's group enters the man's office, they are under fire from unknown assailants. Bertrand has been murdered, and their Special Ops training kicks into place. Castillo's men return fire with deadly accuracy, killing all six unknown, dark-clothed, masked assassins.
Before exiting, one of their own is dead, garroted by an unidentified individual. The garrote is much like the ones used by the Stasi or KGB agents in Cold War times. Castillo finds and takes into possession a sheaf of colored bank-type notes, proof that Bertrand accepted bribe money for his part in the scandal. Sixteen million dollars, when signed by the bearer, can be deposited into an off-shore bank account. Bertrand is dead and has not been identified as Lorimer. With the President's approval, Castillo establishes a bank account for his Office of Operational Analysis; Castillo's web expenditure is the purchase of an airplane.
Meanwhile, Castillo's extensive international family becomes involved in the operation. His mother was German, which gives him exclusive German citizenship and a passport stamped as "Herr Gossinger." He is heir to Tages Zeitung, the largest German daily newspaper, and is its Washington correspondent. Eighty-two-year-old Hungarian Eric Kocian --- Castillo's adopted uncle and editor-in-chief of the paper --- is deep into the investigation of the oil-for-food scandal and targeted by unknown assailants in Budapest.
Castillo's American connection is by way of his father, a Huey pilot who had not yet married his mother. Upon her death, his dad's family, complete with an American passport, brought the boy to live in Texas.
Griffin writes with gusto and rich characters, brimming near-calamities at the precipice with drama. Action moves from one locale to another with breakneck speed. When Castillo needs information, he jets to the source with little time lost. His military rank is elevated to that of Major, a fact few in contact with him learn before recognition can be acknowledged. He isn't concerned with the frills of rank or the petty interferences of Ambassador Montvale.
Sheer numbers of military personnel, civil servants in numerous South American countries, diplomats, journalists and ambassadorial types make for a voluminous cast of characters. Each desires a "need to know" relationship with Castillo. However, repetition does not delay the action forward in THE HUNTERS.
When the pieces of the puzzle begin to settle into a playable picture, Castillo uses all of the resources at his command to bring the solution to fruition. At the heart of blackmail, money-laundering and espionage, he sets the finished product before the President. Surprises abound when treacherous identities are revealed. We'll anticipate the next book in this series; THE HUNTERS cannot be finished with the job.
--- Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.