The Hostage: A Presidential Agent Novel
W.E.B. Griffin
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Buy *The Hostage: A Presidential Agent Novel* by W.E.B. Griffin

The Hostage: A Presidential Agent Novel

W.E.B. Griffin
480 pages
January 2006
rated 4 of 5 possible stars
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The Hostage has author W.E.B. Griffin (“The Corps” series, “The Brotherhood Of War” series, Final Justice) going back into the “Presidential Agent” series. Introduced in his previous novel, 2004’s By Order Of The President, Charley Castillo (the protagonist of this timely international espionage thriller) works directly for the President in the Department Of Homeland Security. Castillo’s skills get called upon when the President asks him to go to Buenos Aries. There an American diplomat’s wife, Betsy Masterson, is kidnapped from a restaurant in a Buenos Aries Province and made to watch as her husband is murdered. When he learns about the kidnapping and murder, Castillo puts in a call from the U.S embassy in Buenos Aries to Washington:

“My name is Castillo Will you put me through to Secretary Hall, please?”

“The Secretary is asleep, sir.”

He called me “sir,” which means he doesn’t know Castillo from Adam’s off ox.

“Wake him, please.”

“May I ask what this concerns, sir?”

“Get him on the goddamn phone, now!”

There was no reply, but fifteen seconds later Secretary of Homeland Security Matthew Hall came on the line.

“All you had to do was tell Dinsler who you are, Charley. You didn’t have to swear at him,” Hall said, his voice annoyed.

“Yes, sir. Sir, Mr. Masterson, Mr. Masterson, the chief of mission, has been murdered.”

“Jesus Christ,” Hall said. “And his wife?”

“She’s in the German Hospital, surrounded by eight SIDE agents, and four of ours. The bastards drugged her. She woke up – more accurately, came half out of it – in the backseat of a taxicab and found her husband slumped beside her with two bullets in his brain.”
This is one of those big, all-over-the-place types of political thrillers. It literally bounces from Washington to Argentina to Uruguay to Biloxi, Mississippi, and several other places in the U.S. and abroad. One of the nice things you’ll find is a map in the front and back cover of the book so you know where every place is in relation to each other. That aside, the book is just a bit too long and convoluted for my taste (I’m just not a huge fan of these Clancy-type stories). But that doesn’t really matter. The many loyal Griffin fans will thoroughly enjoy this book. The prose is conversational, if not a little trite, and the pace is fast, which for a thriller is an extremely important factor. Overall, genre and Griffin fans will fully immerse themselves into this story and enjoy the ride as the pages fly by.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Bobby Blades, 2006

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