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The Hunters
By W. E. B. Griffin

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The Hunters

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The Hunters
A Presidential Agent Novel
By W. E. B. Griffin
Thorndike Press Large Print (2007)
ISBN 10: 0-7862-9209-1
ISBN 13: 978-0-7862-9209-7
Genre: Adventure - Suspense

Reviewed by Sheldon Ztvordokov - February 27, 2007

The Hunters is the diverting conclusion to W. E. B. Griffin's The Hostage. Be forewarned. This review contains spoilers related to the The Hostage...

As The Hostage ended, Special Forces Major, C. G. "Charley" Castillo had been tasked by the President to render harmless those responsible for the kidnapping of Betsy Masterson and the murder of her diplomat husband J. Winslow Masterson. Working directly for the president and through the Office of Organizational Analysis, a covert intelligence unit, Charley and his band of handpicked operatives had discovered that the Mastersons' kidnapping and murder was related to the 'bad guys' wanting to find Mrs. Masterson's brother. Her brother, Jean-Paul Lorimer was a United Nations official who had direct ties to the UN / Iraqi Oil for Food Scandal. He had worked for the 'bad guys' distributing their ill-gotten gains. Basically he knows the names of who got what, and when, and 'bad guys' want him dead before he lets the proverbial cat out of the bag. The Hostage ended with Charley and his men getting to Lorimer first. However, it was for little purpose, because as they are in the process of capturing him, a band of 'ninjas' kill Lorimer and one of Charley's men. The story ended without Charley, or the reader, ever discovering just who the bad guys really are.

The Hunters picks up immediately after the end of The Hostage. Charley and his band are still hot on the heels of the mysterious bad guys, and Charley as a new Washington hotshot, is being forced to learn his way around the back rooms of Washington's power elite. The Hunters is the third book in Griffin's Presidential Agent series, and it is the slowest paced of the three. Most of the first third of the book is given over to a recap of everything that went before, and throughout the rest Griffin continues to repeat a lot of information already delivered. This is a drag on an otherwise good story. As well, while Griffin pretty well wraps up all the threads left hanging at the end of The Hostage, he sort of mangles one of them.

In the first book of this series, By Order of The President, Charley meets and begins to fall in love with Sergeant Betty Schneider, a police officer working in the Philadelphia Organized Crime and Intelligence Unit. However, he never acts on his feelings because he thinks it would be inappropriate. Moreover, she has a brother who has threatened Charley with bodily harm if he goes near Betty. In The Hostage, Betty is now a Secret Service agent and Charley finally acts on his feelings, and they are reciprocated. Betty is shot several times, but survives. After this horrific experience Charley expresses his undying love for her, and you get the feeling that a real love affair is in the works. In The Hunters, which takes place without pause from the previous book, Charley can't even find the time to call the love of his life, who is still in the hospital recuperating. In fact, Betty hardly even makes an appearance in this last installment of the story and the way he leaves the story between Charley and Betty is very unsatisfying - although I do imagine that they will both make additional appearances in the future. As well, interwoven within this story is a minor subplot about Special Atomic Demolition Munitions (SADMs) a.k.a. suitcase nukes. This subplot could have been a real winner. However, Griffin gave it rather a short discourse. Had he spent less time rehashing what went before, and focused more on the various subplots that run through the story, this would have been a much stronger and more enjoyable novel. Nonetheless, it still held my interest, although I have to confess that I only skimmed over the recaps.

The Hunters is not Griffin's best work. However it does contain a goodly bit of action, shootings, and some very interesting characters that you get to meet as Charley chases around the globe after the bad guys on his newly purchased Gulfstream jet. As well, if you've already read The Hostage, you'll want to read this one to discover who the bad guys are, why Lorimer was really killed, and how Charley, who gets promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, manages to deal with being a Washington hotshot, rather than 'just' the soldier he claims he wants to be.

Current books in the Presidential Agent Series:
  1. By Order of The President
  2. The Hostage
  3. The Hunters

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