Review

The Shooters: A Presidential Agent Novel

by W. E. B. Griffin

W.
E. B. Griffin’s newest title in the Presidential
Agent
series, THE SHOOTERS, reintroduces Charley Castillo as
Lieutenant Colonel, promoted from his former rank of Major in the
previous book, THE HUNTERS. Castillo is a brash Delta Force officer
who has been enlisted, at the President’s orders, to head the
Office of Organizational Analysis. He answers ultimately to the
President but is formally under directions from Ambassador Charles
Montvale, Director of National Intelligence. The action begins in
Asuncion, Paraguay, when Byron Timmons, a U.S. DEA agent, is
kidnapped. Drug lords in the area are notorious for such attacks,
and the end result is usually death. No ransom demand has
surfaced.

In neighboring Argentina, Castillo and his group have wrapped up a
UN oil-for-food operation and relax at Nuestra Pequena Casa, their
safe house outside Buenos Aires. Watching a TV feed from the
States, they view the devastation that Hurricane Katrina wrecks on
the Louisiana coast. CIA agents Paul and Susanna Sieno have rented
the casa where Castillo’s group is based. Security devices,
including communications systems, flank the casa, rendering the
inhabitants free from outside interference. That is, until Marine
Corporal Bradley, accompanied by Max and Madchen (Castillo’s
inadvertent pet Bouvier des Flandres dogs), locks on to an intruder
with his drawn Model 1911A1 .45 pistol in hand. The young man,
dressed in a suit and tie, succumbs and lies prostrate before
Castillo.

First Lieutenant Edmund Lorimer, an Army Intelligence officer, has
used his natural intelligence to locate the hidden group at the
casa. Leaks through Montevideo officials are his route to Castillo,
the supposed architect of a clandestine operation there that ended
in a food-for-drugs operation shut down in a bloody gunfight.
Griffin continuously references Castillo’s activities from
THE HUNTERS, connecting the past and present. Lorimer uses his
knowledge of Castillo’s reputation to beg for help in the
return of Timmons.

Reluctant, Castillo shuts down the Argentinean casa to a minimum
operation and takes off for Washington, D.C., accompanied by
Lorimer and his entourage. No less than a presidential friendship
with the Chicago mayor and his family will be at stake in
Castillo’s next assignment. He is to recover Timmons dead or
alive. Aware that Paraguay cloisters clandestine U.S. anti-drug
operations, Castillo is ordered to secure Timmons and make no
waves.

The meat of THE SHOOTERS, true to Griffin’s writing style,
records the elaborate preparation Castillo must carry out to
complete a top-secret mission. He second-guesses himself but relies
on his team’s opinions in the nitty-gritty details. From
borrowing Army helicopters --- complete with crews, enlisting crack
snipers, securing hostile permission from Uruguay for refueling
stops --- to playing nursemaid to an Ambassador from New Orleans,
Castillo’s trials continue. The reader runs a continuous
mind-check to remember the author’s large cast of characters
and their importance to the plot.

THE SHOOTERS embellishes Castillo’s reputation garnered in
previous novels. However, we view a stronger human side to the
hero. He now deals with a romantic problem, uncovered in the
backstory. To equate its importance with the task at hand, he is
weighted with baggage not displayed in earlier stories. True to his
nature, he shuffles the multiple characters in his entourage,
making the most of their composite importance to achieve his end.
Interference from U.S. South American agents runs a side story that
Castillo unravels in the interesting intrigue. He takes on a
quality, linked with his Robin Hood persona, that endears him to
fans of the Presidential Agent novels, who will clamor for
more of the same.

Reviewed by Judy Gigstad on January 23, 2011

The Shooters: A Presidential Agent Novel
by W. E. B. Griffin

  • Publication Date: January 1, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult
  • ISBN-10: 039915440X
  • ISBN-13: 9780399154409