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By Order of the President
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By Order of the President (Presidential Agent #1)

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  6,525 Ratings  ·  207 Reviews
Two armed men board a 727 all but forgotten at an airfield in Angola. Hijacking the jet, they then slit the throat of the lone crew and fly to parts unknown. The consternation is immediate, as the CIA, FBI, and other agencies race to find out what happened, in the process elbowing one another in the sides a little too vigorously.

Fed up, the president of the United States t
Audio CD
Published December 29th 2004 by Brilliance Audio
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May 18, 2009 Suzie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is pretty awful. Tom Clancy gave it a good review and I love Tom Clancy, but this was a waste of time. Two significant men in my life are both total military/aircraft nuts. I thought plowing through it would give me something to talk to them about. Riiightttt! I talked about how awful the book is. Three things made it bad. 1) The main character is a James Bond 007 type that has women dropping their panties for him everywhere he goes. His call-sign is "Don Juan." 2) The lead female char ...more
Jul 23, 2008 Jake rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think this whole book could probably be summed up by the thoughts that went through my head the moment I finished this book. "Wait . . .that's it! You've got to be kidding me! What was the point!"

The book is the type of literature I would expect to read if I had taken a decent plot and given it to a computer programmer to create a book with . . . i.e. the prose is flat, business-like, and un-engaging, leaving you with a book that never really goes anywhere.

What a shame.
Brad Chinman
Dec 13, 2011 Brad Chinman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The intriguing military story of Carlos Castillo is one I could not put down. The military style of the book is great and gives a background for those who have no earlier experience. The writing includes not only what people are saying but also their inner thoughts. This book has many twists and turns that carry the reader throughout the story.
In this book a 727 is hijacked in Africa and the President is worried about what might happen to it. He sends Carlos Guillermo Castillo out to find out wh
Jun 04, 2013 Will rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military-action
Castillo One: The Missing 727 and the Liberty Bell Caper. An abandoned 727 is stolen in Angola, setting off a mad dash to find it fearing its possible use in a terror attack. A former Delta Miller, masquerading as a military attache, sends the flare to CIA and is almost immediately stomped. As no intel agency can find the plane, the President gets pissed and asks his old buddy Matt Hall, Homeland Security Secretary, to find a sleuth to check out his intel apparatus and report back. Hall taps Cas ...more
Jacob Peled
I adopted the following rule: “Must be drawn into a book within the first 10%”. If after reading 10% I still don’t “fall in love” with it, I dump it. This book falls into that rule. The beginning was very promising. 100% of action. But then it became some kind of Wikipedia describing the Military structure. What for ??? , and why so many pages?
On top of that our author introduce us to about 70 names. Who can remember so many characters?
Oh.. Yes. There is that main hero, have a long conversation
Nov 15, 2013 Jeanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love Charley Castillo!! What a great character--made better by side kicks Fernando Lopez, Dick Miller, and Betty Schneider. As I listened to this story there were several times I laughed out loud because of the antics of these main characters. A great listen, even though the ending was a bit anti-climatic for me. Looking forward to listening to the next story in the Presidential Agent series to see what Charley is up to next (and hoping to see a connection between Betty and Charley)! Dick Hall w ...more
Ralph McEwen
A good story. I like the use of foot notes instead of always trying to explain the technical details in the story.
Feb 25, 2016 Shaun rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hate, hate, hate giving up on books, but that’s what I have to do with “By Order of the President”. To begin - the backstory. I’d never read a W.E.B. Griffin book before, though I’d heard of him. Apparently, he’s written a shit-load of books. There are a couple of reasons why I selected this one for reading. First and foremost, it was the only novel of his at the bookstore that, I think, was book one of a series. Secondly, it had to do with a terrorist plot in Africa, which was the basis for a ...more
I thought this was a book I had missed out from later in the series, but it turns out to be the very first one of The Presidential Agent series. Having read five other novels in the series already in disorganized order, beginning with a paperback I picked up when I had to spend an hour waiting for my car to be serviced some years ago, I found it interesting to get the beginning straightened out in my head!

The novel begins when two hijackers steal a 727 in Angola and then disappear. Various gover
Jan 01, 2012 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an exciting book that introduces Charley Castillo, who becomes the presidential agent hero of this series. I sort of goofed by reading the second novel of this series first and this book gave me a lot of background information to set up this series. The back story is interesting and we get an insight into the intelligence community that appears to be an accurate and realistic depiction of how all these groups work together, or not.

Castillo is more interesting in some ways than James Bond
Cancis Lino-Diaz
Nov 06, 2016 Cancis Lino-Diaz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It was fast action... and really I had to re-read some pages to make sure I got everything. I'm not a super fast reader, but if I find a book I really like, I can't put it down until it's done. This book was like that. (But I'm partial to Griffins books/series)

Yes, he's a play boy, and yes he's military man... I love that. I needed a fast action one. I love Griffins' knowledge of everything military and all the way up through the Presidency. Also, he always brings in
Lynn Hallbrooks
Jun 08, 2012 Lynn Hallbrooks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed Mr. Griffin's writing. You start out with action that is central to the book then you learn some about the main character through different people and even flashbacks to previous events. What impressed me the most was that his details do not weigh down the action. I also applaud the sense of humor he allows the characters to show.

I would warn that some might consider this a Men's Adventure book because of the language used. There are also some terms being used that some may fin
Jul 20, 2009 Katie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Katie by: Dad
I read this to hold up my end of a deal with my dad. To its credit, the story is paced well and (some of) the characters are endearing. It was a very easy read.

I'm troubled, though, that Griffin's characters so frequently and nonchalantly mock homosexual behavioral stereotypes and use derogatory terms for racial/religious groups. He also uses hyphens with reckless abandon. I wouldn't read another of his books for these two reasons.

The LA Daily News calls Griffin the poet laureate of the America
Mark Polino
May 08, 2011 Mark Polino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Though I've read all of Clancy and a number like him ( Coonts, Coyle, etc) this is my first W.E.B. Griffin read. I enjoyed the book but I was left with a nagging feeling that I've read this somewhere before. Anyway, it's good read. Not as realistic as Clancy but the characters are nicely drawn, slightly larger than life. The threat seemed muted, which is actually OK. Every threat doesn't have to end with world annihilation like Clive Cussler prefers. I'm adding the other President agent novels t ...more
Brad T.
Mar 17, 2017 Brad T. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Good read
Feb 11, 2012 Jerome rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the author's "The Corps" series and thought I would give this one a try. I was very disappointed. One of the things that make a book like this work, at least for me, is confidence that the author has done his homework. In this case that means he has done some research on the military, intelligence community and foreign policy organizations. I was shocked right off the bat when Griffin got almost all the military organization facts wrong. First Angola isn't in CENTCOM's territory it's i ...more
Apr 11, 2010 MissJessie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the author only.
This book is the first in the series about Charlie Castellio, a super-hero kind of guy that we all wish actually existed and worked to save us all.

The story line was interesting, and moved right along. In fact, it jumped around a little too much for my tastes.

My complaint with this one is the absolute lack of any resolution of the many point of the plot--in fighting and territorialness in the various intelligence agencies in the USA. The main point of the book was that good ole Charlie/Carlos
Lizabeth Tucker
This book is the first in the Presidential Agent series and would be classified as military mystery fiction. I've never read anything by Griffin before, but we have lots of male customers who swear by him. As I had recently started reading Tom Clancy (fast and enjoyable read, but not the greatest literature in the world), a couple told me that I should check into Griffin. I've been reading military non-fiction books so I thought "sure, I'll try him", but not expecting anything special. Oops, my ...more
Sep 16, 2016 James rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
'Twas hard to keep track of characters and the back-and-forth storytelling; detail oriented, and information overload can be good/bad depending on the reader...
Jan 21, 2014 Pattianne marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

Over the years, W.E.B. Griffin's stories of the military and police, told with crackling realism and rich characters, have won him millions of fans and acclaim as "the dean of the American war adventure" (Publishers Weekly). Now he vaults into the present day with a series as exciting as anything he has ever written.

At an airfield in Angola, two men board a leased Boeing 727; then, once it is in the air, slit the pilot's throat and fly t
Narrated by Dick Hill

20 hrs and 5 mins

A bit slow to develop, too many characters to keep track of, and it was never resolved why the president sent Castillo - he was supposed to find out who knew what and when. This was left hanging.

Publisher's Summary

Two armed men board a 727 that has been all but forgotten at an airfield in Angola. Hijacking the jet, they then slit the throat of the lone crew and fly to parts unknown. The consternation is immediate, as the CIA, FBI, and other agencies race to
Dec 31, 2011 Ceej rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenges-12, 2012
I was looking for something outside of the normal chiklit I am prone to read. This book caught my interest because I'm a military junky and former service member. Although it seemed to drag in places, it was a very good read.

I was most impressed with the adherence to much of what is true about military life and units. A lot of writers will be meticulous about everything except military things because, instead of doing the research, it's easier to go off the popular knowledge of things. On the ot
Feb 06, 2012 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like the way the author writes. As a first time reader of Griffin's books I was pleasantly surprised by how much I like his writing. His style is almost movie like, very visual, although a bit too detailed in some instances. The dialogue and banter between the character is witty and realistic. Since I listened to the book, I found that his style kept me engaged pretty. Also the Narration by Dick Hill was phenomenal, his voices, acting and interpretation of the book brought the story to ...more
Steven Kent
This book begins and ends with moments of action. Everything in between those moments is intrigue and dialog with a hint that more action is on the way.

The government is slow to react when terrorists hijack a refurbished airplane, killing an American, until one clear-thinking, low-level infers that it may be associated with a terrorist attack.

Enter Charley Castillo, special forces commando extraordiare. Charley is interesting. He is the product of a tryst between the daughter of a wealthy German
William Bentrim
Sep 21, 2009 William Bentrim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven’t read any Griffin for awhile and had forgotten how much I enjoy them. This book is book one in the Presidential Agent series. Carlos Castillo is a man of many hats who works temporarily for Home Land Security. He is tasked by the President to find out how well the intelligence community is interacting after the debacle of 9/11.

The book is formula Griffin, with short chapters, likeable characters and detailed settings. Once again Philadelphia plays a part in a Griffin tale. Charley Cast
John Grazide
Nov 17, 2013 John Grazide rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
That was tough. I think Mr. Griffin was paid by the word for this book. It was so over written that it became a chore to read. I enjoy fiction for what it is supposed to be, fiction. I also understand that good fiction has one foot in reality, and really good fiction has both feet firmly planted in reality and yet leaves enough room for story telling. This book read almost like a handbook, complete with footnotes. That's right footnotes! Ughh!

I can appreciate what was attempted, but the protagon
Practical Mike
Feb 24, 2015 Practical Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read... and that's why we're here right?

First book I read by this author and I'll admit that he dabbles in details a little too much for my liking. Book took a while to get going and I found myself thinking, quite a few times, "Is this part really necessary?"

Some were and some weren't. But even throughout the distillation of the details I found that I stopped asking that question and the book was over before I knew it.

Characters and their interactions are a strength of this author's story t
May 21, 2009 SpyNavy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book is very similar to Griffin's other writings. That being said I am a huge Griffin fan especially the Brother hood of War and the Semper Fi series'. This book brings Griffin's style to the modern Global War on Terror. The fictional story is beefed up with factual history and locales along with some great characters that make the book very enjoyable. There are a number of follow on books and each is a pretty good story in its own regard, but they are best read in order. The main character ...more
May 07, 2012 Brent rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
New-age military novel that unfolds as a 787 airliner is stolen from an airfield in Angola. Special agent Charles Castillo, son of legendary Purple Heart Medalist, is assigned to the task of monitoring different Federal Agencies "to find out what they knew and when they knew it". Along the way his role as Army Major and Supervisory Special agent assistant to the Secretary to the Dept. of Homeland Security are closely intertwined as he plays an integral role in attempting to divert disaster as th ...more
Brad Beebe
Jun 08, 2013 Brad Beebe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The story started off promising enough, but it was all downhill after the prologue. The book glorifies the military to a nauseating degree. The main character is given an interminable number of pages devoted to backstory that really isn't all that interesting and does nothing to develop sympathy or understanding of why he does stupid, sophomoric, selfish things. The plot quickly becomes boring. The villains are never fleshed out, and the stakes are never raised. In fact, the author has character ...more
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W.E.B. Griffin is one of several pseudonyms for William E. Butterworth III.

From the Authors Website:

W.E.B. Griffin is the #1 best-selling author of more than fifty epic novels in seven series, all of which have made The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and other best-seller lists. More than fifty million of the books are in print in more than ten languages, including Heb
More about W.E.B. Griffin...

Other Books in the Series

Presidential Agent (8 books)
  • The Hostage (Presidential Agent, #2)
  • The Hunters (Presidential Agent, #3)
  • The Shooters (Presidential Agent, #4)
  • Black Ops (Presidential Agent, #5)
  • The Outlaws (Presidential Agent, #6)
  • Covert Warriors (Presidential Agent, #7)
  • Hazardous Duty (Presidential Agent, #8)

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