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

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,720 Ratings  ·  180 Reviews
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 Boein
Hardcover, 544 pages
Published December 29th 2004 by Putnam Adult (first published December 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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May 18, 2009 Suzie rated it did not like it
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
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
Jan 24, 2012 Brad Chinman rated it really liked it
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
Jacob Peled
Nov 19, 2015 Jacob Peled rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-stars, terror-cia, _2015
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
Mar 18, 2014 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.
Mar 02, 2012 JBradford rated it liked it
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
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
Jun 07, 2013 Will rated it it was amazing
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
Lynn Hallbrooks
Jun 27, 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
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
Jan 21, 2014 Pattianne marked it as to-read

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
Practical Mike
Feb 24, 2015 Practical Mike rated it really liked it
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
Chris Liu
Feb 22, 2015 Chris Liu rated it it was ok
After reading this book, I was disappointed. The story wasn't very interesting, especially after reading Patriot Games. Yes, the book did introduce Charley Castillo's history very well, especially in one book.

The book however does have very interesting characters. The Castillo family all have unique characters. Charley Castillo is just another James Bond with a fun background.

Although the hunt for the lost 727 was a mediocre story, (view spoiler)
Lee Hollenbeck
Aug 04, 2014 Lee Hollenbeck rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 14, 2015 Amber rated it it was amazing
The overall military style of this work is incredible. It has that raw feel that you know he's in over his head and you know he's one lucky SOB, but you can't help but hope he can get the job done. W.E.B. Griffin has been one of my favorite writers since this book had been released. I found it about six years ago and have been enamored with it since. My thoughts completely? It is a must read and a great read to go over and over again. His helpful suggestions with the definitions of what the acro ...more
Sep 19, 2015 Animal rated it it was ok
Characters very well developed. Perhaps too well. In fact, I don't want to know this much about Castillo. Just the facts, ma'am. As a result, the book got too caught up in the character and less upon the actual story. If I wanted to spend countless pages reading about a character I would have picked up a historical biography, not a suspenseful thriller, of which this book was lacking... save for the first few chapters of the book. This was my first Griffin novel. Are all of his books like this? ...more
Jan 16, 2012 Ceej rated it liked it
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
Oct 13, 2015 MissJessie rated it liked it
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
May 17, 2012 Jerome rated it did not like it
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
Mar 09, 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
Lizabeth Tucker
Feb 25, 2013 Lizabeth Tucker rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 05, 2011 Johnsergeant rated it liked it
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
Sherry Wilson
Feb 17, 2014 Sherry Wilson rated it it was amazing
I've read all W.E.B. Griffin's series but I like Presidential Agent series best. This is the 2nd time I've read the entire series through. I wanted to complete the read before the 8th book in the series, "Hazardous Duty" was published 31 Dec. 2013. Charlie Castillo is resourceful and to holds bared hero who can handle tight situation, military or civilian. The stories are fast moving and riveting. In "By Order of the President", we are introduced to Charlie and his background.
John Grazide
Nov 30, 2013 John Grazide rated it did not like it
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
Steven Kent
Jul 26, 2009 Steven Kent rated it liked it
Shelves: light-reading
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
Lars Bosteen
Sep 25, 2015 Lars Bosteen rated it did not like it
It's hard to think of anything good to say about this book after a decent opening. The plot is wafer-thin, the pace drags and the finale as about as exciting as watching paint dry. It could easily have been ten pages long, but the author feels the need to endlessly repeat what few plot developments there are through loads of bland dialogue. Despite all the dialogue and a few descriptions, one never really gets anything but a superficial impression of the characters. Those inclined towards politi ...more
William Bentrim
Jul 10, 2013 William Bentrim rated it really liked it
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
Oct 22, 2014 David rated it liked it
By Order of the President (The Presidential Agent #1) by W.E.B. Griffin (Putnam Adult 2004) (Fiction - Mystery). Following the midair hijacking of a 707 in Angola, the President appoints an outside investigator. Charley Castillo answers only to the President; he goes to Africa and uncovers a web of danger. My rating; 7/10. finished 2005.
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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

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

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