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The Hostage (Presidential Agent #2)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  7,359 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
By Order of the President, the first novel in W.E.B. Griffin's crackling new Presidential Agent series, won immediate acclaim from critics and fans alike.
Charley Castillo works with the Department of Homeland Security, but more and more he is the man to whom the president turns when he needs an investigation done discreetly. And no situation demands discretion more than
ebook, 768 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Jove Books (first published January 3rd 2006)
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I mentioned a while back that Close Combat was the first Griffin novel I had read; that turns out not to be the case. As I read through this one, I was bothered by a sense of déjà vu; I recognized many of the characters, knew their names, their relationships, the locale, etc., but not all—in fact, what bothered me most was thinking that I had read some of this book but not all of it, as there clearly were events that seemed completely new to me. The answer turned out to be that this book is a pr ...more
Mar 31, 2017 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fast-paced, excellent thriller.
Chip Atkinson
Sep 20, 2012 Chip Atkinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great spy novel.

The author captures the inner workings of the US security and military bureaucracies with clever character building and a great deal of respect for the degree of difficulty officers are forced to operate within. The theme is fascinating. The President, a Tarheel like me, Is well aware of the problem with agencies not used to cooperating with one another, rivalries, power grabs, egos, ectetera. He has discovered a talented young major he can use to cut through rival bure
William Curtis
Mar 28, 2017 William Curtis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had to get used to WEB Griffin's style. He liked to set a lot of the events in the form of meetings with various people, and that seemed to drag things a bit. But I recall that the same criticism was hurled at JRR Tolkien in the Lord of the Rings. Like other reviews mentioned, the ending came pretty much in a rush, as if WEB was tired of this one and wanted to move on to the next.
So I have some quibbles. But this was still and entertaining read. Charlie Castillo is a great character, with just
May 17, 2012 Jerome rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Horrible writing style albeit old fashioned. Snail-crawling storyline, textbook-like sentences, every page was a tormenting, lot of italic paragraphs that were supposed to be the thoughts of all those moronic characters in this book. none of the characters looked realistic and capable. This book was more about logistics ("Get me a plane. Get me a cell phone. Get me a cellphone charger. Get me a car. Get me a parking space.") and all the assorted chatter that goes along with getting the logistics ...more
Jun 04, 2013 Will rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Action/thriller fans
Shelves: military-action
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 18, 2014 Jeanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not quite as good as "Presidential Agent #1"; however, quite exciting at times. At 15 disks, this audio book was quite lengthy and personally some of the excess could have been removed and not really change the story. The return of Howard Kennedy and Alexander Pevsner keep things interesting in an offbeat way. I also liked Betty Schneider and Jack Britain's return as secret service agents, working with C G Castillo . . . and the blossoming relation between Charley and Betty. The ending did not h ...more
May 28, 2017 Dee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Well, the main character, Charley, is a fun guy to watch as he travels the U.S., Germany, Austria, Hungary, Argentina and Uruguay. The multi-talented Army Major who is the problem solver for the U.S. President stumbles through to solve issues with the Ambassador in Buenos Aires. The murderers are well-supplied and professional killers. Charley in his dual citizenship and birth names of Karl/Carlos makes errors, but because of his good abilities and the favored position he is in with so many offi ...more
Clifton McLendon
Another great Griffin book!

Mr. Griffin never disappoints me. He expertly blends several subplots into one, with a generous admixture of humor both dry and corny, solves the problem at hand, and leaves a problem open to be continued later.
Brad T.
Mar 22, 2017 Brad T. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
good book
Nov 15, 2010 Patrick rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I borrowed The Hostage, book two in Griffin's Presidential Agent series of techo-thrillers, because I'd never read a story set in a post-9/11 world that followed the adventures of an operative for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The operative in this case is one Charley Castillo, an Army major and Green Beret of German and "Texican" background whom Griffin introduced to popular literature in By Order of the President.

Sent to Argentina to find out what he can about the kidnapping of an
"Book II, The Hostage (Read an excerpt)
U.S. Army Special Forces Major Charley Castillo works with the Department of Homeland Security, but more and more he is the man to whom the President turns when he needs an investigation done discreetly. And no situation demands discretion more than the one before them now. An American diplomat's wife is kidnapped in Argentina, and her husband murdered before her eyes. Her children will be next, she is warned, if she doesn't tell them where her brother is—
Oct 17, 2011 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this book became boring and the pace somehow managed to drag a bit, I found it an interesting novel. First, I found it to be a credible thriller and a decent and realistic spy novel. There were historical factoids dropped like booms from a b52 that were extremely interesting. Conspiracy theorists might also enjoy a few of the tidbits. Of course, there were a few times when I ha to suspend my disbelief slightly. The action sequences are a bit shorter than I would like. There was an awful ...more
Mar 19, 2008 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very exciting book, hard to put down and easy to read. Unfortunately he wraps up the ending too quickly, almost like he gets tired of the story. It's still good though, and it leaves you waiting for the next in the series. It's a very long book, almost 800 pages, but not difficult to read and it goes fast.
The characters are similar to those in his previous books, although through some of my experience I now have a little bit of a different impression of them. There are certain parts (
Practical Mike
Mar 10, 2015 Practical Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Author is pretty good... not perfect, as I was left scratching my head as we're moving towards the big finish and we side track to a recipe/cooking scenario (it makes sense in context with the story) and then the author uses the word "then" like 17 times in four paragraphs.

It was tre awkward... it read like a hobo sounds when he's telling the cops the details of a wha-had-happened scenario... "...then officer the guy went through the door and then he picked up the gun. And then I was like, "Hey
Feb 11, 2017 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tedious. 700 pages of government meetings, 50 pages of intrigue
Ralph McEwen
Jan 26, 2011 Ralph McEwen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though I dislike 700 page paperbacks, I found Hostage to be a really good read. The story is pretty fast paced and has a interesting plot. This story is complex but told in a manner that explains itself. The characters are not covered very deeply, which is a good thing or else this would have been a 900 page book. I appreciated the lack of in-depth details about the firearms, ammunition, cars, trucks and planes use throughout the story. I liked how events seen as unrelated can caused interaction ...more
Apr 10, 2016 Linda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For a thriller, The Hostage had very little action. In fact, in a 15-disk audio book, things didn't really get moving until Disk 15. The characters spent all their time talking to one another. Dialogue can progress a plot but these characters constantly repeated themselves which slowed the pace. You know things are restated too often when you can accidentally skip a disk and not be lost. Another concern: Once a character was identified, the reader doesn't need to be reminded of that character's ...more
Dec 28, 2013 Andrew rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, politics
didn't enjoy this book at all despite the fact that this seems to be a popular author and one whom others regard.
I found the book full of cliches and characters who in truth I would happily have seen add to the body count inherent in a book such as this...a case in point is the righteous honest 'nam serving president who keeps in regular contact with the special agent doing his bidding throughout the book..a paper thin 'boys isn't president who could only spill from a book such as this.
the love
Book 2 of 8....exciting chase around three continents...almost believable. Makes you wonder if this book was fashioned after an actual US Army special operator. However, there are some errors; the author believes that backwater South America is in CENTCOM's AOR when in actuality it's in SOUTHCOM's. They're both headquartered in Florida. I also wondered if interagency cooperation at that level (Army, Secret Service, FBI and State) wouldn't require so much paperwork and DC meetings so that the ope ...more
Sep 30, 2008 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, suspense
This is the first book that I have read from Mr. Griffin. With his background in military communities, he draws from his experience to create a contemporary storyline that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat until the end.

Charley Castillo is an agent for the Department of Homeland security, when something happens on assignment in Argentina. Recalled back home, Castillo is asked by the Pesident to find out who killed the US Ambassador to Argentina. Castillo and his team find out a detailed
Feb 06, 2013 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was really a guilty pleasure since at times the language was objectionable, which I realized going in would be the case, having read other books by this author. I did like it quite a bit better than the first book in this series since the main character had settled on one romantic interest. The bad language wasn't nearly as prevalent, either.

I got totally involved in the story, that of the murder of a U.S. diplomat in Argentina. The setting in Argentina also made it more interesting a
Lizabeth Tucker
When an American diplomat's wife is kidnapped in Argentina, the President sends Charley Castillo to snoop around. Things go from bad to worse when the diplomat is himself murdered, the recovered wife is keeping secrets, and Charley's lady love is shot.

This is the second in Griffin's Presidential Agent series and can be found in the Mystery/Suspense section of your local book store or library.

Another engrossing read once Charley arrives on the scene. We run into some old friends as well as adver
Jun 13, 2016 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love espionage thrillers ordinarily, but Griffin writes in too much fine detail for my way of thinking. This story is so long and so very involved with all the various personalities that it lost me several times along the way. When I was finished reading the story I wasn't real sure just what all had happened. There are parts of the story that I thought were very good, just not enough for me to buy another of his books.

The other thing is that at my age, my eyes are not the greatest, so I can o
This is the 2nd Book in the The Presidential Agent Series.But i haven't read the first one.The one thing i loved in this book was that the lead character C G Castillo is not portrayed as one man army as is the case with many of the novels of this genre .He has doubts ,overlooks things ,forgets things.I did feel the novel was dragging at times.and more importantly the novel is not action packed, otherwise it was a good read.About 40-50 pages before the end , i was sure that there is not gonna be ...more
Mar 15, 2013 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second Griffin book I read. Great and interesting details in explaining the scenes and sequence of events. Rather weak on the 'main story (i.e. about the people behind the Oil for Food)'. In fact, the you don't get to the guy they've been looking for until the last 60 pages of the book. And the title 'The Hostage' is pretty misleading as there really isn't much of 'hostage' situation in the book. Maybe Griffin wrote this book to further set up his main characters for this series.
Mar 22, 2016 Ian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
More of the same "James Bond means Tom Clancy" military fantasy, only this time is carries over a cast of supporting characters established in the first book. That continuity provides an illusion of depth. It's a surprisingly brisk page-turner despite being filled with useless details and lingo which, again, provide an illusion of depth. Basically pulp adventure wrapped in Jane's, so it's fun enough.
Nov 25, 2014 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Something about this story seems unfinished, probably because the main operation did not go down as designed. The storyline seems a bit disjointed.
It is well written and proofed, and long with detail.
The author seems a bit hung up on Madsen machine guns, placing them in almost every location he can, despite their unwieldiness. A Madsen in a hospital, for example? Really? He also seems to take artistic license with some gear, with incorrect specs.
Eric Wright
In this the first novel in Griffin’s new Presidential Agent series, Charley Castillo is tasked with dealing with the kidnapping of a diplomat’s wife and the murder of her husband in Argentina. The Hostage reads well, however, it is quite long and overly focuses on the interaction of the President and the various agencies of the US, the Argentine agencies, and on and on. Places, departments, flights here and there with action delayed until near the end.
Mike Tueros
Another solid effort - but there simply isn't enough action. Nothing like Vince Flynn or even Brad Thor - the characters are compelling though. This one focused too much on the developing relationship between Castillo and Schneider - and the writing was child-like and annoying. Aside from that - a 750 page book that forces you to read the next in the series (The Hunters) to get closure on the oil-for-food situation. I'm in for the third - reluctantly...
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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)
  • By Order of the President (Presidential Agent, #1)
  • 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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