Black Ops (Presidential Agent Series #5)

Black Ops (Presidential Agent Series #5)

4.0 179
by W. E. B. Griffin

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"The first disturbing report reaches Presidential Agent Charley Castillo as he sits down for Christmas Day dinner. The caller on the Virginia safe house's secure line confirms that an investigative reporter working for Castillo's European newspapers - and snooping after German and Russian thieves involved in the Iraqi Oil-for-Food scandal - has been brutally murdered…  See more details below


"The first disturbing report reaches Presidential Agent Charley Castillo as he sits down for Christmas Day dinner. The caller on the Virginia safe house's secure line confirms that an investigative reporter working for Castillo's European newspapers - and snooping after German and Russian thieves involved in the Iraqi Oil-for-Food scandal - has been brutally murdered in Marburg." "Next comes the call from the director of National Intelligence, who asks if Castillo knows anything about the Kuhls - an Austrian couple serving as Central Intelligence Agency deep-cover assets since World War II - who were just found dead in a Vienna park, strangled by stainless steel garrotes." "And within hours Castillo learns of two assassination attempts on Christmas Eve: U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Jack Britton and his wife in Philadelphia and Gendarmeria Nacional Comandante Liam Duffy and his wife and children in Buenos Aires. All narrowly escaped automatic weapons fire from assailants unknown - unknown except for the fact that the hits were professional." "As Castillo shares the news with his group of troubleshooters in the innocuously-named Office of Organizational Analysis - a menacing mix of military and former CIA, FBI, Secret Service and other agents - two conclusions are immediately reached." "One: These are no coincidences - this is payback. Two: Delta Force Lieutenant Colonel C.G. Castillo likely is the next target." "Operating the OOA under a Top Secret Presidential Finding and reporting only to the President of the United States, Castillo has made more than a few enemies, both foreign and domestic. Confiscating some sixty million illicit dollars and leaving a trail ofdead bad guys top the list of reasons why." "Still, it's the question of "Who?" that has everyone watching their backs. South American drug lords angry that Castillo's helicopters destroyed their manufacturing plant during his clandestine rescue of a DEA agent?" "Muslim extremists wanting revenge for Castillo finding and stealing back the explosives-filled 727 aircraft that the terrorists were going to crash into the Liberty Bell?" "Ex-members of AVH and Stasi - former Hungarian and East German secret police - ruthless professionals infamous for their use of garrotes?" As Castillo and his operatives try to connect the dots, two Russian SVR rezidents turn his world upside down. They want to defect - but to Castillo, not the CIA, which already is bragging it bagged the pair. And being top-level foreign intelligence service officers, they bear him great gifts ... including what they claim is Russian intel about who's making weapons of mass destruction and where. There's more than one big surprise in all this for Presidential Agent C.G. Castillo ... if he can stay alive.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In bestseller Griffin's gung-ho fifth presidential agent novel (after The Shooters), the U.S. president assigns Lt. Col. Charley Castillo, a member of the Office of Organizational Analysis, a special task-to track down the terrorists who murdered an American diplomat in Buenos Aires, Argentina. When Castillo's inquiries lead him to a pair of defecting Russian spies, they offer information about an Iranian-run bioweapons factory hidden in the Congo. Readers who want exciting accounts of desperate battles have come to the wrong place. Griffin excels in describing the planning and the bureaucratic tussles that have to occur before the first bomb goes off. He understands the psychology and motivations of military and clandestine service officers. While he paints an enticing, if overly idealized, portrait of loyal, capable people drawn to others of their kind, realism isn't his strong suit. Still, Griffin's many fans will be rewarded. (Jan.)

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Library Journal

Griffin's latest in the best-selling but generally disappointing series involving terrorism in the modern world picks up immediately after its predecessor, The Shooters, and features the same confusing ensemble of characters led by superagent Charley Castillo. People in the intelligence world are being murdered, and Charley might be next. But neither Charley nor his companions are fazed; they are sometimes more concerned with finding homes for a bunch of puppies than solving the killings, handling Russian defectors, and finding a biological warfare center in Africa. Far too much time is spent on irrelevant digressions and explaining past relationships instead of developing the story. Ultimately, of course, Charley and the good guys prevail. Griffin's fans will be happy that the club has resurfaced, but new readers will likely be turned off by the complicated tale and the too-flippant dialog. Based on this novel's conclusion, the series is either changing drastically or ending-either is overdue. For larger collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ9/1/08.]
—Robert Conroy

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Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Presidential Agent Series, #5
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.24(w) x 5.74(h) x 2.19(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

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Black Ops (Presidential Agent Series #5) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 179 reviews.
actionthrillerfanman More than 1 year ago
Purchased and read this book based on the rating of 4 stars. Not worth 1 star. Alot of characters with foreign names and all over the map, literally. The review said lots of action, forget it, hardly any, even when there was suppose to be the mission, hardly anything was said. I was very disappointed since I wanted an action pack adventure. Want a good one, read Ice Station. Non stop action and easy to keep up with who is who.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading everything by Vince Flynn, Lee Child, Tom Clancy etc. I thought I would try a W. E. B. Griffin book, having seen his name on the shelves for many years. Black Ops was the most boring, slow, go nowhere book I have ever read. If this is representative of Griffin's writing, then I don't understand what the fuss is all about.
Technothriller_Fan More than 1 year ago
I am a long time fan of W.E.B. Griffin, a master of writing a series where the characters become like relatives or friends of his readers. My favorite series is ¿The Corps¿, which takes the reader through WWII and into the Korean Conflict. Griffin¿s new series, ¿Presidential Agent¿ is set in modern times with modern conflicts with terrorists in a politically correct world. Personality and agency conflicts provide the tension, and USA LTC Carlos Castillo, the center character of the series, reminds me of USMC Major McCoy in ¿The Corps¿ series.

Agency infighting and egos once again block intelligence about a developing terrorist attack. The president has formed a special intelligence/operational group under his personal control, headed by LTC Castillo. Previous success by Castillo has earned him the enmity of the CIA, FBI, and the director of national intelligence¿The Ambassador.

Castillo faces many challenges, one of which is dealing with senior officers when he is in charge. However, he also has his ¿angels¿ who provide him as much protection as they can. The tipping point in the series comes when Castillo once again out foxes the alphabet agencies and wins the battle¿but will he loose the war? You must read the book to find out.

Black Ops is not a page turning action-adventure novel, but it is a page turning political-intelligence suspense novel, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I suggest that new readers begin at the beginning of the series, otherwise is it easy to become confused by the continuing stories from previous books, a Griffin hallmark.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really ejoyed this whole series,unfortunatley it looks like this is the end of it.Ive read some of the other reviews that say the plot is the same asin other series,that's because war has been the same for centuries the only thing that's changed is the weaponry.War basicly is I want your land and if you don't give it to me I'm going to kill you and if you do give it to me I might kill you anyway,you simply can't change that.I'm also a firm beleiver in "if you don't follow history your bound to repeat it" which Mr Griffin has also refered to in this series.Looking forward to reading more of Mr.Griffin's books.
Avidreaderover65 More than 1 year ago
By far the worst of the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read every W.E.B. Griffin book. Shame on Penguin Group for publishing this pale shadow work from a formerly was a powerful and entertaining writer. I think Mr. Griffin now should enjoy a well deserved retirement.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed in this book. I don't feel that this was one of W.E.B Griffin's better books. I felt it spent too much time on the main character having sex, than it did on the operation. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was recommended W.E.B. Griffin by a former Marine. He said his stories were pretty accurate in terms how the action was and how the corps operated. I found Black Ops in a $1 bookstore and decided to pick it up. I just finished it a moments ago, and I must say, I was highly disappointed. The only action in this brick of a book was at the beginning, which only consisted of drive by shootings. The rest of the book is all diplomatic wrestling, diologue that tries to be pithy and fails, a love interest that develops from a wardrobe malfunction at the swimming pool, and the set up for action that never comes since it takes place away from the main characters. Maybe this book was the wrong one to start with, since it ends the series, but be that as it may, even his writing style didn't make me a fan. It's not horrible, but I wouldn't recommend it.
ROBUSN More than 1 year ago
Much slower than prior books in the series - a lot of character mixing and flying around, very little action. Poorly developed love interest.
JA_Story More than 1 year ago
The ending didnt hold up to the strength of thr rest of the series but as a single book it was a good read. I hear there is another book out now and i will buy it too!
Arlene70AL More than 1 year ago
This is an exciting and at times complicated "spy" novel. There are so many characters and many characters are called by more than one name that it can be confusing. Enjoyable reading during a snowy winter weekend. A bit hard to believe that spies have the kind of resources that the people in this book do and that the "mainstream" spy mechanisms in our country are so bad but for this book it certainly worked. Fun and exciting....if you can keep track of all the characters.
CDJJ More than 1 year ago
I found this to be the most confusing jumble of characters and plot(s) that I have listened to or read. If this had been a book I would have hoped it was a paperback and I didn't pay much for it. Instead it was a CD and I had to listen to the bitter end to get my money's worth. This book was like the guy who when speaking falls in love with the sound of his own voice and doesn't know when to shut up and sit down. This was not the crisp engrossing GRIFFIN style that I had become accustomed to. There was to many characters and too much plot. I can only hope that other GRIFFIN works do not turn out to be as disappointing as this one.
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"Uh what?"
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoy Griffin All of his characters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is a great read, however as usual B&N overcharges significantly as it does with many of their other offerings. I will most likely get rid of the Nook.
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Velveteyes walked in slowly, unable to stop coughing. She sighed, wishing Creamwillow wasnt sleep but took a handful of herbs and padded back out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She thought." Its confusing. It makes sense, but in a weird way I just can't describe." Creamwillow said, pawing some herbs back in place." Have either of you worked part of it out?" ~Creamwillow