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

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

4.1 145
by W. E. B. Griffin

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When a leased Boeing 727 is violently hijacked from Angola and flown to parts unknown, the President turns to an outsider--Major Carlos Guillermo Castillo--for answers. A pilot, West Point graduate, and veteran of Desert Storm, Castillo has a sharp eye for the facts--and the truth behind them. In Africa, he is helped and hindered by unexpected allies and ruthless…  See more details below


When a leased Boeing 727 is violently hijacked from Angola and flown to parts unknown, the President turns to an outsider--Major Carlos Guillermo Castillo--for answers. A pilot, West Point graduate, and veteran of Desert Storm, Castillo has a sharp eye for the facts--and the truth behind them. In Africa, he is helped and hindered by unexpected allies and ruthless enemies, and begins to untangle a plot of horrific dimensions--a plot that, unless Castillo acts quickly, will end very, very badly.

Editorial Reviews

Andrew Santella
Part of Griffin's appeal is his dogged attention to detail. He has bothered to learn the lifting capacity of the external cargo hook on a MH-53J ''Pave Low III'' helicopter, and is determined to pass the information along, even if it requires a footnote. And even the most jargon-laden exchanges between officers -- the kind of gritty talk best delivered with a well-chewed stub of cigar between the teeth -- are filled with camaraderie and go down easily.
The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Proving himself solidly in control of cutting-edge military material, Griffin bases his new series not on wars past but on today's murky exigencies of terrorism and international political intrigue. Army Maj. Carlos Guillermo Castillo, whose Spanish name belies his fair-haired, blue-eyed appearance (he had a German mother), is working as a special assistant to the secretary of homeland security. Because of post-9/11 concerns, when a Boeing 727 is hijacked from a remote airport in Angola, it becomes a top priority for the U.S. government. Vicious infighting between several agencies results in a snafu that leads the U.S. president to assign Charley Castillo to use the search for the plane as an excuse to launch an investigation into the internal workings of all the government agencies and personnel who need to cooperate in terrorist situations. Griffin is more interested in military procedure than in blood, sweat and derring-do, and he resists no urge to meander through scores of pages of backstory to round out the many characters who will be series regulars. In the end, there are a few bodies to account for, but its' the meticulous investigation that leaves readers standing on the tarmac waiting for Charley Castillo and his newly minted band of can-do compatriots to touch down and carry them away again on a new adventure. (Jan. 2) Forecast: Those who love Griffin's stories of past wars will take to this new series based on present and future conflicts. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
After writing more than 30 books about military and police activities, the almost impossibly prolific Griffin, author of such best-selling series as "The Corps," "Brotherhood of War," "Men at War," "Badge of Honor," and "Honor Bound," has turned his energies to the very near future and the war on terror in a new series debut. Charley Castillo, a U.S. Army major, is the executive assistant to the secretary of homeland security. He is also multilingual, rich, and a Special Forces vet of the first Gulf War. When terrorists in Africa steal an old Boeing 727, Castillo and his team coordinate the search for the plane while dealing with FBI and CIA types who are much more interested in protecting their turf than their country. This is typical Griffin, which means plenty of action, high-level intrigue, interesting characters, flip dialog, romance, and a whole lot of drinking and other carrying on. His fans will enjoy it immensely. Recommended for most popular fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/04.]-Robert Conroy, Warren, MI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Griffin's 35th title abandons his five ongoing series, perhaps the best being his Marine Corps series (Retreat, Hell!, 2004, etc.), which, with a thousand pages published so far, is still mired down in the first year of the Korean War. Griffin is either a very, very fast typist or has a factory going. Suggesting the latter is Final Justice, last year's entry in Griffin's Philadelphia police procedurals that shocked many fans with its glare of inconsistencies that jarred with earlier entries. Now he kicks off still another ongoing series, this one set in 2005 to take advantage of the nation's deepening climate of terror since 9/11. Things begin with a Boeing 727, registered to a Philadelphia firm, being hijacked in Angola and then disappearing from the radar. Where is the plane now, and for what awful purpose has it been hijacked? Griffin's new hero is Delta Force Major Carlos Guillermo Castillo, or "Charley," an Army intelligence officer and special assistant to the Office of Homeland Security. So it's off to Africa for Charley, where he uncovers a disaster of huge size aborning. Meanwhile, Griffin zippers each paragraph with a polymath's grip on a universe of photo-realistic facts about whatever he happens to see wherever his head turns. Typical Griffinesque sentence: "Two-two-zero-five Tyson Avenue was a neat brick three-story house just about in the middle of the block."A bedtime book for Arnold's Terminator to enjoy. Agent: Robert Voudelman/JCA Literary Agency
From the Publisher
"Plenty of action, high-level intrigue, interesting characters, flip dialogue, romance, and a whole lot of drinking and other carrying on." (Library Journal)

"Cutting-edge military material." (Publishers Weekly)

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Presidential Agent Series , #1
Sold by:
Penguin Group
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File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Plenty of action, high-level intrigue, interesting characters, flip dialogue, romance, and a whole lot of drinking and other carrying on." (Library Journal)

"Cutting-edge military material." (Publishers Weekly)

Meet the Author

"W.E.B. Griffin is a storyteller in the grand tradition, probably the best man around for describing the military community"—Tom Clancy

W.E.B. Griffin is the author of more than thirty epic novels in five series, all of which have been listed on The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly and other best-seller lists. More than forty million of his books are in print in more than ten languages, including Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, and Hungarian.

Mr. Griffin grew up in the suburbs of New York City and Philadelphia. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1946. After basic training, he received counter-intelligence training at Fort Holabird, Maryland. He was assigned to the Army of Occupation in Germany, and ultimately to the staff of then-Major General I.D. White, commander of the U.S. Constabulary.

In 1951, Mr. Griffin was recalled to active duty for the Korean War, interrupting his education at Phillips University, Marburg an der Lahn, Germany. In Korea he earned the Combat Infantry Badge as a combat correspondent and later served as acting X Corps (Group) information officer under Lieutenant General White.

On his release from active duty in 1953, Mr. Griffin was appointed Chief of the Publications Division of the U.S. Army Signal Aviation Test&Support Activity at Fort Rucker, Alabama.

Mr. Griffin is a member of the Special Operations Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Army Aviation Association, and the Armor Association.

He was the 1991 recipient of the Brigadier General Robert L. Dening Memorial Distinguished Service Award of the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association, and the August 1999 recipient of the Veterans of Foreign Wars News Media Award, presented at the 100th National Convention in Kansas City.

He has been vested into the Order of St. George of the U.S. Armor Association, and the Order of St. Andrew of the U.S. Army Aviation Association, and been awarded Honorary Doctoral degrees by Norwich University, the nation's first and oldest private military college, and by Troy State University (Ala.). He was the graduation dinner speaker for the class of 1988 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

He has been awarded honorary membership in the Special Forces Association; the Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association; the Marine Raiders Association; and the U.S. Army Otter&Caribou Association.

He is the co-founder, with historian Colonel Carlo D'Este, of the William E. Colby Seminar on Intelligence, Military, and Diplomatic Affairs. (

Mr. Griffin's novels, known for their historical accuracy, have been praised by The Philadelphia Inquirer for their "fierce, stop-for-nothing scenes."

"Nothing honors me more than a serviceman, veteran, or cop telling me he enjoys reading my books," Mr. Griffin says.

Mr. Griffin divides his time between the Gulf Coast and Buenos Aires.

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Brief Biography

Coppell, Texas
Date of Birth:
November 10, 1929
Place of Birth:
Newark, New Jersey

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By Order of the President (Presidential Agent Series #1) 4.1 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 145 reviews.
jokell More than 1 year ago
I have read most of griffin's books, starting with the U.s. Army series, thru the U.S.M.C. series. This was a continuation of the fine military writing this author has done.

I was help captive by the realization of what if something like this good be done. Do we have a group that only the president controls. If so, would they only handle military problems or could they be used in other ways. I can picture a few places and circumstances I would like them to solve. But back to the book.

A group of radical, hijack and kill 2 pilots. They then proceed to fly across the Atlantic with plans to fly the airplane into the Liberty Bell, in Philadelphia. A tall order for anyone. But Griffin has created another excellent hero in Capt. Castillio. He manages to outfox the doers and also out think the many intelligence organizations.

The story leads the reader on many journeys, from Germany to Texas, to Iraq and other worldly places.

I have put my self right alongside all Griffin's characters and rode, jumped, wadded thru marshes, Spent frigid nights with both Lowell and McCoy in Korea. And I will spend many days and nights with Castillo.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book a terrible read and truly had to fight to get through it. I feel bad for any non-military readers who try to get through it as the titles and abbreviations are going to make your head spin, and if that doesn't then all the flashbacks and jumping around that Griffin throws in certainly will.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It looks like this book has had pretty good reviews. The only thing I can guess is the people rating this book highly are military or ex-military. I can understand someone appreciating an author because that person gets his or her facts straight, however knowing your facts doesn't mean you can write well. I found little things that bothered me right away such as the time line being off. The terrorists kill the pilot at one time and then there is a point in the book where they are referring to it and that discussion is occurring at an earlier time. Kind of hard to be talking about something that happened when it hasn't happened yet. The more significant aspects of the book that got to me were the LONG flash backs. They just aren't needed to that degree to develop a character. It threw the flow of the book way off. I bought the other books in this series at the same time I bought this book, but this book was so boring that I wont bother reading the others. My bad for buying multiple books by an author I haven't ever read before. Granted, there are authors who write excellent books and then other titles they write are just dogs, but when the first book that I read was this bad I just don't think I want to bother again with this author.
The_Traveling_Donkey More than 1 year ago
It's been a long time since I've read a series by W.E.B. Griffin, and I ask myself, "Why?" These books (Series of any title) by Griffin give me the action and drama I look forward to reading in my down-time. They are well-written, seemingly accurate, and adventurous. Can't wait to read the rest of the series. Thanks W.E.B. Griffin!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read! The Presidents Series is fun, and filled with some serious action!
BostonDirk More than 1 year ago
I love mystery thrillers, especially Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, Ted Bell, Tom Clancy...etc. I was hoping W.E.B. Griffin would be along those lines, but he's not, not anywhere close. Unfortunately.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a great book,unfortunatly I read the seires out of sequence starting with The Shooters then Black Ops.I personaly think this series is much better than Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell.I'm looking forward to reading some of Griffin's other series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Griffin does a wonderful job in this series; keeps you wondering what's going to happen next.
JamesS More than 1 year ago
Its been awhile since I've read a book by Mr. Griffin and that is my loss. I try not to get too much into "serial" novels but this one, if the first book, is any example seems to hold a lot in store for me. The president in this book appears to be very presidential, something this country now sorely lacks, and gives Major (Agent) Castillo a tasking and then stands behind his man and makes things happen. I hope we'll see a lot of these characters in the follow on books (three of which I went out and purchased today!).
Guest More than 1 year ago
As he did in his series on the Marine Corps, WEB Griffin again gives us a fable of the fabulously wealthy in the service of their country. Instead of the Pickerings, we have the Old Texas Money Castillos, and instead of the Japanese we have Islamic radicals, but the formula is pretty much the same except, of course, we don't yet know who wins this war. Could that be why Griffin skipped the end of WWII and went straight to Korea in his novels of the Corps?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having read all the Police Honor series, I started in on By Order of the President and didn't stop till I finished it. It took a weekend. It's a'Great Read', that's the adjective that best describes the novel. No matter the subject matter, Mr. Griffin holds one in the grip of a plot, with a page turner that keeps the adrenaline flowing. One is captivated by the characters and subplots. I can see a follow-up novel with many of the characters. Go for it Mr. Griffin...I'm waiting with baited breath.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Drewano More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that’s hard to rate for me.  The Author does a great job of giving the reader a complete story with in depth back stories and a very robust plot.  However in doing so the time between action scenes can be very long which is what I look for in a thriller so I would classify this as more of an international intrigue/suspense novel.  That being said the book is well written and the characters interesting.  If you’re looking for an artfully crafted story with action sprinkled in this is your book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
enjoyed this - will read more by Griffin!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Palatine_Steve More than 1 year ago
I have read every one of Griffin's series with the exception of the badge of Honor, and while I can see where some might be put off by his attention to detail, that same attention to detail is what attracts many of us to his books. His characters grow from one book to the next, and while I will admit the flashbacks may be long winded, they are necessary to understand where Castillo came from. I have read the entire Presidential Agent Series three times now and I still pick up little nuances every time I read them. Charlie is one of my favorite Griffin characters, right next to Ken McCoy!! I could not put this book down..
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I had read the second through fifth books of the series and found this to be consistant providing some informative background for the story
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John3145 More than 1 year ago
This is the first of the "By Order of the President" that have read. It keeps the reader moving right along, however I find many similar chacteristcs of the main character to Tom Clancy's "Ding Chavez"