Monday, June 21, 2010

The Hostage by W.E.B. Griffin

The Hostage (Presidential Agent)
The second in the Presidential Agent series by Griffin, starring Charlie Castillo, begins with the kidnapping of a U.S. diplomat's wife in Argentina. The President wants his own eyes on the ground, in addition to the CIA and FBI agents already in country, so he sends Charlie and his friends to investigate.
Things go from bad to worse, however, within a short time, when the diplomat meets with the kidnappers without anyone on the team's knowledge, and is murdered by them. His wife, however, is released. This turn of events really peeves the president, and he issues a finding which creates a special agency within the department of Homeland Security, answerable only to him, with Charlie at its head. Its mission is to "render harmless" those responsible for the murder.
The villains also, in an unsuccessful attempt to kill Charlie, manage to kill his Marine driver and wound his lady love, Betty Schneider. Worrying about her health while he's trying to figure out why this is all happening puts him under quite a bit of stress, but he seems to deal with it all right, he just gets a little whiny at times.
The pace of this novel is pretty slow. There are lots of little flashbacks and sidebars re-telling the back story that we got in the first book, for those who haven't been following from the beginning, which is a little irritating. There's another thing about this whole series that I find a bit implausible; all of the people that Castillo is friends with are just so extraordinarily competent and amiable, it begins to stretch the bonds of credibility. It's a little bit like the soirees at Lazarus Long's place in Time Enough for Love, where everyone is intelligent, beautiful and witty.
The ending, as well, was a little abrupt. I can't tell whether Griffin is planning on continuing the story line later, or whether he just couldn't figure out how to end it in a satisfying manner.
Share This

No comments: