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Hazardous Duty
Presidential Series
W.E.B. Griffin & William E. Butterworth IV

Putnam Publishers
December 31, 2013/ ISBN

Mystery/ Thriller / Military

Reviewed by Elise Cooper


Hazardous Duty by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV is the latest book in the Presidential Agent Series. Unfortunately for those who enjoyed these adventures this will be the last installment. The plot is a satirical look on how the US President handles national security from the Mexican Drug Cartels to Somali pirates holding three tankers for ransom. The President calls upon members of his cabinet, and Lieutenant Colonel Carlos “Charley” G. Castillo to resolve these problems. The rest of the story is how Castillo and the Secretary of State, Natalie Cohen, deals with a President gone crazy that leaves readers with an amusing storyline.

W.E.B. Griffin decided to write a satire because he was “outraged how people have changed. What ever happened to duty and country? I turned this book into a sort of M*A*S*H type story involving the White House and Langley so readers could possibly forget for a minute or so the mess we have in Washington D.C. I had a lot of fun in writing it and hope that people will see some parts are very funny, especially the parts with the porn queen. I wrote it because I was at a low point and was disgusted at what was happening here in the US.”

His co-author, William Butterworth IV added, “The reason dad could not write this as a serious book is because of the moral indignation coming out of Washington D.C. Just look at the outrageous decision to reduce the military retirement as part of the budget. It is one more thing being jammed down our throat. Many of the politicians today have never served so they don’t understand what someone in the military has to go through.”

A very compelling character whom Griffin hinted could be based on former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, is Natalie Cohen, also a Secretary of State. She is a very likable and interesting personality that is portrayed as honorable, soft spoken, and a voice of reason.

The authors gave a heads up about their next books. Coming out this summer will be a Matt Payne novel. The plot has Matt being haunted by some of what he did in the past. He has the bad guys after him and some unfounded accusations from the good guys. He has to survive both. It was grounded in that all the various good guys, whether spooks, the military, or cops have to deal with the revenge factor. Next year, replacing the Presidential Agent Series will be Top Secret. This new series will be about the Cold War and the formation of the OSS, the prelude to the CIA. The main character will be Second Lieutenant James D. Cronley JR who has to battle the FBI, the Russians, and a lot of others.

Hazardous Duty
is one of the rare books that combine humor and adventure. Anyone who is disgusted with the current political situation in American should enjoy this book.

Reviewed 2014