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Extended Audio Sample Black Ops, by W. E. B. Griffin Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,697 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: W. E. B. Griffin Narrator: Dick Hil Publisher: Penguin Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Presidential Agent Novels Release Date:
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The Russian bear is stirring—and it’s hungry—in the #1 New York Times bestselling series’ thrilling fifth novel.

The first disturbing reports reached Delta Force Lieutenant Colonel Charley Castillo in the form of backchannel messages concerning covert US intelligence assets working for a variety of agencies suddenly gone missing and then, suddenly, inexplicably, found dying. Or dead. One in Budapest, Hungary. One in Kiev, Ukraine. One in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, mere klicks from the Iran border. And then one in Virginia, along the Potomac River, practically in the shadow of CIA headquarters.

Castillo finds the information both infuriating and fascinating, particularly after a recent experience with two CIA traitors whose own deaths were swift and suspicious. Despite there being some similarities, though, he thinks there’s something different with these new cases, something he can’t quite put his finger on. At first, it’s an idle thought, but Castillo expects it’s only a matter of time before the commander in chief assigns him and his group of troubleshooters in the innocuously named Office of Organizational Analysis to look into the deaths while all those intel agencies fight among themselves trying to put the pieces together. 

Meanwhile, Castillo has problems of his own—fallout from recent missions involving a clandestine rescue of a DEA agent from South American drug runners, and the confiscation of some fifty million dollars from thieves in the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal. He’s made more than a few enemies, he know—both foreign and domestic. And then comes another back-channel message, this one delivered personally by his lethal friend, the Russian mobster arms dealer. All that has happened so far, he says, is just a warm-up for what’s about to come out of the Kremlin. 

Could sabers be rattling for a new Cold War? Or worse? Presidential Agent C. G. Castillo is about to find out. Filled with Griffin’s trademark rich characters and cutting-edge drama, this is another exceptional novel in an exceptional series.

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Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Jerome | 2/18/2014

    " Please do not consider this an action story. 99% of action is in the opening scenes, which does initiate the tale with some dynamic, and then goes south fast. The vast majority of pages are either description of what happened in the past to some one or some situation. So by the end you have a book full of background and enough story to barely fill 10 - 20 pages AT BEST. It's more like a male soap opera and it is certainly not an action story. The history mentioned by another reviewer is Castillo's new squeeze recanting some story about the descendants through the centuries and their humble role today. It was actually barely a page and a half, including the filler dialogue that dominates this hardcover specimen. 100% Honest statement: At the half way point, I stopped reading the book in sessions, and saved it at bedside for when middle-of-the night insomnia struck, and for this the book was effective. So I may just buy another of this ilk as it is proving it's reliability as a non-pharma sedative. Even where Castillo appears to think with his unit (take it both ways) is blandly described. The ending is perfunctory at best. There is zero suspense in this book. Persons being liquidated are revealed in the past tense by parties twice removed - Yawn.....zzz.. Why is creativity becoming scarcer in such so-called action books? Geeeez! Errors: a Marine is classed as a 'clerk typist', an MOS that hasn't existed for 20 years. Five minutes google time would have provided the correct job title. There are some flaws in the manuscript that I'm surprised weren't caught in the editing. One is where Jean-Paul Lorimor (of The Hostage) is referred to as "Mastrerson" Another is when Ambassador Lorimor is confused with his daughter's father-in-law, Mr. Masterson (see page 246 in ther hardcover). It's more than juast a typo. Charlie is talking about how OOA is paying for the security of Masterson at the ranch in Uruguay, even though Masterson could afford to pay for it out his own pocket. Mr. Masterson is rich, but Amd. Lorimor is living in Uruguay and he isn't wealthy. Another flaw comes when General McNabb refers to his aid Major Foster as "Major Preston". Also when McNabb meeets Charley and his team for dinner, McNabb greets Cpl Bradley USMC as if the two have never met, when in fact they have not only met but traveled together for the funeral of Specialist Seymour Krantz in The Hunters. An even worse example is that the book is set in 2005, and a characater is described as having been a Marine DM on the march up in the Iraq war. He then described as being too young to vote. The Corps does allow enlistment at 17, but three months boot, ITR, and DM school would have taken at least six months pre war. Assuming the character turned 17 the day he left for boot camp, he still would have been 19 in 2005. Mr. Griffin, You should be ashamed to produce a book that has 400+ pages of people simply drinking and cooking steaks. Certainly appears that most of the 5 star reviews are out of either blind loyalty or an unwillingness to suspend disbelief that perhaps a formerly respectable reading cycle has come to an ugly conclusion at not exactly the top of the author's game. To the future five star reviewers: "I got scammed by this hardbound debacle and so should you!" Hey, but if he can wring a few more checks out of this tired old tripe, happy retirement pal! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Rita M | 2/18/2014

    " I think I am beginning to tire of this series. While I enjoyed the character of Castillo, I found this one less intriguing. I was not in the least interested in the love interchange between Charlie and the defector. The endearments took away from my image of Charlie. I like a bit more action and less romance! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kristof Czeczko | 2/17/2014

    " Very good, the story of Charley continues. I really like Griffin's style of writing: very precise, easy to follow and interesting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Olean Public Library | 2/5/2014

    " Griffin, as usual, excels in his character development. The book is well written and flows quickly. And yet at the end, you can't help but feel somehow unfulfilled. This installment seems to conclude the series, but instead of growing to potential the main character remains tragically flawed and becomes two dimensional. Somewhat disappointing. "

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