Book VII in THE PRESIDENTIAL AGENT series
by W.E.B. Griffin
and William E. Butterworth IV
Published 22 December 2011.
At a roadblock outside the Mexican seaside resort of Acapulco, a U.S. Embassy SUV is stopped at gunpoint. Of the vehicle’s four occupants, three are shot dead and the fourth taken hostage.
Fingers immediately point to one of Mexico’s ruthless drug-running cartels. Especially when a message arrives announcing that the kidnappers will release the hostage—U.S. Army Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel James D. Ferris—if a cartel kingpin serving a life sentence in a Colorado federal prison is let go in Mexico.
But when word gets to Charley Castillo and his Merry Band of Outlaws—Ferris is a West Point classmate and friend of Castillo—they have their doubts. Fresh from having enraged the Kremlin by staging a covert raid in Venezuela that nabbed not only high-value Russian agents but also a highly-prized secret Russian aircraft, they start connecting the dots.
And they believe that it’s a diversion. That the murders and kidnapping were ordered by Vladimir Putin—who wants revenge against Castillo himself and against Castillo’s Russians Putin considers to be traitors. That Putin has ordered the kidnapping so that Castillo & Co. will get whacked coming to Ferris's rescue from the cartel.
The Central Intelligence Agency has drawn the same conclusion. But when the CIA director briefs the President that all the intel points not to any Mexican drug-running cartel but to the Russian leader, POTUS is incredulous.
Not wanting to rock the diplomatic boat, the newly sworn-in President then announces to his cabinet members that he’s prepared to meet the ransom demand—a precedent everyone warns will see an endless number of Americans kidnapped and killed.
While the hands of everyone around the President are tied, Charley Castillo and his “retired” spies and special operators report to no one. They are prepared to wage war in the fight for their very lives—and must race to do so before the decisions of the President of the United States result in even more deaths.