cover image Covert Warriors

Covert Warriors

W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV. Putnam, $27.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-399-15780-6

The leisurely seventh presidential agent thriller starring Lt. Col. Charley Castillo from Griffin and Butterworth (after 2010’s The Outlaws) opens with a bang. Mexican federales stop two U.S. Special Forces officers and two DEA agents at a roadblock near Acapulco, order them out of their SUV despite their diplomatic license plates, and shoot three of them dead, taking Lt. Col. James Ferris prisoner. It appears the drug cartels have Ferris, but Charley figures out that his arch enemy, Vladimir Putin—yes, that Vladimir Putin—is behind the attack. Charley’s other enemy, U.S. president Zeke Clendennen, decides to rescue Ferris in an operation that’s sure to get the man killed. Charley must snatch Ferris before the president can screw everything up. As usual, the authors exhaustively outline what’s happened in earlier books, then lay out a plan that’s swiftly implemented at the very end. Even loyal series fans may be weary of this formula by now. (Jan.)