I quit after about an hour and a half. The story was weak and the characters were entirely unoriginal. This felt very formula driven, and not a good formula at that. A LOT has to be taken on faith. One example: the villain of the novel. He's half Afganistanian (father is an Afgan rebel) and half Italian (mother is rich Italian). For the novel he needed to be educated and rich, but inherently evil. I couldn't help trying to figure out how the bad guy's parents got together in the first place. Or why the Afgan father sends his son to Italy to be raised in Italy after his tenth birthday. It was a very minor point, but this shallow storytelling is scattered throughout the book. If I was 10 years old, it wouldn't matter. Adults are going to find it annoying.
I've probably read 30 WEB Griffin novels over the last 25 years. Most are very good. This series has been very good--however, Hazardous Duty leaves much to be desired. Charlie Castillo & Co. are still written fairly well, though I would be less than impressed if I hadn't read the previous novels. What is so disappointing are the antagonists. They are all written as bumbling idiots. At one point the President of the US meets a PhD and is introduced to "Dr. Jones". "He can't be a doctor. He doesn't have one of those doohickeys around his neck that EVERY doctor I've ever seen has around his neck". "You're right, Mr. President" says the Press secretary, "He can't be a doctor". Really? The leader of the free world has NO concept of a PhD, or the concept that a stethoscope not being surgically grafted to physicians neck means he must be an imposter. And the other adults in the room agree? It's not just the President written this way. The Russians, Cubans are all fairly dense as well as virtually all of the members of the press in the novel. All of the antagonists are at the peaks of their respective professions, yet are written as sitcom simpletons.
I'll finish the book. And I'll probably read the next. But if this is the direction the novels are taking, I may have to cherish the memory of his older novels and leave the new ones alone.
Pretty big disappointment. Didn't finish the book. His "personal" problem in the book just seems so out of character from the first book and really wasn't plausible given the timeline involved. I really like the first one in the series.
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