Hazardous Duty marks the eighth novel in the “Presidential Agent” series by W.E.B. Griffin and third with son William E. Butterworth IV. It’s one of six bestselling series in Griffin’s arsenal. His son, who lives in Flower Mound, has edited and helped his father write books for more than a decade.Our hero is Col. Charley Castillo, who was forced to retire from the military by the president. But it looks like the commander in chief needs the help of Castillo and his men (who scattered after Castillo’s retirement). Immediately. It seems Laredo and El Paso are under siege from Mexican drug cartels and three U.S. tankers are being held for ransom by Somali pirates. Cleaning up those messes may be the least of Castillo’s worries. The president is regarded as “absolutely bonkers” by top Washington officials. Kilts for special-ops? And his wife wants to be vice president. Meanwhile, Castillo tries to get the job done with a minimum of bloodshed and with tried-and-true allies.It’s a bit of a departure for Griffin, but as he explains in the afterword: “So, I figured that if Hazardous Duty was written as sort of a M*A*S*H Goes to the White House and Langley, maybe readers could appreciate it for that — maybe even get a chuckle, helping them forget for a minute or so the mess we have in Washington, D.C.” — Celeste Williams
by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV
Audiobook: Brilliance Audio, $34.99; read by Dick Hill.