I read my first W.E.B. Griffin book - "The Lieutenants" - as a PFC in Airborne School. It was new and most of my 'stick' was talking about it. We all were instant fans.
The following is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews by clicking all on the Books category on the far right sidebar.
The latest book, The
Last Witness, from the Badge of Honor
series, written by the legendary author W.E.B. Griffin and his son William E.
Butterworth IV is a very insightful novel.
It is a story of corruption, the difficulty in fighting it, drug
cartels, and the violence connected with them.
Blackfive.net had the pleasure of interviewing both father and son.
The main character, Philadelphia homicide detective Matt
Payne, has been brought onto a case involving a connection between the Mexican
drug cartels and the Russian mob. These
organizations lure teenage girls away from their foster homes, and ultimately
smuggle them into a sex trade operation. Some of these girls are being murdered
and the one surviving witness has gone underground. Payne knows that finding
this witness is critical to solving the case and must find her, before the
Russians, the cartels, and some of Philadelphia’s most powerful get to her
Griffin decided to start writing this “cop series after a
Philadelphia police officer sent me a letter asking if I would be interested in
writing this series in the same style as my Army and the Marine Corps novels. Since my roots are in Philadelphia I found
the idea fascinating. I thought that the
cops was a closed brotherhood and did not think they would let an outsider
in. After forming connections the series
started. The cop on the beat, the one
protecting our society is the one I really admire. I thought about how close
the police and the military are, not only in organization, but, more
importantly, in their dedication to duty, their sense of honor, their
willingness to lay their lives on the line, day after day, to protect society. We
nicknamed Payne “Wyatt Earp” to pay homage to him. He is a cop who did what is right. Because he got into a couple of gunfights he
was seen as a Wild West shooter.”
Both father and son enjoy writing together and never see it
as a problem. They are able to converse
back and forth, mainly through emails.
In comparing the two, Griffin noted, “I know more about the army than
Billy does, while he knows more about the cops than I do. Yet, we both contribute to all of the
Butterworth IV wants readers to understand the importance
and realism of this plot. He hopes they
will view this as a warning about the drug cartels, that they are
not just in the Border States and cities, but within the
interior of the US. “I was getting
depressed as I wrote about the viciousness of the cartels. 90% of this book is based on fact, but we did
not want to preach, but to tell it as a story, which is why we had as a
character a Texas Ranger that spoke from his experiences. At the end of the day
we wanted to make a point and have an entertaining novel.”
They also gave blackfive.net a heads up about their next few
books. This December will be the last book
in the Presidential Agent series. Since Griffin has written a series of twelve
M*A*S*H books with Richard Hooker, the real Hawkeye, he decided to use that
format for this book by turning it into a satire with humor.
The authors are transitioning The Honor Bound series to
a new series, starring Jim Cronley, that goes back to Cold War days and how the
Americans fought the Communists, titled End
of Innocence. Griffin commented, “Fortunately I am in a position that I can
write what I choose. I want to inform
since a lot of people don’t know about this era of our history. I am so disgusted with what is
happening. I can’t imagine some of the
things that have happened in the past few years. There was Hilary Clinton giving the Russians
the re-set button and then misspelling it.
I am really outraged how people have changed. Look at General Petraeus; whatever happened
to duty and country? The person he had
an affair with was a West Pointer. These
two people should have known better. I
don’t want to write about people like that, but want to write about true
American heroes. I still remember what
was told to me by General White when I left Korea, ‘You guys have a greater
right to speak up about this country, more than anybody else.’ He meant of course as veterans. I took him
literally and have opened my mouth ever since.”
After reading The Last
Witness people will be able to learn the facts and question the reality of
events. This entertaining novel allows
for a way of visiting events in this country that is often overlooked.