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on August 5, 2009
I've been a W.E.B. Griffin fan for the better part of 40 years, even when he was writing as Alec Baldwin. This book was evidently written by his son, William E. Butterworth IV, and just had his (Griffin's) name on it to induce his fans to buy it. It is very disappointing in that the prose is very stilted and not up to Griffin's standards. Many of the better characters from previous books in the "Badge of Honor" series are totally missing or barely mentioned in the book (Mickey O'Hara and Peter Wohl to mention 2). Granted, W.E.B. Griffin has gotten old, he's probably in his late 70's or early 80's now, but that's no excuse for this poorly written book to be graced with his name as co-author. It's sad to see such a great writer leave us.
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on August 5, 2009
It is becoming painfully obvious to WEB Griffin fans that whenever his son's name appears with his on the cover, that it is the son who wrote the book. I am quite frankly surprised that Griffin passed off this book to his Son, being one of his more successful franchises. To put simply, this book is BORING. It completely lacks any of the flair of usual Griffin works. Characters lack personality, engaging and interesting characters from past books of the series are simply gone with no explanation.This book can be summed up very easily. This is what Matt Payne is doing, this is what the bad guy is doing, this is what Matt did earlier, this is what the bag guy did earlier (usually in completely unnecessary graphic detail). Throw in a Texas Ranger with no personality, and a new love interest for Matt (that takes place mostly over text messages), and you have this book.

I simply can not stress how completely disappointed I am with this book. Griffin should be ashamed his name is on it, he obviously had very little if anything to do with it.
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on August 10, 2009
Like the previous books co-authored with his son this newest volume is a great disappointment; the writing is flat and muddled; the story line drags with too much extraneous detail. I will no longer purchase--or borrow--any Griffin titles that are collaborations with his son. Mr. Butterworth is not nearly the writer his father once was. Sad to see the Griffin era close this way with mediocre wannabe books.
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Okay, The Traffickers is NOT great literature. No one is ever going to put WEB Griffin up for membership in PEN. No one's ever going to ask him to address the British Great Literature Council (if there even is such a group!).

But, in the context of his other books in the Philadelphia Cop series, this book is pretty good. It's the first in the Badge of Honor series in several years, in fact, I assumed the series ended when Matt Payne brought the bad guy home from France and took a leave of absence from the police force. I thought he was going to UPenn Law school and join his father's fancy-pancy WASP law firm.

This new book, which I think must have been largely written by Griffin's son because the old, flat descriptions of the various characters that were a hallmark of the previous books, are largely missing. Other than Jason Washington being described, yet again, as the "best detective between New York and Key West" (or something like that), most characters have somewhat different introductions. The story line - Hispanic drug traffickers invade Philly and do disgusting things to other Hispanics, and occasionally to any innocent person who wanders into the scene - and Matt Payne leaps into action, along with a Texas Ranger, newly on the scene from Dallas.

It's not his/their best book, but I was happy to see Matt Payne and friends back on the scene. Maybe we won't have to wait another four or five years between books.
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on August 6, 2009
Lets see, Matt gets another blond thrown at him as well as another firefight. The writing however is lackluster, the plot is boring and uninspired. Oh and be aware that the story takes place post 9/11, while in the first 5 or so books it took place in 1970s. The characters did not age but were "miraculously" thrown forward in time 30 years. I can only speculate that Griffin's offspring (-who wrote the book and is a pale shadow of his) was incapable of doing otherwise.
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on September 9, 2009
I love the books of W.E.B. Griffin. Unfortunately, whoever actually wrote this book should have his or her writing privileges suspended and the editors should be sacked.

Perhaps, this is an example of the work product of a million monkeys with a million typewriters when they fail to achieve Hamlet.

This was a complete disappointment. I will now proceed to drown myself with a bottle of The Famous Grouse.
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on August 14, 2009
When I heard that a new book in the Badge of Honor series I was elated, prior to reading this book I loved to read any book written by W.E.B. Griffin. The Traffickers unfortunately was not written solely by him, it was co-written by William Butterworth IV, and judging by the drivel I read, it was entirely written by William Butterworth IV.

If it were part of a new series I probably would like it a lot more, but I am a reader that likes to stick by the timeline set forth by the author. This book was set in a time period five years after Matt Payne joined the force, or mid to late 1970's. Cell phones, text messaging, lap top computers, meth, and 60-inch wide screen LCD panel televisions were not invented yet, why did the author feel he needed to introduce this to the story line?

If you are a owner of WEB Griffin's books and feel like you have to have this book in order to complete your collection, by all means do not pay full price, in the event of an emergency this would be the first book I would use to replace toilet paper!
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on August 16, 2009
I am very disappointed in the book. Traffickers is CRUD. I've read WEB Griffin since the 1980's. I've loved his books and have most in hard cover. (B of War, Corps, Honor, Secret Agents, Badge# This book is just Bad. Continuity, Characters, Plot, Realism, and the story telling are terrible. Everything I read WEB Griffin for is missing. #I wonder if I can return the book?#
*****Spoiler Alert at end********
1. The settings has been moved 40 years into the future. It started in the early 1970's Vietnam War era. Those stories were interesting, and the limits in technology were interesting and reminded me of what we had back then, no computers, no SUV's #we called them trucks#, no DNA, no Cell Phones, little political correctness, and in the books he described the dynamic, rapidly changing society #for good or ill) of the 1970's. Boom, we went from 1975 to 2009 in a blink. Yes, I know this shift occurred in the previous "Final Justice" book.
2. The characters from the previous series seemed to be real, with real personalities and problems. The TX Ranger in this story seems like a cut-out character (beginning of a new series?). Skipper and Skipper's old man were tissue paper thin cartoon characters. Ancillary characters like Dr. Hargrove are also straw men. Butterworth's prejudices are showing through?
3. CONTINUITY!!!! Mayor Calucci was already gone in the previous book. Where is Mickey? Peter Wohl? Don't you think that those two would be involved somehow in the investigation of a major series of crimes. Peter would have been with Amy at Liberties (Mickey too!). Peter would have been "counseling" Matt about returning to work. Mickey would have been the conduit to getting the police story into the paper. Mickey and Peter would have been at the Union Club.
4. spoiler alert The end of the story was unbelievable. Cold blooded execution of the bad guy by the Ranger character was wrong, and I could not see Matt or Tony allowing or accepting it. It is against their code. I cannot see them getting away with it either. IAD Shoot investigation and autopsy would find the evidence of the duct tape, location of the shooting, etc.
5. Procedurally, Doesn't Matt have to go to the office occasionally? Doesn't he need to report to his boss? Especially after he is assigned a desk after shooting a suspect half way through the story? If these multiple crimes were related, wouldn't he be discussing the clues and evidence with the other detectives?
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on August 20, 2009
I have been a huge fan of the Badge of Honor series since I first discovered it a few years ago. Being a cop of many years, I found myself drawn to the characters and their lives. The books were not about the crime, it was about the cops. I let it slide a little when Griffin took the story out of the 70s and put it in modern day, but this one was too much. He changed the Mayor in the last book and then changed him back in this one. He forgot the Amy was the big sister to Matt, not the other way around. The pages were filled with people that we did not care to know, and not enough of the cops we have known. This was a horrible read. I did not even finish it.
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on August 11, 2009
The Traffickers is, at best, a short story that was stretched into a novel by going off on tangents to drone on about trivia to fill up the pages. Funny, it seems that prior novels by W.E.B. Griffin that were duds like this were "co-authored" with his son. If W.E.B. is passing the litereary baton to his son, he has consistenly dropped it. A sad ending to a great series of books.
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