Verbal Orders by Larry Carello

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Click on cover image to purchase a copy

MWSA Review
Captain Johnny Jack McGirt, command officer of the CH-46 helicopter squadron; North Island Air Naval Air Station; Coronado, California, has a dilemma.  A wealthy Texas oil baron’s daughter has been kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf Group of terrorists and is being held somewhere on Basilan Island in the Philippines.   His old Navy buddy, now overseeing CIA Asian Operations, Dr. Bud Lammers, needs his expertise for the secret rescue mission.  One of McGirt’s previous assignments was a two-year stint as the Naval Attaché to the US Embassy in Manila.  Lammers feels McGirt’s knowledge of the local culture will prove invaluable to the operation.  McGirt makes the decision to retire from the Navy and join the team.  

Verbal Orders by Larry Carello is a fast read, filled with a number of unbelievable plot twists.  The flashbacks provide useful and detailed background information.  The story will educate the reader on  military operations in this part of the world, our alliances with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the difficulty all nations have when faced with a terrorist organization on their soil.

MWSA Review by Sandi Cowper (March 2018) 

Author's Synopsis


U.S. Navy helicopter pilot Johnny Jack McGirt has always been a wildcard, but his superiors and fellow officers are stunned when he turns down Rear Admiral’s stars to announce his retirement from active duty.  After a career built around bold exploits in the cockpit and covert operations with U.S. intelligence agencies, he’s become far too accustomed to following his gut and making his own rules.  The thought of sitting behind a desk holds no attraction for him, no matter what rank the position carries.  So he’s more than ready when his long-time friend and former squadronmate, Bud Lammers, calls for assistance.

Lammers, who left the Navy for the CIA, is trying to track down an American oil heiress held hostage in the volatile, Muslim-dominated southern Philippines.  It’s supposed to be a straightforward mission to negotiate the young woman’s release, but things take a deadly turn as McGirt and Lammers collide with an extremist rebel group known as Abu Sayyaf, Bearer of the Sword. Along with McGirt’s and Lammers’s exploits, there are several subplots – the most significant being a money laundering scheme concocted by the girl’s captors and a Filipino lawyer who runs a charity to help poor Muslim citizens. 

As the story reaches its climax, McGirt and Lammers are swept into an hastily-planned mission to rescue the girl, led by a team of American and Filipino Special Forces. McGirt and Lammers escape with her by speedboat, and all three are ultimately hoisted aboard a Navy helicopter after a heart pounding at-sea chase.

The book concludes as McGirt returns stateside where he’s confronted with two revelations: The kidnapped girl’s location was known all along by the Filipino Special Forces’ commander, who was using her as bait to help trace the trail of ransom money; and McGirt learns that he’s been selected for the rank of Rear Admiral after his boss purposely “held up” his request for retirement.

ISBN/ASIN: ASIN: B076B8JSX5     ISBN-13: 978-1640620117
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle
Genre(s): Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
Review Genre: Fiction—Mystery/Thriller
Number of Pages: 238