From Publishers Weekly
The gung-ho Marines familiar to readers of Griffin's seven Corps novels (Behind the Lines, etc.) return for an eighth adventure?and not their best. Young Marine officers and enlisted men with high morale and low morals such as Ed Banning, Ken McCoy and Ernie Zimmerman are perfect for a secret (but remarkably improbable) OSS operation behind enemy lines in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia in 1943. Their mission: to establish a clandestine weather station and rescue a wayward group of Americans who fled China after the Japanese invasion in 1941 and have been lost in Mongolia for nearly two years. While the plot teases with a promise of suspense in an exotic and forbidding locale, the reality is that not a shot is fired, not a cliffhanger is encountered and three-fourths of the narrative is set safely back in the States, where the characters spend most of their time drinking, womanizing, disobeying orders and wringing their hands over how they can rejoin the war. Under the leadership of fatherly Brigadier General Fleming Pickering, a kind of Marine den daddy, they do return, although the result is anticlimactic. Numerous side plots provide color and historical perspective, but overwrought dialogue, flat narrative and soap-operatic storytelling leave this lengthy tale without snap.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Griffin continues his prodigious output of military novels (e.g., The Last Heroes) with this latest installment of his "Corps" series. There is the usual array of historical characters (FDR, "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell, and others) plus the hero, Fleming Pickering. Throw in a number of rough-talking, hard-living men and women and we have an action-packed tale that takes us from Washington to the Gobi Desert. The action concerns a mission by the OSS to extract a group of American ex-servicemen and their families from the Gobi and then to establish a weather station to assist the air corps in bombing Japan. In this abridgment, seasoned actor and reader Stephen Lang displays his many vocal talents: the characters all have credible accents and are performed with a certain gusto; the narrative sections are done in a manner both lively and engaging. Unfortunately for Lang, the music and sound effects in this production distract from his efforts. Still, this should be in demand in any public library.AMichael T. Fein, Catawba Valley Community Coll., Hickory, NC
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.