The author of the seven-volume Brotherhood of War series continues his The Corps saga--now starting in hard-cover--about the US Marines. In satisfying detail, the third installment takes the leathernecks from Pearl Harbor to Guadalcanal. The generals here may be too consistently crusty but humane, and there may be more rapid conversions from enlisted soldiers to officers than veterans of WW II are likely to remember. But Griffin's great affection for the corps and his equally great mastery of Marine minutiae combine with much-better-than-average narrative skills to make this an especially good treatment of the early days of the war. Much ground is covered. Generally tying things together is Navy Captain Fleming Pickering, the owner of a steamship line who was a Marine Medal of Honor recipient in the First World War. Navy Secretary Frank Knox has drafted Picketing to be his eyes and ears in the South Pacific, corresponding with Knox in secret. Pickering's assignment takes him to the Philippines, where he attaches himself to Gen. MacArthur, whom he follows to Australia. There, he smooths things for a small special attack group composed of Marine marksmen and fliers whose special skills make them the right men to infiltrate Japanese-held islands. Good stuff. None of the Wouk windiness.