Griffin's detailed saga of the Marines in WW II (Counterattack, 1989) continues, taking his cast of characters from action on Midway to the landing at Guadalcanal. It is the summer of 1942. The Japanese expansion is at its peak. General Douglas MacArthur, having fled the Philippines, has taken his staff to Brisbane, Australia. The Navy continues to suffer terrible losses but seems to be holding the line. And now, if the Army and the Navy can set aside their rivalries and agree on a strategy, is the time for the Americans to start some sort of offensive. In the center of the bureaucratic action, and taking detailed notes, is Captain Fleming Pickering, USNR, the shipping-line owner whom Navy Secretary Frank Knox has selected to be his closest and most scrupulously honest observer. Armed with a letter from Knox that gives him access to anything he wants to see, ex-leatherneck Fleming, a WW I hero, is in on the planning of the battle for Guadalcanal, where the Japanese are building an airstrip that will give them total command of the South Pacific. And when the planning is done, Picketing, against everyone's orders, inserts himself into the actual fighting. Also in on the fight are the flyers led by Capt. Charles Galloway, assorted cryptographers, secret forward observers, a randy missionary's wife with valuable coding skills--all of whom have appeared in earlier Griffin volumes and will, no doubt, return. Beats the Middle East.