by Major CaracciloJanuary, 1999
W.E.B. Griffin's 27th novel and eighth in his Marine corps series, In Danger's Path: A Corps Novel, is a mixture of real-life historical personalities that includes the likes of President Franklin Roosevelt, General Douglas MacArthur, Admiral Chester Nimitz, and OSS Director William Donovan. As with all of his novels, Griffin superimposes this story on a historically based scenario allowing his fictional characters the ability to interact with the icons of World War II.
Using missions in the Philippines, the Gobi Desert of Chinese Mongolia, and Second World War United States as the lens through which he portrays this complex yet cohesive novel, Griffin once again proves that he is a master of storytelling.
Portraying an odyssey full of secret missions, separated loves, and reacquainted friends, Griffin skillfully intertwines a full spectrum of plots. Brigadier General Fleming Pickering, newly appointed head of the OSS' Pacific operations during World War II, is Griffin's hero in this novel. President Roosevelt assigns Fleming this position in a desperate measure to find someone to unite the warring interests of MacArthur, Nimitz, and Donovan. Accompanying Pickering as protagonists are a myriad of characters in an underlining two-fold plot: rescuing a band of former American serviceman and their dependents on the run from Japanese capture and, at the same time, establishing a weather station in the Gobi Desert to aid aerial attacks against the Japanese homeland.
Men like Ed Banning, Ken McCoy, Jake Dillion, and, much to Pickering's surprise, his own son Malcolm participate in this and other exciting missions. Together, they venture incognito into enemy territory fully aware of the risks involved. Each of Griffin's characters has his own story interwoven into a seamless narrative that's sure to surprise readers in the end.
In Danger's Path is historical fiction defining the Pacific Rim during WWII and a coming-of-age story. Of the 125 different novels Griffin has written, including those written under each of his eight different pseudonyms, In Danger's Path, may be his best yet.
Major Dominic Caraccilo is the Operations Officer of the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne (Air Assault) in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.