My introduction to W.E.B. Griffin's fiction was a few volumes from the Brotherhood of War series (or so I thought--more on that later). I read The Captains,The Majors, and The Colonels from that series before giving up on it. I wanted to read some war novels, and wasn't sure beyond a reasonable doubt until after reading three installments that Griffin wasn't really trying to write war novels. He is more interested in the back room/office politics of military brass--some of which takes place when the country happens to be at war. Those three books, to me, read like novelized versions of a few seasons' dose of Army Wives--albeit with a FAR greater degree of accuracy in military details.
Behind the Lines was my introduction to his "The Corps" series, my favorite of his military novels, and a pretty good read. WWII is still the period of history that fascinates me most, and American guerrilla action in the Philippines is a subject I haven't read much about, so those were points in the book's favor. But I think what made it a winner for me were the characters. I related to Fertig, McCoy and Weston, and wanted them to prevail.
My complaints about this book are similar to those I have against other Griffin tomes: office politics are interesting up to a point, but he really emphasizes them at the expense of plot and action. The word-for-word (simulated) top-secret memos did become old after about six of them. Characters who jump from enlisted ranks--or even civilian life--into O-3 to O-5 commissions are extremely over-represented, while officers like Macklin are severely under-represented. There were also some plot devices, meant to up the tension probably, that just didn't strike me as worthwhile (all wrapped up in the aforementioned back-room politics). But there was enough good in this book to outweigh all of that.
Griffin may pick details to dwell on that run against my tastes, but his stories are very plausible. His main characters are three-dimensional. Macklin, for instance, probably couldn't have been drawn better. Also, I hadn't experienced Griffin getting into the minds of the opfor before, so it was nice to find that he gave just as much careful attention to depicting characters and office politics on the Japanese side as the American.
All-in-all this was a page-turner; and I cared about what was going to happen to the characters, from beginning to end.
Imagine my surprise when, after googling Griffin, I discovered that he also authored one of my all-time favorite young adult books under a pseudonym. I read that one before ever imagining I would have an interest in the military (much less join it). Stylistically or content-wise I could never have guessed it was the same writer. It shows how versatile this author is.