Honor Bound (1994)

Following a brief hiatus from WEB Griffin, it was time to delve into another of his series. After all, I had finished The Corps, and The Brotherhood of War, but still didn't want to get back into the Presidential Agent series. After finishing his longest series, it was time to look at his shortest series, Honor Bound.

Honor Bound starts with a brief look at the Marines on Gaudalcanal, and even uses a character from The Corps series, Colonel Dawkins, in a cameo appearance. The connection with The Corps quickly ends, and a Marine aviator ace, Captain Clete Frede, who should be on a war bond tour gets pressed into service. The plot focuses around this Frede character, and how he ends up in the OSS, the forerunner of the CIA that is a common thread that permeates many of the Griffin novels (and also the film, The Good Shepherd).

Interestingly, this OSS had jurisdiction throughout the Western hemisphere, including Latin America. Now, while my knowledge of WW II is pretty good, I can't say I'm well versed in what went on in South America during that war. Seriously, the last time I studied Argentina and Brazil, it was high school global studies class! The author, Griffin, winters in Argentina, so he's picked up some first hand knowledge, and it clearly shines through here. Even though Argentina was officially neutral, there was a significant Nazis involvement down way south. For the plot of Honor Bound, the Germans are running submarine supply out of Argentinian waters, all on the QT- except the OSS knows.

The decision is made to send a small group of Americans to disrupt things for the Germans, without bringing the war down to Argentina. This Clete Frede is an interesting character as he is half American, and half Argentinian by descent. This reminds me of the protagonist of the Presidential agent series who also has mixed blood, and therefore uncertain allegiance.

Honor Bound successfully transports us to a far corner of the world, during a tumultuous time in world history. It is a novel less about war in the end, and more about what it takes to mount a clandestine operation in a foreign country, without getting caught. It is definitely not the standard WW II novel with the marines charging up the hill. There is a lot of culture, and place setting. This novel builds in the first 100 pages at a slow pace. Once the freight train gets moving, it is quite intriguing. I'm already working on tracking down the next novel in this series, Blood and Honor.

Overall Grade: B+


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