Overview

Reviews of The Pepperdogs

“When five Marines cross from Kosovo into Serbia to rescue a kidnapped comrade, they launch an international incident — and what might be the best suspense novel of the year.

Five reservists from New York City: a firefighter, a toy-store executive, an auto mechanic, a computer nerd, and a commodities trader. As the recon team – The Pepperdogs – walk a hundred miles and fight eight pitched battles, having enraged the Serbs, tickled the Muslims, annoyed their own brass, and made headlines all over the world, laudatory and condemnatory in about equal measure…

First-novelist West, himself a former Marine captain (The Village, 1972) takes on complex themes here — duty, loyalty, and what to do when they conflict — and deals with them capably. This is a story about warriors, told authoritatively and brilliantly.”
–Kirkus Review, 15 Nov 02

“THE PEPPERDOGS is a riveting thriller filled with the details only a military and government insider could provide. Bing West knows his stuff, and his debut is top-notch.”
–Vince Flynn, author of EXECUTIVE POWER and SEPARATION OF POWER

“Anyone with an interest in the military will find this book impossible to put down, all the way to the surprise ending, which hits with the force of a cruise missile.”
— Wall St. Journal, January 10, 2003

“The Pepperdogs has all the elements that should spell success for a war thriller.”
— Wisconsin State Journal, January 5, 2003

“West’s well-written technothriller is recommended for most popular fiction collections.”
— Library Journal Reviews, January 15, 2003

“This novel brings out clearly how the chain of command from a lost patrol to a President can become very, very direct.”
— Marine Corps Gazette, January, 2003

“Author West has loaded his page-turning first novel with pulse-stopping action.”
— Abilene Reporter News, January 12, 2003

“West has written a can’t-put-down page turner.”
— Newport This Week, Jan 23, 2003

“This book puts West among the great war novel writers with W.E.B. Griffin and Tom Clancy.”
— The Providence Journal, January 19, 2003

“Wow. I picked up ‘Pepperdogs’ the other evening and read it in one sitting, something I almost never do. I enjoyed this tale of a lost patrol in the dot-com era enormously. Bing West knows Marines, and what they talk and worry about …. Great story telling about the U.S. military in 2002 from someone who knows his business.”
— Thomas E. Ricks, Author, ‘Making the Corps’ and ‘A Soldier’s Duty,’ and Military Correspondent, The Washington Post

“I scanned the manuscript and was caught up in it, so I neglected my duties to give it a full read. Great stuff and suitable for TV or the silver screen. The story stays on track and flows marvelously. Great characterization and descriptions. While it reads as an adventure story, West raises serious issues of national policy in this brave new world.”
— LtGen Bernard Trainor, former Military Correspondent for The New York Times, author of ‘The Generals’ War’

“As in his previous writings, West’s prose has a haunting quality. His tale of brave men left to fight alone should be read by all involved in allied peacekeeping operations. Could a President confront this situation? Yes indeed. Would he act wisely? We may one day find out.”
— Dr. James R. Schlesinger, former Secretary of Defense and former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

“Ronald Reagan would root for this team.”
— Frank C. Carlucci, former Secretary of Defense and National Security Adviser to President Reagan

“An exciting and gripping portrayal of war transformed by the Information Revolution, the kind of situation our forces will encounter in the 21st Century…required reading for diplomats, strategists and warfighters.”
— Admiral James R. Hogg, USN (ret), former Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Forces

“It’s terrific! Crisp, credible and there is no doubt that Marines of all ages will love it, especially the “grunts.” You tell a story that may raise the reenlistment rate. It’s a gripping story well told. Right up there with Forsyth.”
— MajGen O.K. Steele, former Commanding General, 2d Marine Division

“A contemporary roller coaster of violence, loyalty and betrayal. This incredible combat odyssey of five Marines determined to rescue a comrade is criss-crossed with the human and political tensions which mirror our time.”
— Col. A. A. Wood, founding Director of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab

“This is a thrilling, interesting and compelling story, masterfully told. At the same time, it exposes the reader to the difficulties of peacekeeping. The reader struggles with the decisions facing the National Security Council and the pains and stresses of the patrol members. The comments about Operation Stingray, where I commanded a 3rd Recon company at Dong Ha in 1967, are well founded. Air and artillery did a real job for my patrols. As for the medical experiment West writes about, in 1963, in 2d Recon at LeJeune I was part of such an experiment by the National Naval Medical Center.”
— MajGen Donald K. Gardner, USMC (ret.), CEO, Marine Corps University Foundation

“Mr. West has written a real page-turner. He adroitly identified the tough political-military issues our warriors and political leaders face in “coalition war”; he described in believable terms the “digital” warfare of the near future; and he captured the age-old essence of close infantry combat. Best of all, he conveys, in a way a combat veteran appreciates, our commitment to bringing back our own. I couldn’t put it down.”
— MajGen Ray Smith, former Commanding General, 3rdMarine Division, Navy Cross winner