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Dog Team Books In Order

Publication Order of Dog Team Books

The Last of the Dog Team (1981) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Return of the Dog Team (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Revenge of the Dog Team (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Target Response (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Dog Team is a series of action-adventure novels written by William W. Johnstone. The books follow the exploits of a clandestine squad of soldiers that undertake deadly missions in their efforts to safeguard the United States.

+The Story

William W. Johnstone is typically credited with creating and writing the Dog Team series. The books definitely appear in his bibliography. However, while William did create the Dog Team concept, he only ever wrote ‘The Last of the Dog Team’, the first book in the series.

‘The Last of the Dog Team’ introduced readers to one of the United States’ most lethal military squads, a team designed to deploy in the most dangerous locations around the world and contend with those forces that might seek to do the United States harm.

That first novel places special emphasis on Terry Kovaks. When he is first introduced to readers, Terry is looking at the final moments of his life. The last of his squad, William W. Johnstone shows readers his hero’s demise and then jumps back in time, re-introducing readers to Terry as a boy.

The author shows his protagonist’s first encounter with death. He also illuminates the events that drove Terry to take up the gun, enlist in the military and take his place on the Dog Team.

Even William W. Johnstone fans have criticized the author for his first Dog Team novel, and that might explain why he never wrote another one. ‘The Last of the Dog Team’ rubbed people the wrong way because Terry was too good everything.

Terms like ‘Gary Stu’ have been used to describe the hero. William spends a lot of time telling readers just how cold and potentially dangerous Terry could be. Terry’s superiors recruit him to the Dog Team solely because of the ruthless glint in his eye.

This is despite the fact that William has no notable experience in combat and has done nothing to prove that he has what it takes to keep up with his squad of elite military men.

The author proceeds to make Terry virtually unstoppable, proficient in the use of most weapons and more than capable of overcoming the most ridiculous of odds.

And that isn’t even taking into account Terry’s prowess with the females he encounters. Women do not just get weak in the knees at the sight of Terry. They cannot help but follow him into bed.

And unfortunately for ‘The Last of the Dog Team’, William spends more time writing about his protagonist’s sexual escapades than he does delving into the action and adventures of the Dog Team.

‘The Last of the Dog Team’ reads as a standalone. And if William hadn’t seen fit to kill his protagonist off from the very beginning, most industry experts do not think it likely that the Dog Team series would have continued beyond its first novel.

In fact, some of William’s fans have suggested that the Dog Team was never meant to be a series.

William W. Johnstone died in 2004. ‘The Return of the Dog Team’, the second book in the Dog Team series, was published in 2005, written by Fred Austin. The book introduced readers to Steve Ireland, Terry Kovaks’ grandson.

Steve, it turns out, followed in the footsteps of Terry, joining the army, and becoming a member of the Dog Team. This book was better received than its predecessor. It also caught fans of William W. Johnstone off-guard because they never though the Dog Team concept would see the light of day ever again.

Steve was applauded for being a superior protagonist to his predecessor. However, Fred Austin did not stay with the Dog Team project for long.

In fact, after the publication of ‘The Return of the Dog Team’, J.A. Johnstone took over as he had with the rest of his uncle’s projects. The J.A. books have been criticized for being too wordy.

For the most part, William’s fans believe that J.A.’s writing style is appropriate for his uncle’s particular approach to storytelling. However, J.A. spends too much time describing characters and their environments to the point where the pace of his story drastically slows down.

+The Author

William W. Johnstone is an American author born in 1938 in Southern Missouri where he was also raised. The youngest child of a minister and a school teacher, William left school when he was 15. He worked in law enforcement for a few years before joining the army.

Eventually returning to civilian life, William spent more than a decade in radio broadcasting before becoming a full-time writer. William wrote horror, Westerns and Survivalist novels.

When William died in 2004, his nephew J.A. Johnstone was chosen to continue his literary legacy. At an early age, J.A. was introduced to the publishing arena when William invited him to assist him in the areas of fact-checking and research.

J.A. went so far as to retype some of his uncle’s manuscripts. As such, by the time William passed, J.A. was so well acquainted with his uncle’s style that there was no better author to carry William’s legacy forward.

+The Last of the Dog Team

The first book in the Dog Team series finds Terry Kovaks at the very edge of death. He is the last living member of the Dog Team, an elite squad of soldiers. As Terry slips closer to the edge, William W. Johnstone goes back in time and shows Terry as a boy.

Terry came from a poor family. He learned to hunt very early on. One day, circumstances drove the boy to kill a man. A respected general saw the events play out. He saw the potential that Terry held and he realized that within this one little boy lay greatness.

So this general coerced Terry into joining the army, paving the way for all the turmoil that would pursue him till his final breath.

+The Return of the Dog Team

Steve Ireland is the grandson of Terry Kovaks, one of the greatest soldiers the Dog Team ever saw. And Steve has followed in his grandfather’s footsteps. This novel finds Steve in the Middle East where he was sent to locate and destroy a terrorist cabal.

To Steve’s shock, he arrives too late to find that someone already beat him to the punch. There’s a renegade army on the loose.

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