Fives and Twenty-Fives tells the story a USMC Road Repair Platoon in Al Anbar Province in Iraq. Pitre explores his characters' post-war lives and flashes back to their time in Iraq. The author was a creative writing major at LSU before he joined the Marines after 9/11 and it's obvious he took a lot of notes during his service. The scenes set in Iraq are full of telling details and he does a great job of capturing the camaraderie of his characters and both the tedium and critical danger in the job they perform.
What's the title mean? Here's the description from the book's web site.
It’s the rule—always watch your fives and twenty-fives. When a convoy halts to investigate a possible roadside bomb, stay in the vehicle and scan five meters in every direction. A bomb inside five meters cuts through the armor, killing everyone in the truck. Once clear, get out and sweep twenty-five meters. A bomb inside twenty-five meters kills the dismounted scouts investigating the road ahead.Pitre manages to write serious fiction in a style that should be accessible to everyone. This is a well-written book that should appeal to people who don't read all the time. I expect we'll see a movie based on the book in a couple of years and it won't be a surprise if this turns up on the best-seller lists. Fives and Twenty-Fives is a must-read for anyone who reads war fiction and maybe even for anyone who's served in Iraq or Afghanistan over the last thirteen years.