Thriller writer Alistair MacLean hit the big time with "The Guns of Navarone," his second novel, in 1957. It was made into a very successful movie with Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, and David Niven in the starring roles. The idea of the secret commando team consisting of a number of specialized operatives (Cpt. Mallory -- rock climber extraordinaire; Andrea -- incredibly strong, lethal fighter; Cpl. Miller -- explosives expert; Petty Ofc. Brown -- engineer and radio expert; Lt. Stevens -- rock climber) with a suicidal mission was duplicated in numerous incarnations ranging from "The Dirty Dozen" to "Mission: Impossible" (the TV series).
"The Guns of Navarone" is a fantastic adventure/war novel. It's tight and tense throughout, and there's an edge to it that is missing from a number of MacLean's later works. It comes across as more realistic than the fun to read "Where Eagles Dare."
The basic plot of "Guns" is that the, during World War II, the Germans have recaptured from the Allies a number of Greek islands; the last one left will be taken over soon, dooming over 1000 Allied soldiers. The British would evacuate the soliders, except they can't get through a channel covered by the Guns of Navarone. All previous aerial attacks on the guns have failed. So Mallory and company are sent on a mission to approach the island of Navarone by boat, climb a sheer wall face, infiltrate the German fortress, and blow up the guns.
"Force 10" is the sequel to "Guns," written eleven years later. It picks up from the ending of the movie, not the novel, so characters who were in the book but not the movie disappear. This time, there's another mission, and Mallory, Andrea, and Miller are paired with three young soldiers who are more eager and less experienced. It too has an edginess to it, but it's not as thrilling as "Guns."
Note that the movie version of "Force 10" starring Harrison Ford, Robert Shaw, and Edward Fox is based on the book in name only (well, except for one fight scene, sort of). Andrea isn't even in the movie. So don't expect the book to be anything like the movie. (Which may be good or bad depending on what you thought of the movie.)
In sum, these are prime examples of MacLean working at his peak. You can't go wrong here.