The brutal and horribly exciting helicopter warfare that was at the center of the war in Vietnam comes sharply to life in the straight-shooting prose of a veteran. The treatment is fiction, but the remembrance is fact, and the reader is fortunate indeed. The rash of recent films and TV series have all been filtered through production process, market research, and politics of people who weren't there but know how to put on a show. Here, however, in the inelegant but quite serviceable prose of a carefully honest, genuinely modest man who was there, readers who want at least part of the truth of the war will find it. Part only, because McLeod tells no more than he saw and knew, which in his case was the front-line air war where he was a mechanic, door gunner, and crew chief. He has collapsed characters and events for ease of narration with no visible loss, shaping his story around young Jim MacLaughlin, a 20-year old crew chief from Ohio. MacLaughlin is a gifted and scrupulously careful mechanic who has become nearly addicted to night missions. Prized by most pilots, he is permanently at odds with one, a jealous and inept man who tries his best to make MacLaughlin's life miserable. The action, most of which occurs during the Tet offensive, is relentless. The text is illustrated with the author's own photographs. A very personal, very accurate, un-slick but sharply honest look at one corner of the war. Absolutely first-rate.