A veteran of the Army's Special Forces draws on his experiences for an unsoftened look at the violent covert fringe of the Vietnam War. No punches are pulled in this autobiographical fiction about the experiences of a very tough young man--""Hammer"" Creamier--who finds that he is happier in the thick of war than he is in antiwar America. After an action-packed first enlistment in the regular Army, framer signs on with the Special Forces, where he is assured of the fiercest man-to-man warfare anywhere in Vietnam. Time and again, helicopters insert Creamier's units well behind enemy lines for reconnaissance or sometimes to neutralize enemy leaders. The teams are composed of Americans and ethnic Chinese Vietnamese mercenaries--all of whom are called on to fight and kill with gun, knife, and bare hands. The action is episodic, assignment after assignment interspersed with brief rest and recreation, Usually in Bangkok. Most nerve-wracking for the reader is Creamier's pursuit of a bow-and-arrow sniper. Through all the episodes, he is on the lookout for Truong, a Vietnamese officer who betrayed Creamier's first Green Beret camp. There is also the shadow of a bent CIA operative. Tough and bloody. The impact of the experience, however, is blunted by the relentless rhythm of episodes that relate but do not build.