That it's set on an Army base gives this a slight edge over other routeen confrontations-cum-mystery; but that it defines life as trickier than what's allowed by either Bart's anti-fascist pigheadedness or tire government's red-menace fear renders the whole story hyper-hortatory. Bart Hastings, after a year of college is arrogantly sure of the virtue of a local demonstration in which he participates with Nancy, the General's daughter and his one ally on the base. Until he gets home, all fired-up, and discovers that his Colonel-father has been accused of cooperating with the Communists because a secret weapon in his charge has disappeared. Bart spares no effort to clear the Hastings name: Iris investigation, just questioning at first, embroils him in more than one close call with a desperate murderer--whereupon he solves the mystery, lands in the hospital, and is offered a West Point commission by the General. "Just three weeks earlier it wouldn't have taken me ten seconds to give him an answer. But a lot had happened since the night Nancy and I marched through Stockton. And never again would things be as clear and simple as they had seemed. . . . No easy answers--not ever." The crime itself is moderately gripping, the inter-officer relations considerably more so; but the larger scenario (including the death of Bart's proper-military brother in Vietnam) is so overdrawn that the questions are too easy.