A spare, often brutal story of the French resistance, which is not for frailer sensitivities- or stomachs, that is concerned with physical action and physical love in some detail. Paul Boissiere, Lieutenant in the Maquis, intellectual, fastidious, has been with the resistance for four years- ideologically aligned to the movement. Bob, of peasant, Spanish birth, dissimilar in breeding, in tastes, becomes- through the experiences they share- his closest companion. Taken and tortured by the Germans, Bob escapes, returns, physically as well as morally maimed, and sent to Paris by Paul, has an affair with Paul's wife. Paul, finding the new resentment of his friend at odds with his old affection, subdues the personal to the political, and trapped in the mountains by the Germans, delivers himself as an hostage to spare the lives of the civilians.. A book more for men than for women, virile certainly.