Another of Drake's military sf yarns about Hammer's Slammers, the expert mercenary troops of planet Nieuw Friesland. A small, handpicked team of specialists, led by Major Matthew Coke, arrives on planet Cantilucca to investigate the possibility of selling the Slammers' services. But Cantilucca, the primary source of a recreational drug, is ruled by two competing gangs--the L'Escorials and the Astras--both bloodthirsty, brutal, drug-addicted, unwashed, and generally arrogant. In Coke's judgment, either of the gangs could afford to hire Slammers to defeat the opposition, but this would leave the planet in the hands of a single gang, its already wretched inhabitants worse off than before. So Coke and company play both ends against the middle, slaughtering gangsters at every opportunity, until Cantilucca's interstellar bankers lose patience and send in their own troops. Things look bleak for Coke's team, but Slammer reinforcements arrive with impeccable timing. Agreeable slam-bang action for series fans, and certainly much more convincingly constructed than either The Jungle (1991) or Fortress (1987).