A Navy lieutenant leads a mission to locate and rescue his companion-in-arms, held prisoner by the Vietnamese in Laos. Navy veteran Leib continues the story begun in Fire Dream (1988). Lt. William Stuart spotted the strengths and loyalties of sharpshooting sailor Douglas Moser when Moser was a raw recruit, then fostered the Georgia backwoodsman's advancement as a gunner's mate. Now, Moser, who has saved Stuart's life in Vietnam, is held in a secret prison camp where he and other captive Americans are forced to raise and harvest opium under the supervision of a maimed and vengeful North Vietnamese major. A visit by the International Red Cross provides a chance for Moser to hint at his location in a short note to his mother. That hint is enough for Stuart to begin a search that takes him to colonial Archives in France and an intense reunion with Khanh, the beautiful Vietnamese woman whom he and Moser had helped to flee Saigon. The file search bears fruit, but it also tips off the expatriate Vietnamese spy networkincluding Khanhand the rescue mission is compromised from the beginning. Stuart and the band of SEALs he has recruited are unaware that they are in a race with the enemy to reach the isolated camp where Moser has been reduced to a mutilated beast of burden following a nearly successful attempt at escape. Hair-raising but believable adventure. Well told and free of Rambo excess.