Soloing through the high country of New Zealand, snow, scrub and gorse, rats and sandflies, is Dougherty, a deserter from the Army which finds his ""continued absence...a source of embarrassment."" And casualties. Aircraft pursue overhead, a grenade releases an avalanche which kills three soldiers, while Dougherty survives to hunt, fish and work his claim. A Sergeant sights and follows him, only to find himself literally up the creek which Dougherty dynamites. Dogs hunt him, and he kills them. But finally with a gun wound in his arm which turns gangrenous, he ends the long pursuit...An adamantine action story of a maverick who is a likeable lost cause, and the authentic outdoorscapes frame the narrative which is essentially a manhunt, for men.