A first novel, which creates a fair amount of sympathy and suspense in the story of a nice guy, but a weak one, who drifted into a losing game. This tells of Tom Swift, who after a lost weekend in Paris, deserts and gets involved in the black market. An occasional alcoholic, Swift- in recall- returns to other blind, blank lapses, at college, with his family, with Marny- his first girl, and on to the last bender which sends him over the hill. With Buchain, a Frenchman, and Spud, a Negro, Tom becomes a partner in some transactions in brandy, butter and gasoline which get hotter and hotter. He also falls in love with Solange, fails her as in his dependence he destroys her illusion of their own future together, and finally loses his life in what is presumably to be his last job. A far more attractive version than the recent Joseph Gies- They Never Had It So Good (Harper), this maintains more momentum with fewer corners cut.