This is a conventional war novel that features some exciting scenes of medics under fire but which hangs mainly from the familiar plot hook of a surgeon losing his nerve. Captain Tom Innes is caught up in the stalled Allied drive up the Italian boot. Surgeon Innes is only too aware that he is losing 50% of the cases passing over his field operating table. Sent to Naples for rest and recreation, he discovers that his unit has the second highest recovery rate of twelve field hospital units. As paint of his R & R, he shacks up with Lisa, an ex-collaborator, for a week, then is recalled early. Back on the line, his fears return, as does a sense of uncontrollable guilt. However, he proves himself by leading a team into action (the team is wiped out). In the subplot, some unsavory army types are dealing in a penicillin black market. The characterizations are hardly memorable but there's au action audience for the story.