In this crackerjack first novel of military justice--in and out of the courtroom--Capt. Jack Hayes, assigned to defend Sgt. Billy Frazier on charges of massive drug selling, probes patiently for the weak links in the prosecution's case: the alleged Amsterdam connection denies knowing Frazier; one of the Army's two witnesses against Frazier, an admitted dealer who's testifying for a reduced sentence, gets blown up before he can take the stand; and the surviving witness, Lt. Robert McCormick, is a pumped-up soldier of fortune, a stone killer already doing 99 years for simulating a terrorist attack (with real bombs and bullets) in order to prep his men for war with Russia. Jack realizes his case won't be won on the evidence, though, but on the whims of the skeptical jury and the rulings and interpretations of Judge DiMarco (dubbed ``the Whopper'' for his gigantic sentences); and he doesn't foresee a rebuttal witness who can trash his defense in ten minutes, a witness who'll force him to a strategy that could land him in jail along with his client. Just about perfect in its control of the ebb and flow of each scene, and of Jack's conduct of the case as a whole: must reading for fans of courtroom drama.