This is the story of Ree Barsac. Yeah, I know, don't look at me, I didn't name him. He has a best buddy, Zigmunn. They both have a career in the spacefaring industry. Well, one day, there's a bar fight, and Zigmunn doesn't make it back to the ship in time, and he's stranded! Ten years later, Barsac manages to get a ride back to the same planet, and he's arranged it so there's a job opportunity with Zigmunn's name on it on the same ship, when the ship takes off... IF Barsac can manage to find his buddy during his five days of shore leave-- the last time he got a letter from Zigmunn was a year ago. AND THEN EVERYTHING GOES WRONG.
It's a shame that Kirby Greene never seems to have written anything else... This simple story that could have been rewritten as a good 1930-type pulp movie starring Humphrey Bogart makes for some entertaining space-pulp. Oh well, might as well enjoy what we've got... I did. It's a very simple plot... a little meditation on what a guy will go through for his best buddy, and then what he'll do to just survive... with a good-looking dame, an evil conspiracy, and a city/planet where everyone's on the make and lookin' to rook you over at every opportunity. It's not quite deep enough to be a classic, but it was just what I was looking for at the moment.