“With his distinctive, minimalist prose . . . Bowen’s writing is lean. . . . An unsentimental, galvanizing portrait of life in small-town Montana” (Publishers Weekly).
For generations, the Messmers have raised cattle in the rough country of eastern Montana. When the current owners die in a tragic accident, they leave the ranch to their son—an ominous development for everyone in the area. Larry Messmer left Toussaint years ago when he got in trouble for bludgeoning a horse to death. Gabriel Du Pré hoped he would never set eyes on him again. Larry announces his return by having his ranch hands kill every weak cow on the property. Unfortunately, the livestock will not be the last to die.
The FBI asks Du Pré, a cattle inspector and occasional lawman, to keep an eye on Larry. What he uncovers is a ranch stricken by criminal greed, lorded over by a pathological son who should never have come home. And when violence erupts again, Du Pré finds himself in the cross hairs.