After leaving the town of Woodward, Texas, and his secret sister, Beth Sloan, Jess is back on the hunt for Arnie Boseman, who has continued to escape his grasp.
His hunt takes him to Webster, Texas, but he misses Boseman once more, and the killer has resumed his killing spree yet again.
While in Webster, the Texas Ranger whose wife was Arnie Boseman’s first kill shows up in town. He gives Jess no choice but to let him join the hunt. The Ranger, Terrance Whittle, is so grief-stricken that he becomes erratic, putting both their lives in danger.
Jess has to continue the hunt for Boseman, and at the same time keep the Ranger from doing something he’ll regret later. After finally sending Arnie Boseman to his grave, Jess receives a message from United States Marshal Frank Reedy. John Bodine was expected back in Stratton after helping Jess in Woodward but never showed up.
Jess drops everything he’s doing and follows his back trail. He finds Bodine, who had been ambushed and left for dead but now John can’t remember anything.
Jess hunts for the men he thinks are responsible with the help of the wolf named Shadow.