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.
Jess leaves the Arnold sisters behind in Menard and travels to Ashland, Texas, in search of Theo Hinkle. Then his hunt takes him to Richmond, Texas, where he meets a rancher by the name of Gene Harvey, along with his promiscuous wife, Emily.
While on the hunt for yet another man, he learns that Emily has been kidnapped by three men, one of whom he knows.
He agrees to track down the kidnappers and rescue Emily, but the job isn’t easy.
He gives one of his wanted posters to Audie Dunlap, another bounty hunter who wanted to go after Emily. Dunlap gets himself killed and Jess feels a little responsible. He makes a difficult decision that might put Emily’s life at risk.
Jess leaves Calcutta and heads to the town of Menard on the hunt for Derik Bartholin. While there, he runs into two rather strange-acting men. Feeling confident that they robbed the bank in the town of Tecumseh, he follows them out of town and arrests them.
After Jess brings them to Menard and locks them up, a sharp attorney gets the charges dropped. Jess is stung by the law he swears to uphold. Frustrated, he heads back out to hunt for Bartholin.
He returns to Menard and finds two sisters, Betty and Susan Arnold, badly beaten by Susan’s husband, Mack Burden. He promises to hunt down Burden and bring him to justice. Then, he gets an assignment from United States Marshal Frank Reedy. He is to find two escapees who were being transported to the Huntsville State Penitentiary and deliver them to the nearest jail…alive.
Along the way, he runs into another professional bounty hunter who is after the same two escapees. Jess is concerned that he’ll end up hauling Burden to Menard alive at the same time that he hauls the two escapees to jail. The idea of tending not just one, but three criminals stretches his patience to the limit.
After splitting up from the young bounty hunter, John Smith, Jess is on the hunt for Malcomb Ruel, which takes him to Muncie, Texas. While in Muncie, he discovers that since passing through the town of Kearny they hired a marshal, but he was gunned down hours after he took the job. He then hunts the two men who killed the marshal and returns to Kearny to let them know the men responsible have paid the price.
While there, he receives a request from United States Marshal Frank Reedy, telling him to meet him and John Bodine in the town of Calcutta, where five men have robbed the bank, killed two deputies and wounded the marshal, an old friend of both Bodine and Reedy.
While in Calcutta, Wildcat shows up looking for the elusive killer, Noah Cain. Jess promises to help Wildcat catch Cain if she helps them chase down the five robbers.
Jess, Reedy, Bodine and Wildcat team up together, and they hunt down the robbers. With these four on your trail, your odds of escaping aren’t good. The hunt begins. Lead flies and men die, but will justice be done in the end?
Jess leaves Twin Rivers and heads to Prudence, Texas. The man he’s hunting, Eric Sheehan, has been seen in the area. When Jess arrives, he discovers that Sheehan murdered a young girl the night before and immediately left town.
He finds the town marshal to be less than cooperative. The marshal wants to put a posse together and bring Sheehan back to Prudence to be hung in front of the parents of the young girl. He threatens to lock Jess up in his jail if he continues the hunt for Sheehan. After meeting the girl’s mother and seeing the girl’s body at the undertaker, Jess agrees to hunt Sheehan down and bring him back alive for a hanging.
After the hanging, Jess goes on the hunt for Arnie McGrath, but runs into a young man named John Smith, who is looking for McGrath and two other men who murdered his parents years earlier. Smith reminds Jess of himself when he was young. He decides to ride with Smith to go after the men responsible.
Jess finds the young John Smith to be remarkably talented at hunting and killing men. The two work together to find all three of the men who murdered Smith’s parents. Guns blaze, bullets fly and blood flows as the two hunt down killers together, forming a friendship that will last forever.