Deputy United States Mashal Frank Reedy sends Jess on a special assignment to track down and kill a vicious murderer by the name of Trey Ward.
Jess travels to Andrew, Texas, in search of Ward, but he’s not there. He runs into two of Ward’s friends. They know where he is, but they’re not talking.
Jess is not one to give up easily. Eventually, he tracks down Ward and his two companions after they commit a brutal stagecoach robbery. Then, he’s sent on another assignment from Reedy.
The town of Bender, Texas, has become rife with drifters and violent outlaws. The federal marshal who had been sent there to clean up the town has been murdered. Jess travels to Bender and takes over the law in town until another federal marshal can get there.
As soon as the second federal marshal arrives in Bender, Jess goes on the hunt for the two men who murdered the first federal marshal. After tracking them down, he’s sent back to Bender again because the second federal marshal has been wounded in yet another ambush attack.
When the job is finally finished, the local cemetery has a lot of fresh graves.
Jess is on his way to Shelbyville on the hunt for Scott Carroll when he encounters a raging windstorm. He changes direction to the abandoned town of Worley to seek shelter for himself and his horses.
After getting into the deserted livery in Worley, he discovers he’s actually not alone. A young woman and her son are hiding inside. They have been traveling on foot and have no food left. He finds out that woman and her son have been abused by the boy’s father.
He takes them to the town of Shelbyville, where the town marshal helps her and her son settle there. However, Scott Carroll isn’t in Shelbyville and Jess has to travel to Linden in search of him.
On another hunt, Jess discovers a second bounty hunter is after the same man. A deal is made, but things don’t go as planned, forcing Jess to make things right.
He returns to Shelbyville, only to find the marshal has been wounded and the woman he helped was beaten and robbed. He discovers that the boy’s father and his two cohorts are the ones who did it.
Jess leaves Opal, Texas, and travels to the town of Donger to find the next man on his hunt list, Dom Preston. In the process, Jess takes yet another bullet, which leads him to meet Dr. Sam Vaughn, a middle-aged woman with impressive skills as a doctor.
His wound is minor and he leaves Donger to take Preston’s body to the town of Waveland to turn him into the law there. He finds out about a stagecoach robbery by three outlaws. They kidnap Dr. Vaughn and force her into helping one of them who was wounded in the robbery.
One of the men who were killed in the robbery, happened to be a very wealthy man. His wife, Lizzy Draper, hires Jess to hunt down the three men who murdered her husband.
John Bodine is assigned to help Jess and the hunt becomes dangerous with Jess’s enemies trying to catch the bounty and kill him in the process.
But Jess isn’t one to go down without a fight.
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.