Blood is thicker than water. Joe Pickett has good reason to dislike Dallas Cates, rodeo champion. Now he has even more reason - Joe's eighteen-year-old foster daughter, April, has run off with him. And then comes even worse news: the body of a girl has been found barely alive in a ditch along the highway. It is April, and the doctors don't know if she'll recover. Cates denies having anything to do with it - says she ran off from him, too - but Joe knows in his gut who's responsible. The problem is there's no proof. Joe's going to find out the truth, if it kills him. And this time, as he confronts the ruthless Cates clan, it just might.