Jesse Tadlock values two things above all else: God and family. When he returns home to Baxter Parish, Louisiana, after a twelve-year stint in the army, Jesse is ready to settle down and enjoy his new job at a nearby parish Sheriff's Department. Jesse is till grieving the recent loss of his mother. Although Jesse’s mother possessed little in the way of material goods, she did leave her son a $30,000 life insurance policy the government couldn't touch. He uses the money to purchase a small parcel of land in Mount Olive.
Mentally and physically prepared for starting his new job the next day, Jesse kills a few hours vigorously scrubbing away years of grime in his small house, daydreaming about the future, his job and maybe rekindling an old romance. Everything changes when Jesse is awakened before dawn, confronted by a wild-eyed Cotton Moxley. It seems the property was in the Moxley family for generations until Cotton lost it. Now he informs Jesse that he has seventy-two hours to get off the land - no idle threat.
Things get worse for Jesse when he reports to work. Not only has there been a "mistake" about his promised job, but no one in law enforcement wants to hear about the trouble with Moxley, who is both feared and hated, but also has far-reaching political influence.
After a trip to the local church, Jesse retreats to his kin, a close-knit clan that has a long history of family secrets, violent and otherwise. Uncle Red, a surrogate father to Jesse since his father was killed in Vietnam, is a seasoned veteran of hardscrabble survival, a source of comfort and direction for the perplexed young man. The evil that waits in the person of Cotton Moxley is more than Jesse is prepared to deal with, but he understands that this is the time and place to become his own man.
The Tadlock men realize that the law can or will do nothing to protect Jesse's interests. Time turns back on itself as they return to the bloody ways of the past, when men fought to protect their own while the law turned a blind eye, depending on the body count. Uncle Red knows the people who can provide the necessary firepower, ammunition and information. The Tadlock’s prepare to battle a crazy man who has threatened their family and peace of mind, challenged their honor.
Dayne Sherman has a distinctive voice in a fiction genre that speaks to the dark underbelly of life beneath the veneer of civilization. This is Tim Gatreaux and Tom Franklin country, two writers who have skillfully portrayed Southern justice, where men cannot and will not back down when honor is at stake. Sherman's Jesse Tadlock is motivated by the honest outrage of the underdog. In this America, the dark, deep heart of violence beats steadily wherever men are willing to die over a disputed piece of land. Blood will be shed in this thirsty country. It's just a question of whose blood it will be.