Will Brite is a Slash Five cowboy working in the Middle Concho region of Texas in the winter of 1884 when a blizzard descends upon him—the likes of which he has never seen. Trapped under his horse and entangled in a barbed wire fence, Will finds an unexpected (and unwelcome) savior in the form of Zeke Boles, a former slave on the run from a bloody, guilt-filled past.
In Zeke’s dark features Will sees a reflection of the haunting memories he has been trying to escape for so long, but he reluctantly offers him shelter for the night at the Slash Five camp. Little does he know that their lives will be inexorably linked in the spring of ’85 through what will be one of the most brutal roundups of the nineteenth century.
Follow Will, Zeke, and the rest of the Slash Fives as they ride through West Texas in search of stray cattle in an unforgettable tale of love, redemption, and true grit.
PATRICK DEAREN, a recognized authority on the Texas Pecos River country, is the author of twenty books, including eleven novels, and has been honored by the Western Writers of America, the West Texas Historical Association, and the Permian Historical Society. A ragtime pianist and backpack enthusiast, he currently lives in Midland, Texas, with his wife Mary.