Joe Pickett had good reason to dislike Dallas Cates, and now he has even more--Joe's eighteen-year-old daughter, April, has run off with him. And then comes even worse news: She has been found in a ditch along the highway--alive, but just barely, the victim of blunt force trauma. Cates denies having anything to do with it, but Joe knows in his gut who's responsible. What he doesn't know is the kind of danger he's about to encounter. Cates is bad enough, but Cates's family is like none Joe has ever met.