Seven thousand cattle are crossing the border from Montana into newly named Alberta. The open-range ranch era is about to begin. Doc Windham, a Texan cowboy trailing the herd, has emerged from southwestern Montana for the first time in 15 years. Leaving sanctuary, he must pay the price in longing and fear as he searches for Pearly, the lover he lost along the West's frontiers and who is hiding somewhere in this vast land. Along the way he'll be hunted with joyless determination by a strange, implacable enemy he once left for dead. Harrowed along by ghosts of murder and loss, by walls of wind and shards of lightning, Doc emerges to make a fresh start -- if the vengeance seekers and his soul's own hunger will let him.