After his young daughter is killed during a bank robbery, Septemus Ryan is out of his mind with grief. Her voice haunts him from the grave, urging him to seek justice above the law. In August 1898, James Hogan celebrates his birthday by accompanying his uncle Septemus on a trip to the agricultural fair. But early on in the trip it becomes apparent to young James that his uncle has other plans in mind. This is no regular trip to the fair, but a journey of revenge against the three men who killed Clarice. James witnesses his uncle plunge deeper and deeper into despair and madness while encountering more than his share of gunslingers, executioners, and ladies of the night in this taut, powerful tale of grief and vengeance, and coming of age.