August, 1880, Montana Territory: Civil War veteran Jamie Black
arrives in a remote settlement as a hired gun, but the situation in
which he finds himself stirs up a long-dormant moral sense, along
with painful memories of his family's past. Distracted by
unaccustomed feelings of love and of empathy with those against
whom he has been employed to act, he is faced with a difficult
choice between the evil and good angels who are his employer and
his employer's enemy. Against the backdrop of the westward
expansion of the United States and the dark period of the Highland
Clearances, Gavin Armstrong's latest novel combines a Western tale
of violent action in an elemental landscape with an exploration of
the ambiguities of change and progress and the ways in which the
past can influence and complicate the present.
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