In the late 1800s, Royce Blood owned his own spread, was married to a young woman, and had a young son. On one fateful day that would change his life, a bear mauled and killed his son. In desperation, Royce went after the bear. Upon returning to his ranch months later, his wife had left him. Learning that she had traveled to Butte, Montana, he followed her, only to learn that she had become a prostitute. Turning to drink, Royce began to drift and eventually wound up in Deadwood Gulch. An old friend tried to turn his life around and convinced him to hire on as a messenger guard on a stage line. Royce didn’t know it, but his problems had only just begun.
I really enjoyed this Western story. The main character was intriguing: Royce Blood’s traumatic experience with his family, his falling into alcoholism and drifting from town to town, and then his attempt to begin a new life made for an excellent tale of remorse and redemption. I highly recommend this well-written, fast-paced book to anyone who may never have read a Western novel.