But what should have been a simple act of justice becomes the beginning of a hunt. The man who Hawke shot was part of a business, part of a group, and that group is now determined to take revenge on Mason Hawke. That last tune in Nebraska began a trail that would take him on a winding road, to New Orleans, Missouri, and finally Kansas, before the vendetta that began in Nebraska can finally be put to rest.
Like Hawke, Clint Jessup is running from his past. But Jessup's sins turned him hard and greedy—and he's willing to drain bone dry a town that's trying to build a future, if it puts an extra dollar in his pocket. The blood of a drifter named Mason Hawke is going to oil his money-making scheme. But it doesn't matter how many killers he sends Hawke's way, because the target plays by his own rules: draw first, shoot fast, and keep watching your back.
Mason Hawke emerged from war a scarred man, a man unable to return to a life of power and privilege. His only way out is to start his life anew, concealing his past from those he encounters. But things don't always go according to plan, which Mason finds out when he stops in a town where he knows the local sheriff, a man who has the town under his thumb. All he wants to do is settle down and pretend the past never happened. But now Mason has to decide whether to live the easy life, forgetting his past, or to risk sacrificing himself, and help the town break free of the tyrannical lawman, at the risk of exposing something he'd wanted to keep buried.
A drifter who makes his living playing piano in frontier saloons, Hawke has come to a blood-soaked corner of Idaho, answering a desperate call for help from a woman he once loved. War is ripping King Hill apart—born of the ruthless greed of wealthy cattlemen—and it threatens to expose Hawke's tragic history. But Cynthia Macgregor and her husband Ian know what he can do, and that he's their only hope against the professional firepower lining up against them. The enemy has the numbers, but the Macgregors have Mason Hawke.
This war is just beginning . . .
But his unsought celebrity has earned him some powerful enemies, including a land–hungry lady with a crooked official in her pocket and a ruthless killer on a leash. Justice, it seems, is an illusion in this place where fraud and fortune hunting dance with cold–blooded murder. But all that is about to change in a brutal hail of gunfire now that Hawke has come to play.