In a driving sleet storm, a farmer has discovered a body snagged on cottonwood roots in the Washita River. Johnston County deputy Hannah Bond realizes it’s her elderly friend, Alice. Meanwhile, at the Golden Play Casino, robbers posing as armored-car guards kill a local stickball hero and friend of Chickasaw Lighthorse Police detective Bill Maytubby.
The trail leads through the quarry-scarred Oklahoma badlands to a remote airstrip and a planeload of drugs and untraceable automatic weapons. Also somehow connected are a shady coin-op vending company; a neo-Nazi compound outside Paris, Texas; and a headless janitor in a train-mangled van. As the net tightens, the smugglers get wind of their pursuers and converge on Maytubby and Bond at Greasy Bend Bridge.