As sheriff of Rankin County, Axel Cooper holds the distinction of being the first elected Montana County Sheriff not born in the state in the last sixty years. Unfortunately for Cooper, he'll soon be known for much more than that.
Montana's governor has just enlisted Cooper to act as the local liaison for a raid on a high-altitude, seasonal cattle ranch called Crestfallen. The raid's purpose is twofold: apprehend a federal fugitive and shut down a meth lab. Directed by U.S. Marshall Jack Hilton-described by some as General Patton on steroids-the operation takes a fateful turn when shots are fired and two men are dead. The shooter is Cooper, and one of the dead is an undercover FBI agent.
Cooper contends the shooting was self-defense. But Hilton, looking for a scapegoat, charges that Cooper is nothing more than a revenge-seeking, rogue cop and should be prosecuted for the shooting. As Cooper probes more deeply into the incident gone awry at Crestfallen, he has more questions than answers. Something about the raid just doesn't seem right; he's determined to solve the riddle that could either end his career or his life.