Summer in Benteen, County, Kansas, is a season possessed of all the gentle subtlety of an act of war. Winter, of course, is no better, but remembrance of its frosts and blizzards and winds that begin to suck away your life before you walk a dozen steps has grown faint by the early hours of a Sunday morning in late June." While some try to sleep, and some like Sheriff English and his ex-wife try sex, the Reverend Peter Simms takes an early walk in the park and encounters someone counting coup. When the Sheriff's part-Cheyenne brother, Mad Dog, arrives to meditate, he finds the Reverend's mutilated corpse. Mad Dog is the obvious suspect and begins to hang out in the town jail while Sheriff English widens his net and picks up not only several suspicious characters, but an increasingly dark history for the Simms family. The case grows stormier. Soon, so does the weather. As a tornado gathers to hurl its fury on the hapless town, the fury of the killer rises to meet it.