With the aid of the Native American Shaman Conawago, Duncan McCallum has begun to heal from the massacre of his Highland clan by the British. But his new life is shattered when he and Conawago discover a dying Virginian officer nailed to an Indian shrine tree. The authorities arrest Conawago and schedule his hanging. As Duncan begins a desperate search for the truth, he finds himself in a maelstrom of deception and violence.
The year is 1760, and while the British army wishes to dismiss the killing as another casualty of its war with France, Duncan discovers a pattern of ritualistic murders related to provincial treaty negotiations and the struggles between tribal factions. Duncan understands that the real mysteries underlying his quest lie in the hearts of natives who, like his Highland Scots, have glimpsed the end of their world approaching.