A member of the decaying Southern aristocracy, Brandon Rhodes had spent the Depression years working and bumming his way over the country, always lonesome, carrying the deep scar of his father's unreasoning rejection. When he was twenty-five he came to Kingstree Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, liked it and decided to stay awhile. But blind old Matt Tomlinson who dominated the island, its people and economy saw in Brandon a threat to him and his people's way of life and ordered the outsider back to the mainland. At first Brandon refused on principle and then because he had fallen in love with Marsha, Tomlinson's heiress. Driven beyond the bounds of sanity, Tomlinson involved the whole island in his personal struggle--and lost out to Brandon after one man was killed, another murdered, a third exiled. A dramatic story with the main characters so stark in their emotional intensity, so above the law in their actions that they lose reality and rob the novel of much of its impact and almost all of its credibility.