A compelling book from its cautious, yet concise, characterizations to the refined horror of its denouement. Set in Utah Mr. Savage allows his particular flair for regional details and insight into the early Western personality to carry the plot which centers on the relationship of two brothers. Phil and George Burbank. Phil, the brilliant loner, eccentric, enigmatic with an obvious contempt for other people, has a particularly puzzling reaction when the mundane George brings his new wife to the ranch they have operated as a team for twenty-five years. Rose, a former widow with an odd, reticent son, Peter, is subjected to Phil's peculiar form of persecution. His silent, semi-accusing presence finally drives her to drink, an irony in the sense that she had survived a tragic marriage with an alcoholic, self-destructive husband. Then the conflict becomes triangular as Peter, Witnessing his mother's slow dissolution, makes an unusual decision. Impressive storytelling written with skill and scope.