A Cain and Abel theme of the beautiful and damned brothers, Steele and Hector, whose dead mother's influence conditions their adult lives. Hector resents and defies and suffers humiliation at the hands of Steele, who indulges his violence and rebellion in wild horses and unacceptable women. Their father, wealthy, selfish Brand of Toronto, and their cousin, Alan, are helpless spectators at the mounting drama. Hector fails in business, has a drifting love affair, proves incapable of running their extravagant farm; Steele is instrumental in pushing him into marriage with the girl he loves. But the girl's awareness of herself as substitute for his dead mother makes a barrier between them and drives her away, and though Hector, realizing at last the strength of the bonds is ready to break them, she refuses to return. Steele's shooting Hector is the one means of bringing her back...A torturing of lives through fraternal tension and enmity, where only violence can settle the issues, makes this a psychological interpretation -- a sort of Scott Fitzgerald of the '30's -- a story of the gilded, unchallengeable Toronto bloods. Holding reading.