Historically authentic detail is a hallmark of Jones’s Western fiction (Tie My Bones to Her Back, 1996, etc.)--and he is as well a gifted bird-hunter and ornithologist (Dangers in the Sunset Sky, 1996). This time out, he goes for the jugular, creating a bloodthirsty thriller full of spurting action, murder, big-bladed knives and flying lead, a scenic canvas besprinkled with figures in a kind of super-realist, Bruegelesque folk art that gives equal play to man and oppressive landscape and shows things as they really were—with zip sentimentality--in the second half of the 19th century. Within this episodic chronicle of driving carnage, the friendship of Capts. Dillon Griffith and James Pierson Beckwourth highlights a survey of human endeavor in the Great American West, including the rise and decline of the fur trade. Jones’s raw, lyric voice is all his own, and can both disturb and shock.