New York City, August 1889: within sight of Madison Square Park, a man lays dead in a darkened construction site. Jim Tupper, a Mohawk of the Iroquois nation, stands over the body. Within minutes he's seen. And as police whistles scream in the night, he runs, knowing there is but one place to hide.
With the police hounding him, Tupper makes his way back to the place he knows best-the vast, unsettled Adirondack wilderness. What he finds upon his return is both familiar and strange, a homeland torn by forces from within and without. But after surviving a deadly chase through the streets, back alleys, and underworld haunts of a teeming lower Manhattan, he is home, and Tupper sinks beneath the surface of the Adirondack forest, blending back into the landscape of his youth.
But he has left a trail of death behind, a trail leading dangerously close to a fantastic luxury hotel deep in the heart of the wilderness where Captain Tom Braddock and his family are vacationing. Worlds collide when Tom's son becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a young maid at the hotel. To clear him, Braddock has no choice but to find the illusive Indian, a man who knows the forest as well as Tom knows the streets. Determined to catch Tupper no matter the cost, Braddock launches an epic chase through more than a hundred miles of Adirondack lakes, rivers and forest, his guide the legendary Mitchell Sabattis.
But not all in the Adirondacks is as it appears. Powerful forces have been set in motion, and as developers make manifest their need to rein in the wilderness, Tom too wonders what the vast forests might hold. Will he find the clues he needs to exonerate his son and put a killer behind bars? Or will the great forest smother its secrets in shadow until its price has been paid in blood?