Jack Gabriel's been the sheriff in Damnation almost since the town grew out of the dust and the mud. He keeps the peace - sort of - and rides the circuit every dawn and dusk with the chartermage, making sure the wilderness doesn't seep into the fragile attempt at civilization. Out there, away from the cities clinging to the New World's eastern rim, he doesn't remember what he was. Or at least, not much.
But Damnation is growing, and along comes a schoolmarm. Catherine Barrowe is a right proper Boston miss, and it's a mystery why she would choose this particular town, where everything scandalous and dangerous is probably too much for a quality lady like her. Sometimes the sheriff wonders why she came out West - because everyone who does is running from something. He doesn't realize Cat may be prickly, delicate, and proper, but she is also determined. She's in Damnation to find her wayward older brother, whose letters were full of dark hints about gold, and trouble, and something about a claim.
In a West where charm and charter live along clockwork and cold steel, where hot lead only kills your enemy once but it takes a blessing to make his corpse stay down, Cat will keep digging until she finds out what happened to her brother. If Jack knew what she was after, he could solve the mystery - because he killed the young man, and for good reason.
The thing is, Cat's brother just won't stay dead, and the undead are rising with him . . .