One morning in the hill country of Civil War-era Texas, a panther attacks a family of homesteaders, mauling young Samantha and killing her mother. The girl and her half brother Benjamin survive, but she is left scarred, body and soul. Narrated in Benjamin's beguilingly plainspoken voice, this is the tale of Sam's tenacious resolve to find and kill the infamous panther, rumored across the Rio Grande to be a demon. She and Benjamin enlist a charismatic Tejano outlaw and a kindhearted preacher with an old tracking dog, but as this unlikely posse follows the panther, they are themselves stalked by a Confederate soldier with troubled family ties to the preacher and a score to settle.
"In the tradition of Charles Portis's classic True Grit, Elizabeth Crook's heart-pounding adventure … features a tough-as-nails orphan in pursuit of frontier justice…. You'll follow Sam to the ends of the earth."—O, the Oprah Magazine