Jim Stegner has seen his share of violence and loss. Years ago he shot a man in a bar. His marriage disintegrated. In the wake of tragedy, Jim abandoned the art scene of Santa Fe to start fresh in the valleys of rural Colorado. Now he spends his days painting and fly-fishing, trying to find a way to live with the dark impulses that sometimes overtake him. But one afternoon, on a dirt road, Jim comes across a man beating a small horse, and a brutal encounter rips his quiet life wide open.