A fallen hero . . . Billy Tree once protected the most powerful man in the world from harm.If the situation called for it, he would give his own life to save another's.But after his partner dies at the hands of a raving would-be assassin, a physically and spiritually broken Tree returns to his hometown of Falls City, Nebraska, to contemplate his own part in the fiasco.A tarnished beauty . . . Joan Blanchard never made it out of Falls City.She stayed behind, locked in an unhappy marriage.But she never stopped thirsting for excitement.Now divorced with one child, her fast living has earned her the kind of reputation that women try to avoid in a small town.But there's something in her, beyond her looks, that draws Tree to the melancholy high school teacher.A ruthless madman . . . Duane Blanchard is a bully and a racist.But behind his insatiable anger lurks the keen intelligence and the uncompromising ferocity that made him the scourge of Falls City.He resents Tree's presence and the attention Tree lavishes on his ex-wife.He resents the town that considers him a monster.And he may be involved in one of me most deadly conspiracy the quiet community has ever witnessed.A small town cop . . . Sheriff Pat Kunkel seems to be in over his head after a schoolyard shooting that leaves two people dead and the only suspect goes missing.But Billy Tree learned law enforcement at the affable old man's knee, and Pat Kunkel may still have a few tricks up his sleeve . . . A murdered derelict . . . Huford Peck slept on the cold, hard floor of Falls City's abandoned power plant, amidst the lifetime of discarded junk he collected.When his naked body turns up along the banks of the Missouri River, it seems the result of another senseless act of brutality.But what secrets did the mysterious vagabond hide?His mutilated corpse may hold the key to a deadly puzzle.A fifteen-year-old boy . . . Will Blanchard seeks his father's love.But when one's father is incapable of love, is the next best thing a share in his hatred?Joan, the boy's mother, hopes not.But as events explode out of control, Will may find himself involved in a terrifying drama.Six desperate individuals, cast into an abyss of intrigue and murder.To save a boy's life and win a woman's love, Billy Tree will need to unravel a conspiracy that he could scarcely have imagined possible in a town he once called home.But who can be trusted?And who knows what deadly hatreds seethe beneath the glimmering surface of America's heartland?AUTHORBIO: Born in Nebraska, David Wiltse has written 11 novels, including the spectacularly well received John Becker thriller series.He has been honored with an Edgar Allen Poe award for a television feature film, a Drama Desk Award as Most Promising Playwright, and has had two novels selected as Most Notable Books of the Year by the New York Times Book Review and by Time Out Magazine in London.He lives in Connecticut.Wiltse, David is the author of 'Heartland' with ISBN 9780312269579 and ISBN 0312269579.