When 16-year-old Weldon Avery Holland encounters the notorious Bonnie and Clyde in his Texas hometown, the course of his young life is altered forever. He dedicates himself to fighting evil wherever he finds it.
But it's the 1930s and evil is sweeping the globe as the Nazis rise. When war breaks out, Holland finds himself in Germany, irrevocably scarred by scenes of death and destruction.
Peacetime brings apparent bliss, and Holland is offered a path to wealth and luxury by the enigmatic 'Wayfaring Stranger'. But soon, he discovers that the greed, violence and ruthlessness of war are nothing compared to the depths of human cruelty at play here.
Early in this epic American saga from MWA Grand Master Burke, Weldon Holland, the grandson of lawman and series character Hackberry Holland, has a chance run-in with Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow in Texas, shortly before the notorious bank robbers are gunned down in Louisiana. Weldon has another, more significant coming-of-age experience toward the end of WWII. As an Army second lieutenant, he rescues Sgt. Hershel Pine when both are trapped behind German lines. Weldon later saves Rosita Lowenstein, a concentration camp prisoner, who fought against Franco in the Spanish Civil War. After the war ends in Europe, Weldon marries Rosita. Back in Texas, Weldon and Hershel build an innovative oil pipeline business, but their success creates an enemy, oil tycoon Lloyd Fincher, who as a U.S. Army major was known as "a dangerous idiot." Lloyd attacks the entrepreneurs through their wives, most notably Rosita, smeared mercilessly for her leftist past. Weldon occupies the high moral ground, but he's not above meting out his own brand of justice. His quest to save his wife generates some suspense, but this is more morality tale than thriller, the story of one man's struggle to live with integrity in postwar America. Burke, best known for his Dave Robicheaux series (Light of the World, etc.), writes with great assurance and wisdom, as well as a kind of bitter nostalgia for lost innocence.