The protagonist is a stranger who comes to town in this gripping country noir set in post-WWII Texas. He arrives in a small town with a nice car and with an even nicer blonde woman. He has a passion for poker and a focused eye on the high-stakes game played at the legendary Weilbach Hotel. He also has an occasional rendezvous with Chicken Little, who seems to be a small-time hustler but may also have a link to whatever our nameless narrator did during the war. The stranger's attention centers on Clifton Robillard, the local banker who owns or runs everything in town--legal or illegal--that turns a profit. The narrator reveals his plan in small doses. Does he simply want to rob Robillard at poker? Or the blonde with hime is willing to drqag him into a fraud petrol business? Or maybe the stranger has a nobler motive than financial gain? Readers will eventually learn the truth, and the truth will set them free in a conclusion that is exhilarating and extraordinarily satisfying. This is a stunningly mature, layered first novel from an author who knows Texas and people in equally fine measure.