Jack Adams was a man with a dream; to hike the Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine.
Beset with a month-long delay in starting out, Jack soon found himself lagging seriously behind schedule, a delay which would mean finishing late in the fall, in the cold, northern reaches of Maine.
With perhaps, only two or three days remaining until he completed the hike, a strange and bizarre turn of events brought Jack's dream to a screeching halt, plunging him into a situation where he would soon find himself fighting for his life, as well as the life of a complete stranger.
Waylaid on the Trail by a deranged giant of a man and feeling the hopelessness and frustration of captivity, Jack was unaware that Kate McGuire, his fiancee, along with his dad, Frank, had hired a tough Maine guide to try and locate him. The plot is thickened by a grisly discovery and the grim realization that some truths in life are hard to bear.
Enter Sheriff Wilfred Bowen, a folksy southwestern transplant, whose slow drawl belies the fact that this is one very smart lawman, intent on rooting out the truth. His reliance on his 'gut feelins' inevitably lead him to solve the mystery of what happened to Jack, along with another case, although not to the satisfaction of everyone involved.