This is not your typical action western. The story depends more upon the development of the characters, especially the protaganist-the strong willed sheriff of a small western town. The story brings out the realities involved in representing the law during this time period. He's torn by many concerns; farmers pushing out the ranchers, ranchers responding violently, a daughter engaged to a behind-the-scenes leader of the ranchers and their violence, a killer (hired by the ranchers) that needs to be hung, and politicians that want to call in the troops. There's even contrast between the town's two churches and their pastors about the situation. I thought the author did a great job in bringing out the tension involved in a 24 hour period leading up to a hanging. The sheriff faces the events with a steely character and code of ethics, but he also goes through a bit of a self-revelation and admission of need in his life. You get the drama and tension of the old "High Noon" movie. I'd highly recommend this as a good leisure read that will engage you in the lives of some very believable characters.