Ranch owner Opal Scarlett has vanished under suspicious circumstances, and her sons Hank and Arlen are battling it out for control of her multi-million-dollar empire. Everyone in town is so caught up in the brothers' battle that, with the exception of game warden Joe Pickett, they seem to have forgotten that Opal is still missing. Joe begins his investigation and is beaten nearly to death by Hank Scarlett's right-hand man - a stranger who looks eerily familiar. And what's the meaning of the threatening messages that follow? Slowly, it begins to dawn on Joe that the Scarlett family feud is the least of his problems. Someone with a very personal grudge has a vicious debt to collect and wants Joe to pay with his job, his home, maybe even with his family and his blood.