In late summer, 1972, California’s redwood forests seem a “safe and wondrous place.” But some of Evergreen’s population is growing pot up in the trees and others are bent on stealing it. Then there’s the coming folk festival, a jamboree bringing in musicians, fans, and war protestors. It results in a ferment of flower power (the local hippies), raw power (the local biker gangs, notably the Cossacks), and law enforcement power (local and federal). Skirting the edges are shades of the Manson Family and the Mexican Mafia. Enter Clifford Hickey, scheduled to perform a guitar gig before trucking off to law school. Within moments of his arrival at his brother Alvaro’s peaceful woodland campsite, six armed men with badges crash the camp, and Alvaro runs. Clifford, surprised, is arrested and so brutally cuffed he fears for his hands. He then learns that one of the sheriff’s nephews has just been murdered, and Alvaro is the posse’s quarry. Clifford, on the brink of adult life, is pitched into a murder investigation that develops into a duel between the Hickeys—for his father and mother soon drive up—and the law, the locals, and everyone’s past.