‘It was a few months later on, when Samantha was twelve years old, and I was fourteen, and winter come on, and the wind was blowing a gale, and dark was a thing we dreaded, that the panther called on us again.’
In the remote hill country of Texas, Samantha Shreve, the young daughter of a former slave, and her half-brother are terrorised by a ferocious panther. Orphaned, without protection or money, the pair must fight to survive against the odds.
But this twelve year old girl has more than survival in mind: she wants revenge on the beast that killed her mother. Headstrong and relentless, she vows to stalk and kill the panther.
Setting out on a quest across an untamed and lawless land, the Shreves enlist the help of a charismatic Tejano outlaw, a haunted preacher, and an ancient tracking dog. But as this unlikely posse closes in on the panther, they find themselves pursued in turn by a sadistic Confederate soldier who has a score to settle with Samantha.