After he is nearly destroyed by a professional tragedy, Dr. Benton Yancey and his handyman/friend, Adam Zantner, join a wagon train heading overland west to reach their destination of Whitfield, California, where Ben had been invited to serve as town physician.It is an idyllic setting, in an idyllic countryside. Ben is summoned to meet with the power behind the throne, Charles Holcomb, a man apparently wealthy beyond measure. The new doctor easily settles into a comfortable routine of meeting various Whitfield officials and caring for his patients.Patient care extends to weekly visits at the local orphanage, managed by a compassionate lady named Madonna Bellini. While attending to various curious injuries to the resident children, Ben meets Mrs. Bellini’s assistant and an orphan herself, Jessamine Lassiter.Being a Yancey, for whom every event moves at a faster speed than for the average human being, Ben is captivated by the lovely young lady. Intelligent and charming, she seems to return his interest. Until outside affairs interfere. One of the orphanage’s young girls almost dies of a self-inflicted abortion; some of the boys have acquired surprising bruises and fractures; another twelve-year-old suffers a scalded hand.Too many secrets lie buried beneath the town’s shiny utopian exterior, secrets that threaten Ben’s future and the safety of the girl he has come to love.To find out exactly who is the serpent in this Garden of Eden, and the reason for it, Ben must call in the troops: his Pinkerton Man brother, John, and twin U.S. Marshals, Thomas and Travis. Once again the Yancey clan is doing what they do best, at the forefront of crime and passion.
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