In 1950, the world of a young rodeo bronc rider from Montana State College is rocked when he is charged with of the crime of murder in the first degree—the murder of a close friend and fellow rodeo participant. In a rush to judgment, the sheriff of Park County, Montana has made up his mind that Cassius Bruce is responsible for murder of Summer Hetherington at Hunter’s Hot Springs. Cassius Bruce is the fourth generation of the Bruce family introduced in Jim Moore’s novels. Even though surrounded by a family of lawyers, and defended by his aunt and her law partner, the young man is constantly haunted by the specter of prison. In her search for the real killer, his Aunt Merci Bruce can find no one else to point to. Can she keep her beloved nephew from a life in prison?
About Jim Moore
He was born Perry James (Jim) Moore III in Lewistown, Montana on December 21, 1927. He grew up on ranches and in small towns in Montana: Two Dot, Martinsdale, and Lewistown—and then Santa Barbara, California before moving back to the Moore Ranch at Two Dot.
He attended the Two Dot grade school, graduated from Harlowton High School in 1945 and enlisted in the navy. Discharged from the navy, he enrolled in the University of Montana at Missoula in the fall of 1946. He transferred to Montana State University in the fall of 1948 and graduated from that institution in 1952 with a degree in Agricultural Economics.
At Montana State he met Kathryn Nash. They were married on June 28, 1954 in Holy Rosary Church in Bozeman and made their home on the Moore Ranch. Three children – Dianne, Perry and Steven were born to the marriage.
Jim studied the law at their home on the ranch and was successful in passing the bar examination. He practiced law in Harlowton and then in Bozeman, while maintaining his interest in the ranch. In addition to the ranch and his law practice, Jim was involved in a number of other activities and associations.