Portland, Oregon is the 1860's is a typical frontier town, a place where things are not very easy. Yet, Matthew seizes the opportunity to relocate there from the east, and he and his wife join the wagons heading over the Oregon Trail. Matthew makes it to Oregon, his wife does not.
Once in Oregon,Matthew who is a lawyer becomes embroiled in a few cases over a property dispute and lands on the wrong side of a man, who does not easily forgive. He also decides to undertake the lawsuit of a negro, the said Worthy, whose daughter in still being held as a slave even though slaves are illegal in Oregon.
Margolin has written legal thrillers for many years so he knows his way around a courtroom. and this one is loosely based on a true incident. Really enjoyed Matthew's character and the rough and tumble of this western town. The corruption and graft, violence never far from the core. It was very unusual for a white man at that time to take on the defense of a black man, yet it was done.
There were a couple of subplots that I felt were not really necessary, taking away from the main plot which was very interesting. Also at the end Matthew's new love interest lectures Worthy's daughter, about doing something with her life rather than being a servant something I did not like and could have been left out. All in all a good solid read.