Two men – a killer awaiting trial, and a troubled young deputy – sit across from each other in the dark, talking through the bars of a jail cell.
John Gload is so brutally adept at his craft that only now, at the age of seventy-seven, has he faced the prospect of long-term incarceration. Valentine Millimaki, who draws the overnight shift after Gload's arrest, is the man in Copper County sheriff's department tasked with getting the killer to talk about a string of unsolved murders.
With a disintegrating marriage, made worse by the strain of his night duty, and his safety threatened from within his own department, Millimaki finds himself seeking counsel from his prisoner. The strange intimacy of their connection takes a startling turn with a brazen act of violence, a manhunt, and a stunning revelation that leaves Gload's past and Millimaki's future for ever entwined.
Set on the lonesome Montana plains, a landscape as unyielding and raw as it is beautiful, The Ploughmen is a new classic in the literature of the American West.