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Despite a laconic style that helps temper some of the more disturbing content, Preston's tale of a woman struggling to stay afloat on a contemporary Oklahoma ranch is too distancing to be truly affecting. Marik Youngblood lives alone on Killdeer Ridge Ranch, haunted by regrets. Her ranch is debt-ridden, but rather than ask her wealthy sister for relief, Marik leases part of her acreage to a power company for wind towers, angering her neighbor, Burt Gurdman. After Marik and Jace Rainwater, who's applying to become Killdeer's foreman, discover a dead bald eagle under one of the wind towers, they learn that Burt poisoned the bird in a failed attempt to prove the towers unsafe. Burt's hostility grows and Marik is forced to turn to Devon, a powerful man from her past. Preston (Trudy's Promise) ably frames Marik's story with the legend of Silk Mountain, the story of an 1890s frontier woman who committed suicide rather than face life in the harsh Oklahoma territory. But even the cast of multidimensional characters, especially Jace and his autistic son, cannot entirely shore up this novel. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.