Dashiell Bad Horse returns to the "rez" after fifteen years of absence, picking fights with whoever crosses his path. His belligerence quickly leads him to a run-in with Chief Lincoln Red Crow, chief of the Oglala tribe, chief of the local police, and a wealthy mob boss. Red Crow assesses Bad Horse's fighting ability and enthusiasm for getting his hands dirty, and coerces him into joining the tribal police force. Bad Horse's primary duty is breaking up fights and shutting down meth labs—Red Crow is about to open a $97 million dollar casino, and is anxious to clean up the tribe's public image, not to mention taking out competition for his illegal interests.
Bad Horse, an undercover FBI agent, is tasked with infiltrating Red Crow's organization. Dashiell's immediate superior wants to bring Red Crow to justice for the murder of two FBI agents thirty years ago, when Red Crow was a militant Native American rights activist alongside Dashiell's mother, Gina Bad Horse.
Dashiell develops an obsession with Red Crow's estranged daughter, Carol, who resents Dashiell for leaving the reservation. Dashiell speaks to her occasionally, but mostly follows and observes her as she tries to escape the crushing boredom and poverty of the reservation through alcohol, drugs, and ****** promiscuity.