Brodie Jones had been on his own since he was fifteen years old. He had headed west as a hunter, lived several years as a mountain man and scouted for the Fremont expeditions. At the outbreak of the Mexican War, he was scouting for the US Army.
Through his friend Kit Carson, he had met and fallen in love with Maria Santiago, the daughter of a wealthy land grant holder in New Mexico. While scouting for a patrol in the mountains near Taos, the Santiago hacienda was attacked by an Apache war party. When Brodie reached the hacienda, he found the entire family had been massacred.
The mountain man spent the better part of the next year tracking the warrior band all over the southwest territory from Taos down into Mexico and back multiple times, all the while extracting his revenge. He had killed twenty-three of the warriors from the war party, the remaining eight were ambushed and killed by scalp-hunters. During the period he was tracking down the Apaches, he had several encounters with a group of scalp-hunters that were also hunting Apaches. At that time the Mexican Governor was paying a bounty for Apache scalps and a band of renegades were roaming the territory killing anyone with long black hair and taking their hair.
With all of the war party dead, Brodie had been left feeling empty and alone. His quest for revenge had driven him and been his only reason for living to that point. Then a strange event briefly allied him with the Apaches, the outcome of which gave new meaning to his life and a reason to go on.
Death Rider is a historical western. Many of the names, places and events are factual; the character of Brodie Jones is purely fictional.