One of my best reads this past year; this book starts off as a farce of Star Trek, and other sci-fi shows. (The guys with the red shirts were always the ones that failed to come back from those ‘away’ missions.) It ends with thoughtful questions. It starts off funny as **** and ends with touching poignancy. And if nothing else, at the end, you will want to wrest your own life from its Narrative and take control of it. I don’t know if it is better, or worse, than other books with this plot idea. I do know that I enjoyed it tremendously.
The Cold Dish:
This first book in the series introduces you to all the main characters and gives you a real taste of all the wonderful books yet to come from this wonderful writer. You could classify the series as ‘modern westerns’, ‘police procedurals’ or just plain ol’ mysteries, but there is nothing ‘plain’ about them. Johnson creates characters that are totally alive and lots of fun to know; they can sometimes bring a smile to your face, a quiet chuckle or even make you laugh out loud.
There are several ‘good guys’ that I would like to find at my door if I were ever in trouble: Jack Reacher, Alex McKnight, Elvis Cole… Longmire has joined the list; possibly moving right to the top.
This was my introduction to Johnson’s mystery series. I am going to go back and read all of them. I may even buy the set. The books are written with humour, and depth. The characters are well developed and you feel you know them all. Excellent mystery.
As the Crow Flies:
Walt Longmire remains one of my favorite characters. In this book, Walt and his friend Henry “The Cheyenne Nation” witness a woman fall from a cliff.
When it comes to describing what makes the Longmire series so enjoyable I am reminded of the poetic line, “Let me count the ways”…
- Good plotting: you must read to the end to learn the how and why.
- Great characters: Whether it is Longmire’s wit, or his battle with Rezdawg, Henry’s truck, every character is totally alive on these pages. I love all of Herbert His Good Horse’s Indian jokes.
- Great location: The Cheyenne Reservation and all its inhabitants are perfectly drawn – not merely sketched.
Don’t judge these books by the television series, they are so much better. Great mysteries with a thread of humor that just makes them light up.
Hell Is Empty:
This book is a little different from the others. Longmire takes off, alone, after an escaped prisoner. The chase leads up into the mountains, in the winter, so his usual side-kicks have a smaller role that usual. It’s a gripping page turner. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will suggest that you wear you winter coat while you read.
George Becket, age 22, is on spring break and is invited to a party at the Senator’s house on Cape Cod. Here he witnesses a rape and does nothing. Three years later there is a murder of a young woman and once again the Senator’s family is involved. Becket has learned over the years that acquiescing to the powerful reaps its rewards, and that disturbing the status quo brings its problems. Now, nine years after the murder, he is an assistant district attorney and is accosted by the dead woman’s father, urged to investigate and to find the killer.
Walter gives us a vivid portrayal of how you can sell your soul by merely remaining silent when faced with corruption. He also shows us, dramatically, how aligning oneself with those who use power to influence, manipulate and control puts you in the company of those where no one is trustworthy.
There are twists, turns and betrayals on almost every page. Walker is a talented writer; the book is a quick read in spite of being over 400 pages.