Rating: 4 out of 5
Mr Johnson’s Longmire series continues… I wasn’t quite taken aback by this; there was less of the internal philosophising I enjoyed previously while people did get into a lot of trouble very quickly. The author also leads his crimes in quite violently most of the time. It’s slightly odd that Walt had seen some ten murders by the first book, and across the next few months there are another ten (almost).
The action in this book takes place in both Vietnam and Wyoming. The Wyoming parts are as good as they could be, with the author really managing to isolate the loneliness of the area. The Vietnam flashbacks form the basis of a different story though it’s not that difficult for the reader to guess where it is going. I found the Vietnam plot more difficult to focus on as neither Walt nor Henry were as great characters in their younger and foolisher days.
However, the book does shed some light on the struggles of the Vietnamese both after the war and in America—as well as how this is capitalized on. As such, the message of this volume is much deeper than that of previous Longmire books where the motives were pretty straightforward. While unpleasant, this dimension adds a lot to the book.
Insofar as characters go, it’s difficult to think of someone more appealing than Virgil White Buffalo, the tragic master of chess. Similarly, the constant reminiscences of the Wild West are an absolute pleasure to read and leave me wanting for more—in hopes of which I’ll continue with the Longmire series!