Review: The Dead Horse, Craig Johnson

Rating: 5 out of 5

The author really managed to pack everything I want and expect from the Longmire series into this book: a rural area of the least populous state, some gun-slinging, plenty of action, and great philosophising. Mr Johnson’s still keen on splitting the action into two parts, but this time they occur more or less in the same place and the time-difference is a week. This makes for an eminently readable work which is clearly structured this way to keep the suspense up.

This works! I wasn’t overly surprised when I realized who the culprit was, but neither was I expecting this outcome. A very enjoyable plot (and one of the TV series episodes was clearly inspired by this book) with numerous great side-characters like Hershel and Juana make it probably my favourite Longmire thus far. The reader is also given glimpses into Walt’s background with a visit to the homestead he grew up at.

Mr Johnson manages to bring the evocative Wyoming landscape to life superbly: the dry plains, mesas, and buttes that all play their part (what is the difference between a mesa and a butte?) in the story make me want to see and experience Wyoming first-hand. In addition, the author’s comments on the environment in the same passages, along with the protagonist’s absolute rejection of the landscape-for-transient-gains economy, gives the reader something more to ponder.

Longmire is crime, but it also continues to be much more than just crime.

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