Spur Award-winner Craig Johnson has garnered critical acclaim for his Walt Longmire mysteries. In this riveting seventh entry, Wyoming’s Absaroka County sheriff, Walt Longmire, is pushed beyond his limits.
When three hardened convicts escape FBI custody in a mountain blizzard, an armed psychopath leads them up Big Horn Mountain. As Longmire struggles to track their treacherous ascent, he’ll need all the help he can get from the tribal spirits of the towering summit.
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This is an interesting turn for the series, which has dealt a little with the metaphysical before, but not to this degree. On the surface this a story of a sheriff tracking escaped convicts though a blizzard in the mountains of Wyoming, but it's really about a sheriff challenging himself to face the elements of nature and of human nature. It's a time for a lot of personal change and contemplation for Walt since his daughter is about to get married, and that's only magnified by the solo time he spends fighting the escaped prisoners and the elements to stay alive. Does he have a spirit guide on the journey, or is it all a journey in his mind?
While the metaphysical might not be to everyone's liking and some readers will miss the involvement of the usual cast of characters (they're all there, but they're generally not a part of what's going on throughout the story), it's still an enjoyable and satisfying part of the Longmire series. Guidall, as usual, is spot-on perfect throughout.
Craig Johnson has a following for a good reason - the man can write great literature. If you have a taste for the classics and have read Dante's Inferno, or even know a bit about it then this effort by Mr. Johnson becomes all the more enjoyable. This is a great suspense novel, and an excellent literary exercise that succeeds on all fronts. If you have read the series from the start then this story will have more meaning as players from the other books have their own special place. Do not treat this as bad news if you have not read any of the other books as they are all excellent, this though is just a special treat with the backdrop of the inferno alive in the story. If you cannot tell I loved the book, one of the best I have read in a very long time and I listen to a lot of audio books. Mr. Johnson's effort here is worth a standing ovation.
You may walk around in this one for a while. I can still feel it. A departure of sorts for Walt, though the author is careful to craft different settings for his characters. Nothing is formulaic, least of all this one. Not really a mystery, more of a thriller since you know who the bad guys are from the beginning. Very good.
This is the seventh Walt Longmire book I've listened to. I am an avid fan and have really liked all of the books so far. This one really missed the mark for me, primarily because a lot of the story is dedicated to the mystical/supernatural, which means that much of the focus is on Walt (and no other characters) and it's not clear where reality ends and the mystical begins . This had annoyed me in the first book, A Cold Dish, but there it was only a small fraction of the story. In Hell is Empty, it is a major part of the story, and in my opinion, it made the story boring. I almost didn't finish. I held out, hoping the ending would make up for slogging through the "in-Walt's-head" parts, but it did not.
I have had a library card wherever I've lived, & always have a book in progress. Fell in love with Audiobooks when my 70 yr old eyes couldn't keep up with my reading. Mysteries are my favorite, but last enjoyable read was "Fifty Shades of Grey" WOW Sensual reading, but it had my interest ! I'm not dead yet!
The adventures of Walt Longmire & friends have been so enjoyable that I could hardly wait to dive into "Hell Is Empty" However, this latest did not hold my interest & was nothing like Johnson's previous novels. Even with George Guidall's wonderful narration, this one was dull & disappointing.
I'll agree with a lot of the Craig Johnson reviews in that I likewise believe Johnson has improved over the years. Likewise, Johnson is a believer in the supernatural to some extent by weaving and ethereal spirit into his stories - more frequently in his latest books.
This one goes a little too far for my liking; however, I still recommend the book - especially for fans of Johnson and the Walt Longmire series. It's one of the better books in the series and is a can't miss for fans.
On a big picture basis; however, Johnson is not in my Top 10 favorite authors. His character development is good and his ability to put together a story worthy of a good novel, I still find that Johnson wanders too much. I find myself drifting too often due to boredom for him to be classed among my all-time favorites.
Still, I recommend this book, it's definitely above average as are most in the Walt Longmire series. I'll continue to pick out more Longmire stories along the way when I don't have any of my favorites to go through.
As usual, George Guidall is a GEM!! These types of stories are right in his wheelhouse and he nails it.
Don't miss the Bino Phillips series by AW Gray. They are largely unknown, but as good as any ive read!
This is a novel that covers a span of less than 72 hours in the life of Sheriff Walt Longmire. Longmire is helping the FBI transport convicted killers to a new prison. They are bushwhacked in the most desolate region of Wyoming during a huge snowstorm.
Longmire finds himself alone, first only tracking the killers. He ignores all protocol in fear of losing the trail, which lands him in a world of hurt. But he's not alone after all. An old friend apache friend, who may or may not be alive serves as a spirit guide of sorts. He has deep visions throughout the chase that guide him to truths he could never have discovered otherwise.
I like this series a lot. Perhaps it's just me being impatient, but this seemed like a short story stretched into a novel.
I’m a great big Walt Longmire/Craig Johnson/ George Guidall fan. I have enjoyed them all, but I love this one the most. This story has been on my mind, long after I finished it… which is the mark of a great story in my book. I would describe this one as mystery/thriller/modern western with American Indian mythology/spirituality and a bit of the paranormal.
In addition, Dante’s Inferno is very successfully woven into the story line.
Walt is really on his own most of the story, pursuing escaped and dangerous criminals through a snow storm in rough mountainous country. Virgil White Buffalo makes his appearance when the FBI (fans will know what that stands for) is needed most. We get much deeper insights into Vigils character and into an American Indian view of life and death.
I think writing this took a bit of courage on Mr. Johnson’s part. This one is not your typical Walt Longmire story and it would have probably been safer to stick with the successful formula. I for one found this to be a wonderful side trip in an excellent series.
I have been a fan from the first book to this one of Craig and George, Craig has a knack for capturing a truly dying breed of men and women and George has a knack for bringing them to life... For personal reasons this is my favorite book by Craig to date. If you have not listened to any of the Walt Longmire series and you like a little comedy with some hard core life and death situations, all of Craig's books are great. If you have never listened to a book narrated by George you are in for a huge treat. This is a wonderful book. Thanks again, both of you! Jean
If this is your first Craig OR George you are in for a treat because it only gets better. Put them all on your wish list. If I say this wasn't my favorite Walt book it is only because the others were so good. For aficianados, this one has less of the familiar characters but I undestand it... Sort of a paean to Hemingway maybe? Totally stands on its own but leaves me breathless for the next full-bodied Walt. Heck...just read what I said and put back the 5th star. Craign is filling the hole Robert B. Parker left in my life. ALMOST...RBP RIP....
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