A holiday tale from the best-selling author of the Walt Longmire mystery series, the inspiration for A&E's hit show, Longmire.
"It' s a question of what you have to do, what you have to live with if you don't." Sheriff Walt Longmire is reading A Christmas Carol in his office on December 24th when he's interrupted by the ghost of Christmas past: a young woman with a hairline scar across her forehead and more than a few questions about Walt' s predecessor, Lucian Connally. Walt doesn' t recognize the mystery woman, but she seems to know him and claims to have something she must return to Connally.
With his daughter, Cady, and his undersheriff Vic Moretti in Philadelphia for the holidays, Walt is at loose ends, and despite the woman' s reticence to reveal her identity, he agrees to help her. At the Durant Home for Assisted Living Lucian Connally is several tumblers into his Pappy Van Winkle' s and swears he's never clapped eyes on the woman before. Disappointed, she whispers " Steamboat" and begins a story that takes them all back to Christmas Eve 1988, when three people died in a terrible crash and a young girl had the slimmest chance of survival...back to a record-breaking blizzard, to Walt' s first year as sheriff, with a young daughter at home and a wife praying for his safety...back to a whiskey-soaked World War II vet ready to fly a decommissioned plane and risk it all to save a life.
©2013 Craig Johnson (P)2013 Recorded Books
This story begins on a Christmas Eve with Sheriff Walt Longmire starting to read his annual reading of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Scattered amongst the story to follow, are pieces of this Dickens's story that have become meaningful to Walt.
A terrible snow storm has resulted in a car crash that kills everyone but one small girl. Her only chance of survival is getting to better medical facilities in Denver's Hospital. Roads are closed and flying is all but forbidden. Her only chance is the courageous, or perhaps stupid team led by the crotchety former Sheriff Lucian Connelly. One legged, and living in an assisted living center, Lucian agrees to help Walt try to save this small girl's life.
Their mode of transportation becomes the old relic antique B-25 named "Steamboat" after the bucking horse on the Wyoming license plates. Many people try to dissuade them taking this flight into the treacherous storm, but the comatose child and her tiny Japanese grandmother. This story is the thrilling adventure as the plane rattles and sputters to Denver under the expert flying of ex-Marine pilot, Lucian.
As always, Craig Johnson knows how to write an exciting and often humorous story. The connections between the horse, "Steamboa", this airplane, and the injured young girl is fascinating. We also learn more about Sheriff Longmire when he first became Sheriff. Excellent story of bravery and courage for all the right reasons!
A fun, feel good story looking into the younger lives of the sheriffs' . A great story for a lazy Saturday or Sunday.
Steamboat is an extremely well written little book about my favorite characters. It adds to the readers' knowledge of a couple of them, but more importantly it emphasizes the humanity of them.
Watching Walt hang halfway out of the underside of an airplane (and I do mean watching, because Johnson has a talent for showing the reader the story rather than telling him/her about it) was hair raising. I mean, we knew he would survive -- after all, the action in this book takes place decades before the books in the series, but that doesn't impact the drama in the slightest.
The narrator is fabulous and has become the voice of Walt Longmire for me. When Guidall reads a book, I always give it a second look, but in the Longmire books, he is inspired.
This book is especially important to me because I love the ongoing series, but it would be a good stand-alone, also, for those who need an introduction to Walt's world. For an investment of just over 3 hours, the reader gets a good taste of Johnson's amazing writing and Guidall's gifted narration. Top notch.
Mystery lover from waaaay back when.... Especially love those dark police/detective procedurals and the comic caper. I'm pretty tough as a reviewer. Writing must be smart and well-edited. Plots must be credible and a bit of twistiness and surprises are always welcome. Favorite authors [partial list]: Donald Westlake, Tana French, David Rosenfelt, Ruth Rendell, Ed McBain,
I suspect that Audible and the publishers are pressuring writers to create these long short stories/novellas. However, this is a difficult genre and not everyone can do it.
The plot was very, very thin and entirely predictable. I would not recommend this one, although I have greatly enjoyed the other novels in this series.
I loved, loved, loved this story from Craig Johnson! I've been going through Longmire withdrawal and this little story gave me a much needed "fix!" Thanks, Craig. I never tire of your novels.
This novella will be a must for fans of the Walt Longmire series. As one person commented, it's not terribly suspenseful, but as always it's well written and performed. There's a bit of history as well. I had never heard of the horse named Steamboat. The story is very nicely balanced and concluded.
I have listened to and enjoyed immensely all the books in the Walt Longmire series, and, as much as this makes me sound a little pathetic, I have really missed all the wonderful characters, the bittersweet stories of life and death, love and loss, the basic gentle kindness of the main characters, the laugh out loud dialog and wonderful sense of humor, and of course, the best narrator ever, George Guidall. And then comes this all too brief but wonderful story! Merry Christmas to me! I only hope there will be more to come. They just get better and better!
Avid reader for 45 years
As usual, Craig Johnson brings my favorite Longmire characters to life, with suspense and humor.
Since the story is told as a flashback, there is not much suspense. We know the characters exist in the future so they couldn't have died in the story. That eliminates a lot of the normal aniticpation about how the story turns out.
The back-story about Lucian as one of the Doolittle raiders was very good.
I like Craig Johnson's series about Walt Longmire and have listened to 8 of them. This novella is a kind of "Christmas cheer". If you like the series and are familiar with Walt and his friends and family, you'll probably enjoy the book. There is no suspense at all, because the story is a flashback. Despite its attempt to build tension and excitement, it fails as a thriller, since the introduction in "present time" tells the reader how it is going to come out. The writing is as good as ever, and the narration by George Guidall is excellent, as usual. Thus, I rate it as just "ok", as if the author had to satisfy a contract without putting much effort into the story line.
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