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
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.
What starts out as a quiet Christmas Eve ends up with a look back at Walt's first months as sheriff and a Christmas adventure with Lucian, Doc Bloomfield and some new characters. Once again, Craig Johnson can transport a person back to a time with a younger Walt but still the Walt we have come to love. This novella was touching, funny, exciting and, as always, another satisfying visit to Absaroka County. A great Christmas story without too much tinsel and glitter.
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.
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