Two years earlier, four high-school boys were given suspended sentences for raping a Cheyenne girl. Now, two of the boys have been killed, and only Sheriff Walt Longmire can keep the other two safe.
Listen to all of Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire mysteries.
©2004 Craig Johnson; (P)2006 Recorded Books LLC
"A strong sense of place, a credible plot, and deft dialogue lift Johnson's good-humored debut novel." (Publishers Weekly)
"Johnson, who lives in Ucross, Wyoming, knows the Western landscape well, and creates stunning and violent scenes of the Rocky Mountains." (Bookmarks) "We in the West have a major new talent on our hands." (The Denver Post)
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This is the first book in a very good series. I can not add much to the many reviews already posted but what impressed me the most was how descriptive this author is for both the characters and the environment. Like "Fargo", the cold just seems to seep into you as you listen. Have a sweater close by even if it is summer. The characters sparkle in depth and breadth and are not always what they seem to be. Read this first one and I wager you will read them all.
If this review was helpful, please let me know. Cheers!
I enjoy listening to audiobooks while working in my shop or around the house -sort of mental multitasking.
I have downloaded hundreds of things from Audible over several years. This is among my favorites. The narrator is excellent. The characters are believable. The plot is believable, but not obvious. I recommend it.
A very well written book with superior narration. The author takes you into the troubled life of a rural county sheriff in Wyoming. By the end of the book the area seems like home and most of the characters seem like old friends you don't want to leave. Well designed plot, but the journey 90% of the enjoyment. Buy, read & enjoy! This book is a can't miss.
Oh Lord, Please don't let anything happen to George Guidall. Keep him safe for all who listen to his wonderful narration of the Walt Longmire Mystery series. He brings it to life. I was waiting in an office recently while listening to his narration of "Cold Dish" and suddenly barked out a laugh I couldn't control. All heads turned my way, and I apologized and stated it was an audible book I was listening to. Smiles all around. The series by Craig Johnson is as wonderful as the narration. Thank you audible.com for much enjoyment!
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
So glad Audible listeners put me on to this one! Somehow I had missed the Longmire series. George Guidall brings the perfect raspy voice and wry humor to make these characters come alive. Just a great listen!
Down the rabbit hole into a ring a fire- the magic of words lifts me higher and higher.
Hands down it was the combination of the lyrical prose and the narrator's delivery. It is wonderful to have a beautifully written story or an immersed narrator, the combination is rare and to be treasured.
I thought of two different sheriff's while reading about Walt and his town. The first is Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone, the second is Frederick Ramsay's Ike Schwartz, two series that I enjoy and follow. I thought about them in the same way that a new friend might remind you of an old one, fondly and with a smile. The stories are not alike but are familiar, as each man has to be the one who has to do the tough job, be strong and swim against the tide or comfort the broken when needed, because when it comes down to it, who else will be the doer of deeds?
From another angle I can compare this book to any of the Lord Peter Wimsey (Dorthy L. Sayers) or Albert Campion (Margery Allingham) novels. Both authors had a particular style that that was for what was considered the better educated and more-informed portion of society. They regularly included what we would consider pop culture references for the time, quoted the classics, waxed poetic, used foreign languages (primarily French & German) , explored home and social issues especially disenfranchised minorities, poverty, war veterans and women's issues, were deeply involved in the romantic hijinks of the main characters, and the close relationship between the men and those they had been through the war with, e.g. Major Wimsey and Sgt. Bunter being shelled during WWI in France, Campion and "Elsie" in the British Intelligence Service. There are more,examples t and most of the same elements are found in The Cold Dish.
My two favorite books by the Queens of Mystery are Sayer's "Busman's Holiday" and Allingham's "Tiger in the Smoke". In Busman's we celebrate Peter and Harriet's honeymoon and I could see in the actions of the man and hear in his words how terrified he was of the tenderness that was overwhelming him, how the emotion choked his eyes and throat and made him tremble. I could see the same thing and was deeply taken over by it while Walt was examining Vonnie's toes the first evening the spent together. In Tiger the main character is not Campion but Canon Avril, and near the end of the story, the priest has a interchange with the killer concerning religious philosophy, explaining to Havoc that his "Science of Luck and Never Go Soft" philosophy has another name: "The Pursuit of Death". In the setting of the thriller I shivered at the cold truth in the dark church. This scene was brought to mind when a highly agitated Walt takes off his jacket in a blizzard to cover his injured friend and tells him to, "... cut out the mystical horsesh*t!", to which his friend replies that it is the mystical horsesh*t that is going to keep him alive until Walt gets back! It may have been the blizzard, it may have been the harshness of the language, it may have been the cold truth, but what ever it was, I shivered!
Something else that was interesting was how I pictured Walt. I know what all the "real" people look like. I've seen the author, the narrator and the actor in the A&E Series. But every time I pictured Walt clearly in my mind I saw the actor Ralph Waite (primarily known for playing John Boy's father in the TV series The Walton's). All old friends, all coming to visit by way of Wyoming.
Personality. Rhythm. Credibility.
In the second book, Death Without Company, Walt refers to some "delusional episodes" during the first big blizzard of the year, which takes place in The Cold Dish. Mr. Guidall makes the scene real. Whether you choose to believe that it was a hypothermia-induced hallucination or that the Old Cheyenne protected Walt and his friend and gave them both beyond-human endurance and stamina, it can be accepted either way. And granted, the proper words have to be there to be played, but they could have been presented in a manner that made the experience silly instead of invigorating.
"The Gift of the Song" section reminded me of my favorite chapter of the Silmarillion by J. R.R. Tolkien, The Music of the Ainur. I've listened to Martin Shaw read that part over and over again for 20-odd years, and some of the evens too! I really want to say sing it, because Shaw makes Eru's gift of a mighty theme to the Ainur soar just a George Guidall does for Johnson's Gift to us.
You'd have to have a rock for a heart not to be affected by the denouement.
This single statement has made me a Craig Johnson fan for life. It is representative of the depth of the work and the kind of book I want to read. The sociopolitical implications behind this quotation are a lesson I will remember for the rest of my life:
"On the afternoon of June 25th, 1876, as the heat waves rolled from the buffalo grass, giving the impression of a breeze that did not exist, Colonel George Armstrong Custer and five companies of the Seventh Cavalry rode into the valley of the Little Big Horn. Also that afternoon, Davey Force, a pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics, went six for six against Chicago, who scored four runs in the ninth to pull out a 14 to 13 victory."
Perfect narration, as ever, from George Guidall.
As Walt Longmire struggles with grief, alcohol and a police force that's either competent and irascible or neither, he somehow rises. He links with his community, Indian mysticism and long-hidden secrets to figure out who's killing some young men who richly deserve it.
Walt has credible relationships and shortcomings even as he's brave and relentless on the way to saving a friend and finding a killer. I was sad to see it end.
Great story telling. With Mr. G doing the narration this more like sitting around the fire on a cold winter night with a great story teller. I really enjoyed all the characters in this book. Walt's relationships with each one is unique, but the bond between Walt and Bear is outstanding. Loved the voices Mr. G uses for Walt and Bear. Having been in or at least through many places spoken of in the book was really fun for me. Love Bear's Rez Rocket. In this series you will get a good picture of what life IS really like on reservations with a murder mystery thrown in for good measure. Oh BTW, be prepared to laugh out loud at the barbs these characters throw at each other. Just totally enjoyable.
This book was a new path for me: I have never heard anything by this author. As my husband is a retired policeman, the main figure appealed to me. And I guess since I am in the "middle age" range, it was kind of nice having a hero-central figure that was more than just out of puberty!
I enjoyed the combination of the geographical setting, the Native American involvement, and the story-line as a whole. The narration was superb!! I could so easily visualize these characters, especially Walt, because of Mr. Guidall's skill at narration.
Yes, there were times I needed to rewind, but I need to do that on all the selections I listen to as I am not just sitting in a chair listening. Who is? I am driving or gardening or doing laundry... and I get distracted. I rewind and relisten because I want to know what I missed! And there was a lot I wanted to know about in this story.
Very enjoyable. I am anxious to listen to his other writings.
ELLE aka PlantCrone of the Great Pacific Northwest. I enjoy almost every genre-S/F, Action, Biographies and Histories & Romance
I'm not much of a T.V. watcher, but listening to these books (I've now downloaded ALL of them) has driven me to the damn boob tube to get more of Longmire.
As a former Wyoming resident, I love seeing the high plains-even though they are filmed in New Mexico, not Wyoming..the feeling is the same.
I recently watched an episode of History Detectives that went thru the mapping of the southwest following the Mexican-American War and learned a lot about the history of this beautiful, if stark, land. Not that that has anything to do with the books, but it adds to the enjoyment of it. Theres a lot of un-commented on back story in the Southwest that is interesting to know.
The fantastic George Guidall does his usual wonderful job of expressing the character in the story-he can do NO wrong.
I really recommend this series to those that want tight plot lines, terse writing and a bit of romance in their mysteries. It's not Tony Hillerman, but then Hillerman isn't available on Audible-which is a real shame.
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