• Hell Is Empty

  • A Walt Longmire Mystery
  • By: Craig Johnson
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (6,311 ratings)

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Hell Is Empty  By  cover art

Hell Is Empty

By: Craig Johnson
Narrated by: George Guidall
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Publisher's Summary

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.

Listen to all of Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire mysteries.
©2011 Craig Johnson (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC

What listeners say about Hell Is Empty

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Hang in there if you love Walt

This is not my favorite Walt Longmire. I love them all and have recently began re-reading (or, more precisely, re-listening to) the series. I am a little bit in love with Walt Longmire (as read by George Guidall) and all Johnson's characters, but this one was, finally, tiresome.

I loved the premise: prisoner escapes during transport and takes hostages with lots of side stories. But why Walt felt this obsessive/compulsive desire to pursue the psychopath - who wasn't even in his custody - into a deadly blizzard is simply not convincing.

I enjoyed, as I always do, the wonderful humor Johnson brings to these books - he can make me laugh out loud - but in this case, it disappeared fairly early on.

The plot pretty much disappeared about 1/4 of the way in and the rest of the book is just about Walt's super-human endurance (he's over 50!) aided by some fairly unbelievable coincidences ... and one dead Indian.

Gone were almost all the wonderful characters that people Absaroka County and the res and the Sheriff's department and Durant, Wyoming. All we got to read was the nearly endless, slow, suffering of SuperWalt.

By the last 4 chapters, knowing full well that Walt was going to survive (get real - Johnson isn't going to kill him off!) I really just wanted it to be over with.

And even that was disappointing. I wish Johnson had given us more of a glimpse into the actual rescue of SuperWalt and on the reactions of Cady and Vic and Henry and Sancho and Rosie and everyone else and how they dealt with him. Instead, after all the painfully intricate detail (and more detail and more detail and...) of his ordeal, everyone else gets relegated to a short epilogue in which Walt is suddenly sitting on a chair in his back yard and Cady tells him what he already knows.

Definitely not my favorite but... yeah... I finished it anyway and now will move on. I love these books.

17 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Metaphysical Sojourn!

Johnson's obsessive affection with Native American culture got away with him on this one. His writing skills are lyrically and abundantly displayed here, but this tome lacks depth and breadth. Several times I wanted to put Walt out of his misery and move on to a more complex story line. Jame Lee Burke is the Master at mixing the metaphysical with the criminal with a sense of balance that keeps one's interest riveted and Mr. Burke's crown finds no threat here, far from it. Johnson should have assigned this one to the spiritually oriented section of the bookstore or perhaps Native American Spirituality as seen through a big white man.
He also tends to want to mine deeply the English Literature degree he paid for and that is at times too clear. These things are best dovetailed into a storyline populated and made credible by the characters this series has previously brought to life. This is only 70-80 pages of a novel.

15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Mr. Johnson, please write faster!!!

I waited and waited for this book to hit Audible.com and then absolutely devoured it. About mid way through I was already mourning the fact that George/Walt (I think they're one person) and I were soon to part company again. I've decided to go back to the first book and start over. Walt is an amazing character but I really missed Vic and the Cheyenne Nation in this one :) Great series!!!!

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant!

Dante and the Big Horn Mountain, Wyoming - who would have anticipated this union? Craig Johnson does it again with his Walt Longmire series and this is one of his best. Quite an enthralling story with the Sheriff in search of a psychopathic murderer through the hellish weather of the Wyoming mountain country. You can feel the atmosphere, physically and spiritually, as the relentless Walt seeks the killer even at the high risk of killing himself.
And George Guidall IS Walt Longmire. This book like the other Johnson Longmire stories is beautifully narrated.
One very minor point - I missed the ongoing interaction among Walt, his female associate Victoria Moretti and his life-long friend, Henry Standing Bear. They are there but not so prominent as in other Longmire tales.

13 people found this helpful

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The MOST exciting and suspenseful book in the seri

oops...series. IMHO.

Full of tension and mystery, really bad guys and ghosts. Is Virgil dead? Is Walt dead? you don't know until the end.

I loved this book and George Guidell read it with all the emotion and excitement it deserved.

If you haven't read or listened to this series, DO SO.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Snowy Peaks Sizzle

One of the best combos available. George Guidall is Walt Longmire.

He has the perfect voice and inflections for a weathered Wyoming Sheriff, who finds himself caught in a spring snowstorm, high in the Cloud Peak Wilderness area while trying to roundup a group of escaped prisoners. Craig Johnson's seventh book in the series tackles not only the unpredictable weather, but leads Walt on a journey mirroring that of Dante, substituting frigid temperatures for the warmer climates of hell. Walt's guide on his mystical trail is the grandfather of a murdered child, some thirteen years earlier, Virgil White Buffalo.

If you're looking for a cool read this summer, the frozen landscapes are sure to drop the thermostat a few degrees, but I'd call it the hottest listen of the summer.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

The Great Escape meets Walking Tall

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.

8 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Disappointed

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.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Transcendental

In this seventh book in Walt Longmire series he is assigned to transport four dangerous prisoners into the hands of the FBI in the next county. After the exchange and while on his way home he discovers a bobby-pin in his sandwich. Earlier that day they had stopped for a predetermined, scheduled lunch where they all received sandwiches. Evidently there was a leak of their commute schedule and one of the prisoners girlfriend, in order to aid in their planned escape, had positioned herself as an employee at the diner. Before he can get back to where the exchange transpired, all of the agents have been shot except for the two that the convicts took with them into the snow.

Walt is not one to wait for backup so he takes off after the fugitives. The escaped prisoners, two hostages and the woman that planted the bobby pins are all headed up the face of one of the tallest mountains in Wyoming, during of course, a full blown blizzard. Walt takes one of the satellite phones with him from the scene and contacts Vic, Henry and the local police for assistance. Because of the blizzard they are all going to have a hard time getting there, so Walt is basically on his own.

In this addition to the series there is not as much interaction between the reoccurring characters, but a new, mysterious ex-convict, who is also after the group for his own reasons, joins Walt for this treacherous trek. They encounter many obstructions; wild animals, impassible terrain, uncrossable rivers, the occasional bullet, all in white out conditions. Needless to say Walt is in for quite an adventure. Another Great story from Craig Johnson and an unequaled narration from George Guidall, I never get tired of this fantastic series.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not what I have come to expect.

I love Craig Johnson's writing; this is the sixth in the Longmire series I've read. However, this story is weak; there is little mystery and even less plot. Longmire is engaged in a super-human chase of an insane criminal whose objective is unclear and, when finally revealed, is lame. Much of the book seems to take place inside Sheriff Walt's head, who is apparently hallucinating while experiencing . Johnson's strength is in character development, and I enjoyed the return of Virgil White Buffalo to Walt's life, who, I'm afraid, may have only been in Walt's mind. So, while I will read others, this didn't measure up to the level of others in the series.

I enjoyed George Guidall's reading as much as ever.

6 people found this helpful