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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

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Story

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  • Story

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • George
  • United States
  • 04-01-13

Brilliant, but Overdone

The book is about one lawman's search for a very bad man. But the search is mixed with Indian lore and the limits of endurance on a snow covered mountain. It seems long and drawn out, even while it is making a lot of interesting points. There is a lot of discussion of The Inferno, which is not the sort of thing you find in most mysteries. Credit to the author for writing something very original, and trying to lay bare the human soul.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Walt is such a stubborn man...

Why do I like this? It's like a very long description of snow, blizzards, winds, snow, cliffs, rocks, snow, bad guys, snow, good guys, snow, snow and more snow... followed with a very large dollop of spiritualism.

Longmire should never have gone ahead to chase the bad guys - but we aren't actually surprised that he did. He shouldn't have survived several number of events, but we aren't surprised that he did. He's like an understated superman - complete with mystic sidekicks (are they real? are they spirits?)... he gets the job done and, even though logically he should not be able to, we all know that he will... and we are content with that.

That's the key I guess: lots of books have human superhumans (or superhuman humans?)... see James Bond, Mark Greaney's Grey Man, Jack Reacher, and etc., and we are okay in accepting that Walt falls into this category, even if the setting, story and plot are completely different from where you usually find these kinds of heroes.

If you didn't like the other books in the series, you won't like this one. And, while you don't need to know what went on in the other stories in order to follow this one, you really do need to know Walt to appreciate it. The narration is spot on. There isn't any graphic content.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathy
  • North Port, Florida, United States
  • 07-14-11

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!!!!

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Dave
  • Stillwater Lake, NS, Canada
  • 06-19-11

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.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • Reno, NV, United States
  • 06-18-17

A darker story than usual

It’s the only book (so far) that the TV show has based an episode on so I knew what was going to happen, but it was still really good. You could call it magic realism or exposure-related hallucinations, but Longmire chases a serial killer up a mountain in a snowstorm and not everything that happens is real. There's just the right amount of humor to keep everything from being too bleak. Grade: A-

Perfect narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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This is my favorite so far!

Would you listen to Hell Is Empty again? Why?

Yes. The particular Johnson storyline of Walt Longmire as sheriff has an underlying spiritual theme to it.

What did you like best about this story?

The underlying spiritual theme to the story.

What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He helps pictures to develop in my mind by the description he gives to the scenes as well as to the characters.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Walt discovered that the older Indian who had been with him on the trail to find the escapee had been dead for a while.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful