Monday, February 4, 2013

As the Crow Flies

by Craig Johnson
(Longmire series #8)

Just south of the Wyoming/Montana border, is a small town called Ucross. It's got a population of 25 or so and one of those is author Craig Johnson. As the Crow Flies is the first book by Johnson that I've ever read. I don't normally go for modern-day westerns, but this series of books featuring Walt Longmire, a rural sheriff in Wyoming, was made into a TV series on A&E called Longmire which I thought was entertaining and has me looking forward to the upcoming season 2.

I broke my own rule by not starting with the first book in the series, but I figured I knew enough about the characters and their backstories from the show, that I wouldn't have any issues jumping right in with the latest book. By and large I was correct, but I still want to go back now and read in order, the previous seven books in the series to get the whole story so far.

As the book begins, Walt and his friend Henry Standing Bear are on the Cheyenne Reservation scouting out possible locations for Walt's daughter's upcoming wedding. While there, they witness a woman plummet from the top of a nearby cliff. They're the first on the scene, and find the woman, dead from her injuries, and nearby, her baby, relatively and miraculously unharmed from the fall. The death didn't occur in Walt's jurisdiction, but Walt gets dragged into the investigation by the newly-appointed tribal police chief, Lolo Long, a woman who makes up for with her good looks, what she lacks in investigative and people skills. Walt knows that if she's ever going to be able to discover who or what caused the mother to fall, he's going to have to provide some mentoring.

Johnson writes a good story. I was intrigued and entertained by the mystery surrounding the investigation Walt takes part in. I enjoyed the characters, both those I was already familiar with from the TV series, as well as those that he introduced here. I'm looking forward to reading and watching more.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

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