by Craig Johnson
354 pgs (Longmire series #1)
A few years before the story in The Cold Dish begins, a young Cheyenne girl was violated by a group of teenage boys. Sheriff Walt Longmire led the investigation which had eventually led to the boys' arrests, but the judicial system failed and the boys each got off with a slap on the wrist. The book begins with the discovery of a body up in the Big Horn mountains of Wyoming. The body is that of a young man who had been shot with a high-powered rifle. It's Cody Pritchard, the leader of the group of boys who had raped the Cheyenne girl years ago.
Once again it's Walt, who along with his deputy Victoria and his friend Henry Standing Bear who have to find out who killed Cody. The list of possible suspects is quite long, but when a second boy from the group is killed by the same weapon and only a few days later, the case takes on a whole new sense of urgency as it becomes clear to Walt that revenge is being exacted and he must stop it before the remaining two boys lose their lives as well.
Right before reading this book I attended a book signing event for his latest book and was able to listen to him talk about both the books and his involvement in the TV series. I was thoroughly impressed with the man. He is funny, gregarious, boisterous, and obviously a very intelligent and well-read guy. It was obvious from listening to him that he has a great love for the part of the country he lives in and which he uses as almost another character in his writing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆