Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Dark Horse

by Craig Johnson
318 pgs   (Longmire Series #5)

There is no question as to whether Mary Barsad is guilty of shooting and killing her husband Wade. Wade had burned down their barn with Mary's prized horses trapped inside and Mary was found next to his body, holding the gun used to kill him, and incoherently mumbling and saying she killed him. But when Mary is transferred to Sheriff Walt Longmire's jail for a time because of overcrowding in the neighboring county, Walt begins to doubt the validity of the facts surrounding the seemingly open-and-shut case, as well as Mary's confession to the murder. Operating outside his jurisdiction, Walt tries to go undercover as an insurance agent in the small town where the crime took place, hoping to resolve his doubts and uncover the truth.

The fifth book in author Craig Johnson's Longmire mystery series, The Dark Horse adds another layer to each of Johnson's main characters: Sheriff Walt Longmire, his deputy Victoria "Vic" Moretti, and Walt's lifelong friend, Henry Standing Bear. Alone, each of them could be the central character in a book or series of books. The fact that they're all together as an ensemble in one series, ensures that each book is highly enjoyable and the type of book that you hate to see end each time.

I don't know why, but I'm repeatedly surprised and impressed with how good of a writer Johnson is. I think I subconsciously don't expect books this well written, to come from someone who lives in one of the most rural towns in Wyoming. I really should know better by now. These books are entertaining, smart, eloquent, and a lot of fun to read.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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