Viking, 320 pages, $27.95
Sheriff Walt Longmire of Absaroka County, Wyoming, is our hero. He spouts Latin, knows his museums, and is the epitome of the Gary Cooper strong, silent type. With the imposing and wise Henry Standing Bear to watch his back, front, and side, is there any varmint who would dare challenge Walt? There are an ignorant few and they go down.
When the largest T-Rex ever found is discovered on a local ranch, it shakes the archaeological world. When Danny Lone Elk, the owner of the land upon which the discovery is made, dies a suspicious death, it shakes Walt Longmire’s world. How can he deal with this potential crime? His daughter, Cady, and granddaughter, Lola (named after Henry’s car), are due for a visit, and he doesn’t even have the Pack ’n Play assembled. What the heck is a Pack ’n Play, he wonders.
“Jen,” as this particular gigantic ancestor-of-the-chicken is called, is not just the scientific discovery of the century, it is a $$ bonanza for someone. And that’s the mystery: Who inherits Danny Lone Elk’s dinosaur now that he is dead? And is it even Danny’s dino? Suddenly Walt has the Feds, State officials, and the media breathing down his neck.
When his life becomes even more complicated after a personal tragedy, and his old friend and mentor, Lucian, almost dies, Walt once again puts his life in jeopardy with a sorry trudge into the wilderness (even if it is in a luxurious Neiman-Marcus helicopter with gigaillionaire Omar) to track down whodunnit.
It took a lot of willpower to actually read (almost) every word. How does Craig Johnson get the pace going so well? How does he know when to twist the rope a little tighter? Before you know it, you are bleary-eyed and the exhausted book is lying before you. Where’s the next one?