Monday, July 9, 2012

100 Book Challenge Week 19

Book Review #37: Cold Dish (Walt Longmire Book 1)
Author: Craig Johnson
Genre: Police Thriller
Blurb: In this outstanding first novel, New York Times bestselling author Craig Johnson introduces Sheriff Walt Longmire of Wyoming’s Absaroka County. Johnson draws on his background in law enforcement and his deep attachment to the American West to produce a literary mystery of stunning authenticity, and full of memorable characters. Sheriff Walt Longmire knows he’s got trouble when Cody Pritchard is found dead. Two years earlier, Cody and three accomplices had been given suspended sentences for raping a Northern Cheyenne girl. Is someone seeking vengeance? Longmire faces the most volatile and challenging case in his twenty-four years as sheriff and means to see that revenge, a dish that is best served cold, is never served at all.

Review:  In the movies the hick town sheriffs are fat, dim-witted, and opinionated. In this book the hick town sheriff is fat, dull-witted, and open minded. However, the fat and dull-witted characteristics are as a result of his wife’s death, and as the story progresses, Sheriff Walt Longmire loses some of the fat and regains his wits.

This was a very well written human drama and police thriller all rolled into one. I love the main characters, and this small town sounds like any small town I’ve ever wanted to be in. It has mountains and lakes, diners and bars, horse ranches and cowboys. As I read I could smell the life, taste the food, feel the snowflakes. It was real and gritty, but not at all depressing, although I did get the “country blues: my-dog-bit-me,-my-wife-left-me,-and-my-truck-just-up-and-died” feeling occasionally. It just added to the ambience. In a good way.

Very enjoyable. I’d recommend this book any time. And guess what? It’s a series…

Book Review #38: Death Without Company (Walt Longmire Book 2)
Author: Craig Johnson
Genre: Police Thriller
Blurb: Johnson takes us back to the rugged landscape of Absaroka County, Wyoming, for Death Without Company. When Mari Baroja is found poisoned at the Durant Home for Assisted Living, Sheriff Longmire is drawn into an investigation that reaches fifty years into the mysterious woman's dramatic Basque past. Aided by his friend Henry Standing Bear, Deputy Victoria Moretti, and newcomer Santiago Saizarbitoria, Sheriff Longmire must connect the specter of the past to the present to find the killer among them.

Review:  Another excellent book. I was watching out for another twist-in-the-tail like the first book, but there wasn’t one. Just really good detective work, and some real life decisions that were hard and didn’t always make everyone happy. You can’t please all of the people all of the time.

Once again this book kept my attention the whole way through. The plot was plausible, the characters believable, and the writing made the story part of my life. I could almost feel myself sitting in the room, listening in to Sheriff Longmire, or running through the snow with his deputy.

I love this small town, and the small town Sheriff who feels that anyone in the County is “his” to look after. Oh, for such a feeling of security. Lucky folk! I wanna live there! Well, perhaps not. It sounds way too cold for my bones! J

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