Just finished The Cold Dish — the introductory novel in Craig Johnson’s now five-book Walt Longmire series. Set in present-day Wyoming, it covers new ground, literally, in a genre more dominated by urban settings. Always nice to find a new series to dig my eyeballs into, and I’ll be digging into these for sure. Johnson introduces a compelling and unexpected protagonist — Sheriff Walt Longmire. He’s not your usual stud — getting on in years, packing too many pounds, and struggling with widowerhood, the realities of political office and the vagaries of home remodelling, he comes off as a kind of everyman, but if he were, the world would be a better and more interesting place. Complete with a stock of interesting secondary characters, a new sense of place that Johnson establishes with grace and economy, all wrapped around a kick-ass story with tinges of the old west, it is a damn good read and a real departure from the genre’s mainstream. You can check out his website here (great freakin’ cover art, BTW) http://www.craigallenjohnson.com/.
And how can you not love a book that features a Sharps .45/70 Buffalo gun as murder weapon? Trajectory like a rainbow, hits like a sledgehammer indeed . . .