Its September, and you know what that means – another Craig Johnson novel. Specifically, another Longmire novel featuring our favorite Absaroka County sheriff Walt Longmire, and his kick-ass deputy Vic. This year’s novel is entitled Land of Wolves, an animal that features no small role.
Land of Wolves feels like a refreshing reboot of the franchise. The depressing events of the previous books involving the Mexican drug cartels is finally over. The series jumped the shark with Walt going south of the border – but that is now in the past. Instead, Land of Wolves deals with a normal Absaroka mystery – the death of sheepherder Miguel Hernandez from Chile.
We read how Walt, tired after his many injuries sustained over the past few books once again tries to be a normal Sheriff. He goes about it with his usual clunky habits, aided by Ruby and Vic who both notice he is not himself. The investigation in what could be a suicide but is otherwise a murder proceeds only slowly. The Chilean herder worked for a Basque family that happened to be the same to whom Walt’s former boss list his leg to.
Land of Wolves thus delves back into some of the previous story threads laid out by author Craig Johnson. Besides the suspicious death of the herder there is also the wolf. This male wondering may or may not have killed a sheep and may or may not have eaten the lower legs of the Chilean sheep herder after his untimely demise. It is yet another mystery Walt has to deal as the whole county is in anti-wolf fever mode.
A series nearing its end?
That said, the real joy with Longmire books comes from the banter between him and his friends. Sadly, Henry is underrepresented in this novel, but Ruby and Vic more than make up for it. Walt is confronted with the fact he may not be sheriff forever. He feels old and ill while Ruby is not getting any younger either. It may be an attempt by author Craig Johnson to let his fans know he is done with the series. And I understand that if that is so. But that does not mean the flippant conversations Walt with practically everybody in the book aren’t any fun.
A final thought on Land of Wolves
Land of Wolves was a very enjoyable outing for Walt, one that fans of the series will absolutely love. The story is perhaps a little bit short. I found I managed to read through in two large sessions. That said the read is obligated to pay attention, there are several concurrent story threads. I found that I was at times a little bit confused when a character was suddenly reintroduced until I read at least a few paragraphs more.
For those unfamiliar with Longmire check the TV series featuring Robert Taylor and Katee Sackhoff.
Land of Wolves can be purchased for just under 20 dollars at Amazon.com
Authors page: craigallenjohnson.com