A murder victim might connect to Walt’s past in the fourth Longmire novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Land of Wolves
When the body of a young Vietnamese woman is discovered alongside the interstate in Wyoming's Absaroka County, Sheriff Walt Longmire finds only one suspect, Virgil White Buffalo, a Crow with a troubling past. In what begins as an open-and-shut case, Longmire gets a lot more than he bargained for when a photograph in the young woman's purse connects her to an investigation that Longmire tackled forty years ago as a young Marine investigator in Vietnam.
In the fourth book in Craig Johnson's award-winning Walt Longmire series, the though yet tender sheriff is up to his star in a pair of murders connected by blood, yet separated by forty haunted years.
About the Author
Craig Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Longmire mysteries, the basis for the hit Netflix original series Longmire. He is the recipient of the Western Writers of America Spur Award for fiction, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award for fiction, the Nouvel Observateur Prix du Roman Noir, and the Prix SNCF du Polar. His novella Spirit of Steamboat was the first One Book Wyoming selection. He lives in Ucross, Wyoming, population twenty-five.
Read an Excerpt
Taken from Chapter 1
Cady looked at me but didn’t say anything.
It had been like this for the last week. We’d reached a plateau, and she was satisfied with the progress she’d made. I wasn’t. The physical therapist at University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia had warned me that this might happen. It wasn’t that my daughter was weak or lazy; it was far worse than that—she was bored.
“I heard you. . . .” She plucked at her shorts and avoided my eyes. “Your voice; it carries.”
I placed an elbow on my knee, chin on fist, sat farther back on the sit-up bench, and glanced around. We weren’t alone. There was a kid in a Durant Quarterback Club T-shirt who was trying to bulk up his 145-pound frame at one of the Universal machines. I’m not sure why he was up here—there were no televisions, and it wasn’t as fancy as the main gym downstairs. I understood all the machines up here—you didn’t have to plug any of them in—but I wondered about him; it could be that he was here because of Cady.
The kid snickered, and I looked at him. I glanced back at my daughter. This was good; anger sometimes got her to finish up, even if it cost me the luxury of conversation for the rest of the evening. It didn’t matter tonight; she had a dinner date and then had to be home for an important phone call. I had zip. I had all the time in the world.
She had cut her auburn hair short to match the spot where they had made the U-shaped incision that had allowed her swelling brain to survive. Only a small scar was visible at the hairline. She was beautiful, and the pain in the ass was that she knew it.
It got her pretty much whatever she wanted. Beauty was life’s E-ZPass. I was lucky I got to ride on the shoulder.
She picked up her water bottle and squeezed out a gulp, leveling the cool eyes back on me. We sat there looking at each other, both of us dressed in gray. She stretched a finger out and pulled the band of my T-shirt down, grazing a fingernail on my exposed collarbone. “That one?”
Just because she was beautiful didn’t mean she wasn’t smart. Diversion was another of her tactics. I had enough scars to divert the entire First Division. She had known this scar and had seen it on numerous occasions. Her question was a symptom of the memory loss that Dr. Rissman had mentioned.
She continued to poke my shoulder with the finger. “That one.”
Cady never gave up.
It was a family trait, and in our tiny family, stories were the coinage of choice, a bartering in the aesthetic of information and the athletics of emotion, so I answered her. “Tet.”
She set her water bottle down on the rubber-padded floor. “When?”
“Before you were born.”
She lowered her head and looked at me through her lashes, one cheek pulled up in a half smile. “Things happened before I was born?”
“Well, nothing really important.”
She took a deep breath, gripped the sides of the bench, and put all her effort into straightening the lever action of thirty pounds at her legs. Slowly, the weights lifted to the limit of the movement and then, just as slowly, dropped back. After a moment, she caught her breath. “Marine inspector, right?”
I nodded. “Yep.”
“It was Vietnam, and I was gonna be drafted, so it was a choice.” I was consistently amazed at what her damaged brain chose to remember.
“What was Vietnam like?”
“Confusing, but I got to meet Martha Raye.”
Unsatisfied with my response, she continued to study my scar. “You don’t have any tattoos.”
“No.” I sighed, just to let her know that her tactics weren’t working.
“I have a tattoo.”
“You have two.” I cleared my throat in an attempt to end the conversation. She pulled up the cap sleeve of her Philadelphia City Sports T-shirt, exposing the faded, Cheyenne turtle totem on her shoulder. She was probably unaware that she’d been having treatments to have it removed; it had been the exboyfriend’s idea, all before the accident. “The other one’s on your butt, but we don’t have to look for it now.”
The kid snickered again. I turned and stared at him with a little more emphasis this time.
“Bear was in Vietnam with you, right?”
She was smiling as I turned back to her. All the women in my life smiled when they talked about Henry Standing Bear. It was a bit annoying, but Henry was my best and lifelong friend, so I got over it. He owned the Red Pony, a bar on the edge of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, only a mile from my cabin, and he was the one who was taking Cady to dinner. I wasn’t invited. He and my daughter were in cahoots. They had pretty much been in cahoots since she had been born.
“Henry was in-country, Special Operations Group; we didn’t serve together.”
“What was he like back then?”
I thought about it. “He’s mellowed, a little.” It was a frightening thought. “Two more?”
Her gray eyes flashed. “One more.”
I smiled. “One more.”
Cady’s slender hands returned to the sides of the bench, and I watched as the toned legs once again levitated and lowered the thirty pounds. I waited a moment, then lumbered up and placed a kiss at the horseshoe-shaped scar and helped her stand. The physical progress was moving ahead swimmingly, mostly due to the advantages of her stellar conditioning and youth, but the afternoon workouts took their toll, and she was usually a little unsteady by the time we finished.
I held her hand and picked up her water and tried not to concentrate on the fact that my daughter had been a fast-track, hotshot lawyer back in Philly only two months earlier and that now she was here in Wyoming and was trying to remember that she had tattoos and how to walk without assistance.
We made our way toward the stairwell and the downstairs showers. As we passed the kid at the machine, he looked at Cady admiringly and then at me. “Hey, Sheriff ?”
I paused for a moment and steadied Cady on my arm. “Yep?”
“J.P. said you once bench-pressed six plates.”
I continued looking down at him. “What?”
He gestured toward the steel plates on the rack at the wall. “Jerry Pilch? The football coach? He said senior year, before you went to USC, you bench-pressed six plates.” He continued to stare at me. “That’s over three hundred pounds.”
“Yep, well.” I winked. “Jerry’s always had a tendency to exaggerate.”
“I thought so.”
I nodded to the kid and helped Cady down the steps. It’d been eight plates, actually, but that had been a long time ago.
My shower was less complicated than Cady’s, so I usually got out before her and waited on the bench beside the Clear Creek bridge. I placed my summer-wear palm-leaf hat on my head, slipped on my ten-year-old Ray-Bans, and shrugged the workout bag’s strap farther onto my shoulder so that it didn’t press my Absaroka County sheriff’s star into my chest. I pushed open the glass door and stepped into the perfect fading glory of a high-plains summer afternoon. It was vacation season, creeping up on rodeo weekend, and the streets were full of people from somewhere else.
I took a left and started toward the bridge and the bench. I sat next to the large man with the ponytail and placed the gym bag between us. “How come I wasn’t invited to dinner?”
The Cheyenne Nation kept his head tilted back, eyes closed, taking in the last warmth of the afternoon sun. “We have discussed this.”
“It’s Saturday night, and I don’t have anything to do.”
“You will find something.” He took a deep breath, the only sign that he wasn’t made of wood and selling cigars. “Where is Vic?”
“Firearms recertification in Douglas.”
I thought about my scary undersheriff from Philadelphia; how she could outshoot, outdrink, and outswear every cop I knew, and how she was now representing the county at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy. I was unsure if that was a positive thing. “Yep, not a safe weekend to be in Douglas.”
He nodded, almost imperceptibly. “How is all that going?”
I took a moment to discern what “all that” might mean. “I’m not really sure.” He raised an eyelid and studied me in a myopic fashion. “We seem to be having a problem getting in sync.” The eyelid closed, and we sat there as a silence passed. “Where are you going to dinner?”
“I am not going to tell you.”
His face remained impassive. “We have discussed this.”
We had—it was true. The Bear had expressed the opinion that for both of our mental healths, it might be best if Cady and I didn’t spend every waking hour in each other’s company. It was difficult, but I was going to have to let her out of my sight sometime. “In town or over in Sheridan?”
“I am not going to tell you.”
I was disconcerted by the flash of a camera and turned to see a woman from somewhere else smile and continue down the sidewalk toward the Busy Bee Café, where I would likely be having my dinner, alone. I turned to look at Henry Standing Bear’s striking profile. “You should sit with me more often; I’m photogenic.”
“They were taking photographs with a greater frequency before you arrived.”
I ignored him. “She’s allergic to plums.”
“I’m not sure if she’ll remember that.”
I thought about that advisory and came clean. “I let her have a glass of red wine last weekend.”
I turned and looked at him. “She told you?”
Cahoots. I had a jealous inkling that the Bear was making more progress in drawing all of Cady back to us than I was.
I stretched my legs and crossed my boots; they were still badly in need of a little attention. I adjusted my gun belt so that the hammer of my .45 wasn’t digging into my side. “We still on for the Rotary thing on Friday?”
Rotary was sponsoring a debate between me and prosecuting attorney Kyle Straub; we were the two candidates for the position of Absaroka County sheriff. After five elections and twenty-four sworn years, I usually did pretty well at debates but felt a little hometown support might be handy, so I had asked Henry to come. “Think of it as a public service—most Rotarians have never even met a Native American.”
That finally got the one eye to open again, and he turned toward me. “Would you like me to wear a feather?”
“No, I’ll just introduce you as an Injun.”
Cady placed her hand on my shoulder and leaned over to allow the Cheyenne Nation to bestow a kiss on her cheek. She was wearing blue jeans and a tank top with, I was pleased to see, the fringed, concho-studded leather jacket I’d bought for her years ago. It could still turn brisk on July nights along the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains.
She jostled the hat on my head and dropped her gym bag on top of mine. She turned to Henry. “Ready?”
He opened his other eye. “Ready.”
He rose effortlessly, and I thought if I got it in quick that maybe I’d get an answer. “Where you going?”
She smiled as the Bear came around the back of the bench and took her elbow. “I’m not allowed to tell you.”
Cady’s current love interest, Vic’s younger brother, was supposed to be flying in from Philadelphia on Tuesday for a Wild West vacation. I still hadn’t gotten a straight answer as to with whom he was staying. “Don’t forget that Michael is calling.”
She shook her head as they walked past me, pausing to lift my hat and plant a kiss on the crown of my head. “I know when he’s calling, Daddy. I’ll be home long before then.” She shoved my hat down, hard.
I readjusted and watched as they crossed the sidewalk, where Henry helped her into Lola, his powder-blue ’59 T-Bird convertible. The damage I’d done to the classic automobile was completely invisible due to the craftsmanship of the body men in South Philly, and I watched as the Wyoming sun glistened on the Thunderbird’s flanks. I had a moment of hope that they wouldn’t get going when the starter continued to grind, but the aged Y-Block caught and blew a slight fantail of carbon into the street. He slipped her into gear, and they were gone.
As usual, I got the gym bags, and he got the girl.
I considered my options. There was the plastic-wrapped burrito at the Kum-and-Go, the stuffed peppers at the Durant Home for Assisted Living, a potpie from the kitchenette back at the jail, or the Busy Bee Café. I gathered up my collection of bags and hustled across the bridge over Clear Creek before Dorothy Caldwell changed her mind and turned the sign, written in cursive, hanging on her door.
“Not the usual?”
She poured my iced tea and looked at me, fist on hip. “You didn’t like it last time?”
I struggled to remember but gave up. “I don’t remember what it was last time.”
“Is Cady’s condition contagious?”
I ignored the comment and tried to decide what to order. “I’m feeling experimental. Are you still offering your Weekend Cuisines of the World?” It was an attempt on her part to broaden the culinary experience of our little corner of the high plains.
“Where, in the world, are we?”
It didn’t take me long to respond. “I’ll pass.”
“It’s really good.”
I weaved my fingers and rested my elbows on the counter. “What is it?”
“Chicken with lemongrass.” She continued to look at me.
“That’s where I got the recipe.”
I withered under her continued gaze. “All right.”
She busied herself in the preparation of the entree, and I sipped my tea. I glanced around at the five other people in the homey café but didn’t recognize anyone. I must have been thirsty from watching Cady work out, because a third of the glass was gone in two gulps. I set it back on the Formica, and Dorothy refilled it immediately. “You don’t talk about it much.”
I nodded as she put the tan plastic pitcher on the counter next to me. I turned my glass in the circular imprint of its condensation. “It’s funny, but it came up earlier this afternoon.” I met her eyes under the silver hair. “Cady asked about the scar on my collarbone, the one from Tet.”
She nodded slightly. “Surely she’s seen that before?”
Dorothy took a deep breath. “It’s okay, she’s doing better every day.” She reached out and squeezed my shoulder just at said scar. “But, be careful. . . .” She looked concerned.
I looked up at her. “Why?”
“Visitations like those tend to come in threes.”
I watched as she took the tea and refilled some of the other customers. I thought about Vietnam, thought about the smell, the heat, and the dead.
Excerpted from "Another Man's Moccasins"
Copyright © 2009 Craig Johnson.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
What People are Saying About This
" Stellar . . . Full of crackling dialogue, this absorbing tale demonstrates that Longmire is still the sheriff in town."
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
" An insightful look at various forms of racism, human trafficking, and confronting your own prejudices."
-Detroit Free Press
Reading Group Guide
"No matter what aspect of law enforcement with which you might be involved, there's always one job you dread," Walt Longmire says near the beginning of Another Man's Moccasins. "For the Western sheriff it's always been the body dump. . . . There you stand by some numbered roadway with a victim, no ID, no crime scene, no suspects, nothing." In this case, it is, incongruously enough: a young Vietnamese woman found murdered along a highway in Absaroka County, Wyoming. And Walt is baffled.
No suspects present themselves at first, but soon enough, Walt is assailed by one. Poking through the brush, he is attacked by what at first appears to be a wild animal but turns out to be something slightly more ferocious—Virgil White Buffalo—a seven-foot tall Crow Indian living in a culvert who appears to be in possession of the dead woman's purse. Despite the evidence and proximity to the crime scene, however, Virgil seems an unlikely suspect. To make matters more complicated, Walt discovers a hauntingly familiar photo in the victim's purse. It shows a woman who looks very much like someone he knew when he was serving in Vietnam. It also shows a man who resembles, and indeed is, a young Walt Longmire. This photo, coupled with the fact that the victim is Vietnamese, that Virgil White Buffalo is a Vietnam vet, and that a Vietnamese man, Tran Van Tuyen, shows up in a local bar, sets in motion a series of reveries in which Walt recalls his first murder case, when he was a Marine investigator in Vietnam. The novel moves deftly back and forth between these parallel timeframes, as the past intrudes upon the present and the cases overlap in uncanny, and uncomfortable, ways.
Like all of Craig Johnson's novels, Another Man's Moccasins investigates not just a particular murder, or murders, but the large social issues that give rise to such crimes. In this case, it is primarily prostitution and human trafficking that set the wheels in motion. But on an ever deeper level the novel explores the tensions between the worst and best aspects of human nature. Though the novel does not lend itself to easy moralizing, it clearly juxtaposes two value systems—one based on greed and selfishness, and the other on loyalty and a deep sense of justice. Walt's own morality is built upon loyalty not only to the living but to the dead, and on his desire to be fair to everyone he encounters—even those who, like Virgil White Buffalo, have tried to harm him. Over the course of the novel, however, Walt is forced to ask himself whether or not he is in fact guilty of racial prejudice. That inner investigation provides a compelling counterpart to the outer search for the killer who is at work in Absaroka County. And with consummate skill, and a relentless nose for the truth, Walt finds the answers to both.
A CONVERSATION WITH CRAIG JOHNSON
Q. In an earlier interview you said injustice is the "burr under your saddle" that motivates you to write. What injustice prompted you to write Another Man's Moccasins?
About 14,000 people, usually women and children, are trafficked into the United States for use in an industry that is third only to arms dealing and drugs as one of the most profitable global commodities. Prostitution is a multi-billion-dollar industry in which women and children, desperate for a better life, are abducted and routinely raped, beaten, and sometimes killed. Their stories are so horrific that I didn't have to fictionalize them. I just needed to change the names to protect the innocent, as it were.
Q. Why did you choose to make the parallel story of Walt's investigation in Vietnam so prominent in this book?
Déjà vu all over again. It seems as though a lot of the problems that confronted us in Vietnam continue to face us today, so that is surely a reason to have Vietnam play such an important role. And I figured those years were formative for Walt and explain a lot of the choices that he made, and still makes. I wanted to carry the immediacy of those scenes within the novel, so I thought that if I could think of another crime that took place in the present that was connected to the one that Walt had solved in Vietnam in 1968, I'd be able to push that immediacy. The problem was to do that without it seeming contrived.
Q. During the course of the novel, Walt references Shakespeare, Dante, Virgil, Tennessee Williams, and Harper Lee. He is also a fine pianist and serviceable chess player. Why is it important that Walt have this level of cultural sophistication? Is he a better detective because of it?
I think what you're referring to are symptoms of an active mind. Unlike us, Walt doesn't like mysteries, and that's why he's so good at his job. Another factor is that the books are written in the first person. Would you want to spend three hundred pages in the head of a dullard? Walt may also have just a touch of the Renaissance in him, which reflects my belief that modern mystery readers expect a great deal more than what has been presented historically. They anticipate social conscience, full character development, history, and humor, just to name a few. These things would be difficult to convey in a character unaware of the world around them.
Q. Your vision of the West, and of human nature, is quite different from that of a writer like Cormac McCarthy. Do you see yourself ultimately as an optimist or an idealist?
An idealist possibly, but an optimist, definitely. I guess I subscribe to what Abraham Lincoln used to refer to as "the better angels of our nature." After what I've seen, I feel compelled to have a strong belief in human beings, and that the survival of our species might be indebted to the fact that we are at our best when things are at their worst.
Q. Would you say that your novels present an ideal of community and of the values necessary for a healthy community? Do you think this ideal is achievable in the real world?
I'm not sure if young women are left dead along the roadsides in what I would consider an ideal community, but I see what you're getting at. My beliefs are pretty simple along those lines: If we all look out for each other, we won't have to look out for ourselves. And yes, I do think it's achievable. There is chaos in the universe, and so many of our human conventions are designed to hold that in check, to provide order where there is none. I don't write to display that anarchical given, but I concern myself with the ways we defend ourselves against it with love, hope, and law. The negative aspects of our natures are easy enough to highlight, but the positive ones are more ephemeral and, inevitably, more enlightening.
Q. Virgil White Buffalo is a very compelling character in the novel, even though he utters only a few brief sentences. What drew you to make him part of the story?
My ranch is near the Northern Cheyenne and Crow reservations, and I've said before that Western writers who choose to leave the Indians out of their work are doing themselves a great injustice. There are so many wonderful things to say about the Crow, about their intelligence, humor, and spirituality; but another thing you can say is that a few of them really took to carbohydrates. Suffice to say that when it came time to build my barn and I couldn't afford a tractor, I went and got my friend, Daryl Pretty-On-Top.
With Virgil, I was looking at Walt and Henry's Vietnam experiences through a glass darkly—looking to see what they would've become without all the safety nets. Then the question became, how could this character survive, and what would society do with him?
Q. Has your relationship to the characters in the Walt Longmire mysteries changed over the course of four books? Has your writing process changed in any way?
I think that one of the joys in writing or reading a series is the ability to get to know the characters over a longer arc than a single book can provide. The lifeblood of any series is the complexity of the characters, and I think you have to allow them to change and grow. Walt, Vic, and Henry have all changed over the course of four novels, and that allows them to surprise me, which in turn, might allow me to surprise the reader.
As to the process, I don't think it has changed particularly. I get up in the morning, make coffee, and start writing. To be a writer you have to write, and if you challenge yourself enough, you might even become a better one. I refer to it as the ditch-digging school of literature, and I've never heard of a ditchdigger who got a shovel in his hands and just didn't feel the ditchthat day.
- Why has Craig Johnson chosen to title the novel Another Man's Moccasins? In what ways does Walt Longmire show himself to be an empathetic person in the novel? At what moments is he able to feel, and to fully imagine, the pain of others?
- When he first questions Tuyen, Walt wonders if he is guilty of racial profiling, and at various points he asks his fellow officers if they think he is in any way racist. What are Walt's racial attitudes? Does he let himself be guided, or misguided, by racial stereotypes as he attempts to solve the murders in Another Man's Moccasins?
- The novel moves back and forth in time between Walt's drug and homicide investigations in Vietnam and the current case in Wyoming. What does the story of Vietnam add to the novel? In what ways do the plots of each story intertwine and overlap throughout the novel?
- How have Walt's experiences in Vietnam prepared him for his job as sheriff in Absaroka County, Wyoming? In what ways has he changed since Vietnam?
- Ruby tells Walt: "You do have one prejudice. . . . You don't care about the living as much as you do the dead" (p. 149). Why does she think that? To what degree, and in what way, might it be true? How do the dead influence the action of the novel?
- As Walt picks up Virgil White Buffalo's file, he thinks "about the author of The Aeneid and Dante's supposed guide through hell. I studied the folder and hoped his travels had been more pleasant. They hadn't" (p. 131). What does placing Virgil White Buffalo's life in this broader historical and literary context reveal about the way Walt's mind works? In what ways are Walt and Virgil White Buffalo alike?
- How is Walt able to solve the murders presented in the novel? What combination of intuition, experience, deductive reasoning, knowledge of human nature, and old-fashioned detective work enables him find his way to the truth?
- Troubling social issues are typically at the heart of Craig Johnson's novels—in this case, human trafficking and prostitution. What more positive traits balance out the human propensity toward deceit, violence, and greed in the novel? Is Another Man's Moccasins ultimately an affirming, optimistic book, despite its tale of murder, war, and human exploitation?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is Craig's best yet. HE just keeps getting better. He appears to be a truly gifted writer and can bring his characters alive so you feel you should know them if you run onto them somewhere. The friendship between Walt and Henry Standing Bear brings something special to the series. Well all the secondary characters are interesting and you want to hear more about them. This book has a lot of depth to it as well as some humor 'loved the paragraph of Walt carrying on a conversation with the Rattler'. Craig Johnson is one of our local authors so we in Sheridan County can feel pride for such a gifted author. Living in Sheridan, I, of course recognize so many of the locations and areas Craig talks about in his book and it makes the book more interesting when you can visualize the scenes. Several times in the book he mentions 'WE need rain' and that's a given here. You hear that phrase all summer. I know I'm looking forward to Craig's next book-maybe Longmire will find someone to share his retirement years with? :' 'not too soon because we want more books on Sheriff Longmire. I can highly reccomend 'Another Man's Moccasins' as a great read.
I've enjoyed the Longmire TV series, but felt something was missing. Now I've found it. The character created by Craig Johnson is not only real, he's every one of us who went to war, then returned home to stay at war, by going into law enforcement. This cop, tortured by his combat history and PTSD, is each of us, fighting different villains, speaking other tongues, but still trying to make it right. If you've been "over there" or know someone who was, this book is must-read.
This is the 4th book in the Longmire Mystery Series. If you are familiar with the television series, you'll find a different portrayal of Walt. The personalities of other characters are pretty much on point in these novels. Walt is truly a tormented man. He's a dedicated sheriff who is very protective of his County and it's residents. He has a staff with a wide variety of personalities. He also has a grown daughter whom he wants to shield from the evils of the world. He struggles with his daughter being an independent adult. His longtime Cheyenne friend, Henry, adds humorous lines and a depiction of what true loyalty is. Even if you aren't a Louis L'Amour type of reader, this series will even keep city slickers interested. One addicting aspect is how the mysteries are investigated and resolved. This isn't the predictable or generic city gumshoe, homicide squad, or investigativenteam with high tech resources. The reader will find themselves intrigued by Walt's deductive methods as much as the ultimate answer of "who done it". This takes place in a small, very rural town in Wyoming but digs deep into issues found in any town or big city. The characters have the strengths, struggles, flaws and frustrations that occur in the real world and are believable. Craig Johnson does an excellent job of integrating Native Americans into his books. He gives an accurate depiction of the struggles that push Native cultures to assimilate into a white society while they try to hold on to their heritage. The complexities of the region, culture and residents are expertly woven into a plot with unexpected questions and discoveries.
If you're a fan of the TV show, like I was, you'll love the books. I was initially drawn to these books after watching my way through all of the shows available on Netflix. Of course the books are much richer, and the series' actors, while great, cannot hope to portray the multi-leveled characters fleshed out in these wonderful novels. Walt and Henry have such multi-layered individual histories that have intertwined, banged into each other and diverged for about forty years as of the first book. The TV pilot is the only show that hints at the level of texture and detail in the books. Enjoy!
Enjoyed this book. Stayed up too late. Just couldn't put it down.
The caller informs 911 that a female body lies alongside the highway in Absaroka County, Wyoming. Sheriff Walt Longmire goes to investigate. There he finds the corpse of Vietnamese woman Ho Thi Paquet nearby sitting on the ground holding the victim¿s purse as if it is sacred is Native American Virgil White Buffalo. However Walt is stunned when he goes through Ho¿s personal possessions to find a photograph of him when he served as a military inspector in Nam with a Vietnamese barmaid circa 1968. Walt concludes that the obvious in which Virgil killed Ho is not what happened. He and his friend Native American Henry Standing Bear investigate by trying to follow Ho's recent journey, They are shocked when the paths the young woman took lead back to a West Coast slave trafficking ring and the sheriff¿s Vietnam duty. --- This is the fourth Longmire police procedural (see DEATH WITHOUT COMPANY, COLD DISH and KINDNESS GOES UNPUNISHED), but this reviewer¿s first based on this superb tale this reviewer will have to go back to read them. The whodunit is fun to follow, but the look back to Walt¿s war time makes for a superior read as the present connects to four decades ago. Sub-genre fans will appreciate this engaging, engrossing thriller that ties late 1960s Viet Nam and 2008 Wyoming effortlessly together. --- Harriet Klausner
Protagonist: Sheriff Walt LongmireSetting: present-day Absaroka County, WyomingSeries: #4First Line: "Two more."When the body of a young Vietnamese woman is found alongside I-25 in Absaroka County, Sheriff Walt Longmire is determined to discover both her identity and the identity of her killer. What he doesn't expect is for this case to force him to confront the similarities between this case to his first homicide investigation as a Marine in Vietnam. To further complicate matters (because we all know nothing ever runs smoothly for Walt), a homeless Crow Indian is found living in a nearby culvert and in possession of the murdered girl's purse. An open-and-shut case, right? Not to Walt. He doesn't believe Virgil White Buffalo is a murderer, and he's wondering why the murdered girl had a photo of Walt in her purse.Flashbacks to Walt's first investigation in Vietnam are woven throughout the present case. At first those flashbacks annoyed me a bit, but that rapidly wore off as I realized they gave me a glimpse of Walt as a young man--at how he perceived the world and those around him, and at how he reacted to being so far away from home. Walt isn't very different from that young man in a strange country back in 1968. Experience has weathered him a bit, but he's still a man who's concerned with the welfare of others. "You cannot correct the path he has chosen; it is his path. The only thing you can do is not punish him for something he has not done." "I'm not looking to punish him, Henry, but there's got to be something better for the man than living under I-25." His face remained impassive as he answered. "Perhaps, but that is something for him to discover, not for you to give him." We walked along. "Well, maybe I can help." The Bear smiled. "I know. This is not the first set of moccasins in which you have walked."Walt Longmire has a long-standing habit of walking a mile in another person's moccasins. It is one of the many reasons why he's become one of my favorite characters in fiction.
This is the fourth book in the excellent series featuring Walt Longmire, Sheriff of a small town in Wyoming and Vietnam veteran. A Vietnamese girl's body is found dumped in a ditch along the highway, and Walt has to find out who she is and why she was carrying his picture. The story is interspersed with Walt's memories of his time in Vietnam. An excellent story, with complex characters, that will keep you guessing.
ANOTHER MAN'S MOCCASINS, the fourth book in Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire series, finds Walt looking back at his experiences in Vietnam after a Vietnamese woman is found murdered in Absaroka County. Two murder investigations, forty years apart, play out as the novel oscillates back and forth between 1960s Vietnam and present-day Wyoming.In present-day Wyoming the Vietnamese woman is found dead along the interstate and Virgil White Buffalo is living in culvert in the same vicinity. Virgil is also in possession of the woman's purse. However, Walt isn't convinced that Virgil killed the woman.In 1960s Vietnam, Walt is a Marine investigator sent to Tan Son Nhut to investigate a possible drug operation: a soldier had died of a drug overdose on a chopper out of that base. While there, Walt befriends Mai Kim. It is determined that Mai Kim is somehow connected to the dead woman found in Wyoming because of the picture the dead woman is carrying around in her purse. Walt's task in present-day Wyoming is to solve the murder and find the connection.Craig Johnson's gift of developing characters that readers can connect with only seems to grow stronger with each book he writes. In ANOTHER MAN'S MOCCASINS we see a new dimension in Walt. As in KINDNESS GOES UNPUNISHED we saw a deeper and closer look at Walt's connection to his family, in AMM we are privy to that deeper, closer look at Walt's past, adding another layer to an already dynamic character. Also adding to Walt's layers is his relationship with Vic. The emotions he battles internally in regards to Vic continue to define the character most of us have grown to love. Walt also deals with internal conflict when it comes to his daughter Cady who is in Wyoming while she rehabs. His insecurities dealing with both women reveal the human-ness in Walt. Those insecurities help make Walt real and allow readers to connect with him, sympathize and empathize. I also think they are what draw folks to ask Johnson for Walt's phone number!ANOTHER MAN'S MOCCASINS is filled with Johnson's signature humor and heart-wrenching emotion. Simply put Craig Johnson has written another exquisite book. His knack for capturing the extraordinary in what might otherwise be considered ordinary is spot on. His characters don't need to have super-hero strength or MENSA IQ levels. Instead Johnson creates the everyday heroes so perfectly that we believe they truly must exist somewhere outside the pages of his books. If you have not picked up one of Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire books, treat yourself to a reading experience unlike no other, just don't expect Walt and gang to remain on the pages of the book once you close the covers. They will be with you for a long time after.I listened to ANOTHER MAN'S MOCCASINS on audio book as I drove to Pennsylvania for Craig Johnson's book event. It was again read by George Guidall, who has read the previous three books as well. I have compared Guidall's readings of the Walt Longmire series to Mark Hammer's readings of the Dave Robicheaux series. Guidall's voice will forever be Walt's voice in my mind. He's simply perfect for the role. What makes him exceptional, however, is his knack with Johnson's humor. I was in tears when Vic was acting like an Asian prostitute, and that was largely due to Guidall's reading of the scene. Guidall also sets the tempo perfectly to what the scene demands, especially when he's reading for Henry; he's never overly dramatic and he never misses the sarcasm. It is a treat to listen to Guidall read a Walt Longmire novel. So, go ahead, indulge!
Always a good read.
Great Sheriff!! I really enjoy the suspense the twist. But I love the sparing & sense of humor. I always find the unexpected humor. Makes the story more fun and alive. This was my fourth novel now off to read the next one on the list of novels.
Will introduce you to one of the best Longmire characters yet!
I've mentioned in previous reviews that the show is true to the books in the same way that Midsomer Murders was true to Caroline Graham's books: the show captures the essence of the characters but takes liberties with plots, which keeps both formats fresh for viewers. I have also noted that the third book in the series, Kindness Goes Unpunished, is the book that will throw off readers who want the show and book-series to be exactly the same. Those deviations between the book-series and show continue to grow with this book. We get two cases for the price of one in this book. We see Walt in action as a young man in the Vietnam War while he's working on a case that relates to a modern-day murder back in Absaroka County, Wyoming. This passing back and forth through time allows readers insight into Walt's life that the show has yet to capture, showing us the life experiences that shaped Walt Longmire into the man the man that we know. And the show, no matter how awesome it is, can't give us the thought processes that go on in Walt's head the way that this book does - it's impossible. I wish the show could, because I love Walt in the books a lot more than I love Walt on the show.
I just discovered the series, and working my way through the books The story line, the characters, and the detail background are great. The book brings the characters to life with all the baggage and history. Cannot wait to read the next book, and learn more about Walt, Henry, and Absaroka County, Wyoming.