03 January 2010

Flashbacks as bad as the present

When I was shopping a few weeks ago at the Carleton bookstore discount day, I picked up another mystery by Craig Johnson. Back in November, when I read Death without Company, I was intrigued, but not sold on Johnson's writing. But I thought it was worth reading another.

So, I bought Another Man's Moccasins, "the fourth book in Craig Johnson's award-winning Walt Longmire series..."

This one was better. It's a complex story that begins in Vietnam in 1968, involves some post-traumatic stress, and concludes in northern Wyoming's Absaroka County in the early 21st century. Johnson tells the story well. The flashbacks to '68 are vivid and detailed. The investigation of the death of Vietnamese woman in northern Wyoming, who had a 40-year-old photo of Sheriff Longmire in her pocket, lurches along, as I imagine things do in real life (not like the smooth, budget-free sailing in 48-minute TV episodes).

I came to like and care about the main characters in this story. Maybe they're more realistic by this fourth novel. (Death without Company was the second.)

This book gets at least one Heart of Gold for improbabilities, but they are in the set up of the plot, not the events. That makes them more forgivable to me.

So, I recommend this one. If you read it, let us know what you think. Write and tell this little bit of the world how you responded to it.

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