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As Walt searches for information about the shepherd, he comes across strange carvings on trees, as well as play money coupons from inside Mallo Cup candies, which he interprets as messages from his spiritual guide, Virgil White Buffalo. Longmire doesn't know how these little blue cards
Even more complicating, a renegade wolf has been haunting the Bighorn Mountains, and the townspeople are out for blood. With both a wolf and a killer on the loose, Longmire follows a twisting trail of evidence, leading to dark and shocking conclusions.
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Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson is a 2019 Berkley publication.
Longmire is back on familiar ground in this fifteenth installment. A complicated family situation, and the strange death of a shepherd, initially labeled as a suicide, has Longmire back at work while still recovering from the soul-crushing experience he barely survived in Mexico.
This is one of the best installments in this series I’ve read in a while. The 'arc' centered around Walt’s trip to Mexico to rescue his daughter, was very dark and gritty. I felt I was quite patient with Johnson’s off the beaten path meanderings. However, I was beyond ready to get back to Absaroka County, Wyoming!!
This mystery is interesting, and complex, as are the characterizations and motives. The wolf, and the symbolic
“In my culture, animals are celebrated as beautiful, mysterious, powerful, dangerous, and benevolent. There was a period, before we lost the ability to listen, when the animals took pity on us, protected and taught us to the point where they became human in times of need.
Johnson does set a different tone here, however, as Longmire’s previous escapades are not a distant memory, just yet. Walt presents with some classic PTSD symptoms and is often in physical discomfort. As though realizing, and accepting his limitations, readers will probably pick up on an unfamiliar fragility about Walt, but the story has an edge many of the pre-Mexico stories don’t.
I wonder if Johnson is signally readers that the series may progress into a different sort of crime story, removed from the usual cozy-like atmosphere of old. There are still a few laugh out loud moments and our favorite characters are back in their element, as well, which was so nice to see.
I thoroughly enjoyed this latest installment in the series. Although the tone is a bit gravelly, it was still a comforting return home, so to speak. Overall, this was a stellar addition to the series and I’m once again feeling very excited about the next installment!
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