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by Craig Johnson
Viking, May 2014
324 pages
ISBN: 0670026468

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

In the excellent tenth Sheriff Walt Longmire book, ANY OTHER NAME, Longmire agrees to help his ex-boss and friend Lucian discover what caused an old friend of Lucian's to commit suicide, if indeed it was suicide. The search begins with an attempt to find first one, then two, then three missing women. Longmire is out of his jurisdiction in ANY OTHER NAME, so he does not have his support system with him. He's also under significant time pressure, as his daughter is about to give birth to his first grandchild and Longmire has a plane to catch. In the course of the investigation, Longmire uncovers both an assassination ring and a human trafficking operation, survives rampaging buffalo, gunfire, and huge machinery, and brings closure to the suicide case.

There are at least two extremely suspenseful and compelling scenes, and Johnson's skill in invoking all the reader's senses truly makes these "scenes." The muffled sound of one, taking place in snow and fog, and the cacophonous rattle of the other, taking place on a train, are matched by the visuals created in the reader's mind. The words on the page, as masterfully written as they are, disappear as the reader finds him or herself completely transported. This is one of Johnson's greatest skills, but it is matched by his characterization.

Walt Longmire is a fully developed character in each book of the series. I started reading this series in the middle, and have both gone back to read the earlier books and kept up with the new ones. Because Longmire is such a strong character, and thanks to Johnson's ongoing development of his psyche, a reader can jump into the series at any point and get to know Sheriff Walt Longmire. Supporting characters are not as well fleshed-out from book to book, so the faithful series reader is rewarded by understanding relationships between those characters and Longmire as they have developed over the course of the series.

ANY OTHER NAME lives up to the promise of the previous books in the Longmire series. At the same time, it reintroduces a villain from an earlier book, providing a glimpse into a possible direction for a future book. A reader new to the series could enjoyably enter the series with this, the tenth. Then a trip back to the beginning with A COLD DISH will be in order.

Sharon Mensing is the Head of School of Emerald Mountain School, an independent school in the mountains of Colorado, where she lives, reads, and enjoys the outdoors.

Reviewed by Sharon Mensing, May 2014

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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