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by Craig Johnson
Viking, June 2008
304 pages
ISBN: 0670018619

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

We are all products of our past, but every once in a while, long-buried memories come forward and influence our present lives. Such is the case for Walt Longmire, sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming, who finds himself experiencing flashbacks to his time in Saigon when a Vietnamese woman is found murdered next to a local highway. The victim, Ho Thi Paquet, was carrying a picture of Walt and a barmaid taken in 1968 in Vietnam. While in Nam, Walt was a close friend of a woman named Mai Kim who was a hostess at the Boy-Howdy Beau-Coups Good Times Lounge and who was brutally murdered. Is there a connection between these two deaths, occurring almost forty years apart?

The prime suspect in Ho's murder is Virgil White Buffalo, a 7-foot Indian who has been living in a nearby culvert. Ho's purse is found near Virgil. After learning more about Virgil's miserable life, Walt becomes convinced that he is not the perpetrator. But who is? There aren't any obvious suspects. The investigation falls to Walt and his staff, all of whom we've gotten to know in the previous three books in this series. They are being pushed to find the killer by a man claiming to be Ho's grandfather.

ANOTHER MAN'S MOCCASINS is an excellent book. The only issue I had with it was its narrative structure. There were two parallel stories running through the book, and I found the transition between present day Wyoming and the Vietnam War era jarring at times. That being said, the approach revealed a fascinating history of Walt and his best friend Henry Standing Bear which enriched my understanding of their present deep relationship.

Overall, ANOTHER MAN'S MOCCASINS is another enjoyable entry in the Longmire series. Because the law enforcement organization is so small, it's easy to get to know the main characters and follow their development through the books. I find that I really like the entire cast, as Johnson has presented them as real people with their own unique quirks and attitudes, most especially Walt, who is a much more complicated man than he first appears. Add in the Wyoming setting, the present-past story and the rich background of the Native Americans of the area, and you have a winner.

Reviewed by Maddy Van Hertbruggen, August 2008

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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