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by Craig Johnson
Viking, June 2013
335 pages
ISBN: 067002645X

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

This ninth book in the Walt Longmire series does not disappoint. As the book opens, a young "lost boy," Cord, from a Mormon splinter group is apprehended as he fixes a town woman's plumbing. In short order, the boy's bodyguard, claiming to be a 200-year old Mormon elder, arrives in town. Longmire decides to find Cord's missing mother, which brings him into repeated conflict with the members of the polygamist group.

Henry Standing Bear, Walt's longtime friend and a Cheyenne chief, assists in the search, as Longmire seems to take pleasure in antagonizing the Mormon group. Victoria Moretti, Walt's undersheriff, provides a serious and often angry alternative perspective to Longmire's more light-hearted approach. However, as it begins to become more and more likely that Cord's mother was murdered, and it begins to appear that there is something more going on than meets the eye, Longmire becomes increasing serious himself. Huge amounts of firepower play a major role in the plot as the sheriff and his crew attempt to figure out what the Mormons are up to in their watchtowers overseeing powerful drilling equipment.

The innocence of Cord and his bodyguard, as well as that of some of the women and children of the Mormon sect, is contrasted with the world-weary evil of most of the Mormon men. The final standoff forces Longmire and Vic to come to terms with their relationship while attempting to bring justice to their small corner of the world.

There's not much not to like in a Longmire book, and this one is no exception. The characters are believably a part of the western world Johnson describes, and the plot is full of both humor and suspense. The reader comes to truly care about what happens to the characters, especially the sheriff and his undersheriff. And that's a love story that you'll want to read the book to be a part of.

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, April 2013

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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