From Publishers Weekly
Johnson's sixth mystery featuring Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire (after 2009's Dark Horse
) will remind readers that a big city isn't necessary for a compelling crime story and enduring hero. One blizzardy February day, Walt and his deputies—Victoria Moretti and Santiago Saizarbitoria—visit the Durant, Wyo., dump, owned by the Stewart family, to investigate a severed thumb found in a discarded cooler. There they discover that the Stewart family patriarch, George, was almost killed after someone dragged him behind a '68 Toronado. Walt winds up playing peacemaker between the cantankerous Stewarts, longtime Durant residents, and the owner of a new housing development bordering the junkyard. When a search of the dump unearths a surprising side business and two deaths follow, Walt realizes he has bigger problems on his hands. Series fans as well as newcomers will cheer the laconic Walt every step of the way. 8-city author tour. (June)
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*Starred Review* After a severed thumb turns up at the dump outside of Durant, Wyoming, Sheriff Walt Longmire ignores the fact that someone has claimed it. He needs a mystery to keep Deputy Santiago Saizarbitoria, who’s suffering from “bullet fever,” on the job until he can think of a way to keep him from quitting. It’s just that sort of kindness that defines Longmire, whose unwillingness to assume the worst leads to him getting pepper-sprayed, bit in the ass, and very nearly shot. Like any good mystery, this depends less on the plot than its depiction of interesting people in an interesting place. But, as the story ambles along, with Walt taking a lot of ragging from the people who work for him (including ex–Philly cop and love interest Victoria Moretti), the severed thumb points the way through a surprisingly twisty mystery that involves junkmen, land developers, and a creepy ex-convict. And, as he proved in last year’s terrific Dark Horse, Johnson—a born storyteller if ever there was one—can do one hell of a set piece in a snowstorm (even with a limping, overweight sheriff). Longmire may be contemplating early retirement, but readers will demand that he serve out his full term of service—and run for reelection. --Keir Graff