From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. At the start of Johnson's stellar fourth mystery to feature Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire (after 2007's Kindness Goes Unpunished
), Walt responds to a call that leads to the discovery of the body of a young Vietnamese woman, Ho Thi Paquet, along an Absaroka County highway. Squatting nearby with Paquet's purse is a massive Crow Indian later identified as Virgil White Buffalo. When Walt finds a photograph of himself and a Vietnamese barmaid taken in 1968 among the victim's belongings, Walt realizes that the murder isn't as clear-cut as it appears. With the help of his longtime friend, Cheyenne Indian Henry Standing Bear, Walt retraces Paquet's steps and uncovers disturbing links to a California human trafficking ring as well as to his own past as a military inspector in Vietnam. Vivid war flashbacks give a glimpse of a younger but no less determined Walt. Full of crackling dialogue, this absorbing tale demonstrates that Longmire is still the sheriff in town. 4-city author tour. (June)
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In Kindness Goes Unpunished (2007), Absaroka County, Wyoming, Sheriff Walt Longmire took a road trip to Philadelphia. In a sense, he’s on the road this time, too, but his traveling takes place inside his head, after the discovery of the body of a young Vietnamese woman prompts memories of Walt’s first homicide investigation as a marine in Vietnam. It isn’t just the victim’s origins that send Walt down a nightmare-cluttered memory lane; found with her belongings is a picture of another Vietnamese woman, who looks strikingly like someone Walt knew very well more than 40 years earlier. Juxtaposing the current investigation against flashbacks to Vietnam, Johnson is able to reveal several new layers to the fascinating character of the aging, kindly, homespun sheriff and his best friend, Henry Standing Bear, who served with him in Vietnam. This series has distinguished itself so far with its rich portrayal of human relationships and daily life in small-town Wyoming. Those characteristics are well in evidence here, but the addition of the vivid and powerful Vietnam scenes provides a welcome jolt of frisson. --Bill Ott