- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 7 hours and 39 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Recorded Books
- Audible.com Release Date: September 5, 2017
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B074Q13FT9
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Western Star Audiobook – Unabridged
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The worst aspect is the cliff hanger ending which leaves me really cold. I hate it when authors or TV shows engage in this tawdry practice to get you to follow along at your expense instead of giving you a satisfying stand alone product. I won't buy another of this series without reading a lot of reviews first to make sure he hasn't done it again.
Leaving little loose strands for recurring characters is fine, but having a major character kidnapped toward the end and leaving that unresolved until next time is really unsat.
Aside from Walt, the two best characters in the series are Henry and Vic who play insignificant roles in this one.
The romance between Walt and Vic, another wonderful feature, was deemphasized in the last book and all but disappeared in this one.
Sometimes writers just lose the spark of what made their series a hit and just start pumping out sub standard work to keep the bucks rolling in.
Stuart Woods comes to mind here. His first several books were truly terrific. Then he fell into the Stone Barrington character and descended into almost soft core porn.
The great ones, Michael Connelly, John Sandford, Robert Crais, just manage to keep them coming with no lapse in quality, nurturing the spark.
I'm starting to worry that Nelson DeMille may have started to go the way of Woods.
And this Longmire book has me thinking Craig Johnson might be going that way as well.
Would be a pity.
The novel includes three narrative arcs. The first finds Walt in Cheyenne to argue against the parole of a killer he arrested in 1972.
The second takes place in 1972, when Walt is a newly minted deputy of Lucian Connally and accompanies him on a junket of Wyoming sheriffs aboard The Western Star, a steam locomotive from which the book draws its title. When two of the sheriffs go missing, one presumed to have murdered the other, Walt gets dragged into solving the case.
The third narrative arc concerns Tomas Bidarte, a criminal first introduced in A Serpent’s Tooth, who wants to kill Walt, but only after making his family suffer first. These three arcs come together in the book’s explosive conclusion, which, I have to admit, I didn’t see coming. And while they come together, they don’t completely resolve.
In other words, The Western Star made me hope that Craig Johnson finishes his fourteenth Walt Longmire novel really soon. I want to know what happens next.
Other than Walt Longmire himself, Henry Standing Bear and Deputy Vic are easily Johnson's most interesting and entertaining characters. But in this book, Henry is only peripheral to the story and Vic was so much on the sidelines that she could have been left out completely and it wouldn't have changed the story. The romance that had been developing between Walt and Vic has disappeared over the past couple of books, which is almost as disappointing as not getting to enjoy the ferocious Deputy Vic watching Walt's back in times of trouble. I'm really missing her having a major role in the stories.
What we get instead is Lucien Connely, Johnson's most contrived and uninteresting character, taking the spotlight, as he did in the ridiculous Sprit of Steamboat and a couple of other recent stories.
Finally, it appears Johnson is preparing to jump the shark with the cliffhanger ending. Please, Mr. Johnson, get Walt, Vic, and Henry back to Absaroka County and get them back into the kinds of trouble that made this series great!