Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The Cold Dish

Walt Longmire is the Sheriff of Absaroka county in Wyoming beneath the shadow of the Big Horn Mountains. He's marking time until his retirement, mourning the loss of his wife while he drinks himself to sleep each night in front of a tv with a speciality for static in a half built cabin.
When the body of Cody Pritchard is found, seemingly shot by an antique rifle, Walt has to shake off his doldrums to discover the killer. Because Cody Pritchard was one of four boys who raped a young Cheyenne girl and then got off almost unpunished. With most of the population of the county in the suspect frame, including Walt's best friend and most of his colleagues this wasn't the retirement run he was looking for.
I'm definitely going to be checking out the rest of this series. Absaroka is, according to Walt, one of the places people plan all their life to retire to... and then pack up for Florida after feeling the bite of their winter. The cast is largely of a certain vintage with Walt himself being a big guy with a long history behind him. The sense that the characters have all lived a life with plenty of stories to be told is one of the constants throughout the narrative with the author (Craig Johnson) filling us in with Walt's wry wit and self deprecating voice as the plot pushes forward. The natural and sometimes treacherous beauty of the region mixed with both real and fictional local history, Cheyenne culture and spirituality makes for a very palatable tasty feast of a crime novel.
I knew nothing of the tv series when I first picked this up but I'll probably have to add Longmire to my to watch list.

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