About Me

My photo
Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Dark Horse by Craig Johnson

6. – 565.) The Dark Horse by Craig Johnson – Wyoming’s Sheriff Walt Longmire leaves Absorka County again to solve a mystery. This time he travels to neighbouring Campbell County instead of Philadelphia. It is a return to his roots in the rugged Powder River country.
Longmire doubts the beautiful Mary Barsad has pumped 6 bullets into the head of her husband, Wade, despite her immediate confession. In a bizarre decision, Longmire decides to go undercover as an insurance adjuster and starts asking questions in Absalom. All 40 residents, are hardly welcoming. They are an insular group focused on surviving in a harsh land. Social life is focused around the AR, a beat up bar of the type that can be seen throughout the American West.
Yet, continuing the Powder River country’s long history as a place of refuge, people continue to seek the isolation including Juana, an all purpose bar/motel employee with her half-Cheyenne young son, Benjamin. They are illegal Guatemalan immigrants.
            It is late fall. The stark landscape and big weather, a feature of every Longmire mystery, are getting ready for winter. The land has turned golden. It is Longmire’s favourite season. This fall is an empty time for him as Cady has returned to Philadelphia.
            With Longmire away from home the customary characters play smaller roles in the story. I miss them. Dog, his dog, is his primary support. Juana provides insight on the locals.
            Was it not for the confession there would be an abundance of suspects for Wade was a man who needed killing. He is far from a “victim”. Unlike the classic mystery no one has a good word for the deceased.
            As the story unfolds yet another classic Western gun, the Henry “Yellow Boy” rifle, becomes part of the story. In Cold Dish it had been a buffalo Sharps rifle.
            The big sheriff is a good companion and Wyoming has the great spaces of Saskatchewan. The Dark Horse is as much a classic Western as a mystery. Johnson continues to capture me and draw me swiftly through the story. Excellent. (Jan. 29/11)

No comments:

Post a Comment