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Depth of Winter: A Longmire Mystery

Review

Depth of Winter: A Longmire Mystery

DEPTH OF WINTER opens with a scene in a seedy bar in Juarez, Mexico, between Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire and “The Seer,” an unpromising blind paraplegic guide recommended to help locate Walt’s kidnapped daughter, Cady. The Seer’s only credentials are that he speaks Spanish, which Walt does not, knows his way around the Mexican bureaucracy, and has access to a car that fits into the local scene with a driver who knows the land. The only clue as to the whereabouts of Cady and her nanny, who is also missing, is a picture postcard of a landmark geological formation somewhere in the Mexican interior. In small lettering is hand-printed the word "COME."

It is a desperate mission with a potentially fatal ending, but Cady is Walt’s only child and the mother of his tiny granddaughter, Lola. Armed with his trusty Colt 45 and Henry Standing Bear’s stag-handled Bowie knife, Walt puts his trust in the only resources he can find and ventures forth.

"Johnson’s signature suspenseful storytelling and well-timed wry wit rescue readers... DEPTH OF WINTER is as exhausting as it is riveting and entertaining."

If you have read any of Craig Johnson's 15 bestselling novels and/or watched the hit Netflix series “Longmire,” you know that Walt will not be deterred.

When we last saw Walt at the conclusion of THE WESTERN STAR, he had just learned of the abduction by his old nemesis, Mexican cartel jefe Tomás Bidarte, in retribution for an old bitter battle. Walt and his undersheriff, Victoria “Vic” Moretti, had discovered the brutally murdered body of the brother of his daughter’s nanny. He left his baby granddaughter in the safe hands of longtime friends Henry Standing Bear, retired sheriff Lucian Connally and Vic to hunt down Bidarte’s hiding place and rescue Cady and the nanny.

The band of rescuers realize that their quest is likely to end in their deaths, but they sign on to fight to the end. Walt’s Sisyphean struggle against the elements in his near-fatal escape through the blazing heat of the desert, his wily tricks to outwit the armed men, and the horrors of the dead and dying are by far the most descriptive of any of the previous Longmire novels.

The brutality of the cartels is the underlying theme of this book. One is reminded of Apocalypse Now through Johnson’s portrayal of the unspeakable torture and killing of anyone who dares buck the authoritarianism of the Bidarte cartel. Interestingly enough, Walt disdains the usefulness of building walls, declaring that overstayed visas and private airplanes are the likeliest entry points for illegal drugs and criminal activity.

Johnson’s signature suspenseful storytelling and well-timed wry wit rescue readers as we are reminded that the intrepid Walt Longmire does in fact survive as the story is told in the first person. DEPTH OF WINTER is as exhausting as it is riveting and entertaining.

Reviewed by Roz Shea on September 7, 2018

Depth of Winter: A Longmire Mystery
by Craig Johnson

  • Publication Date: September 4, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Viking
  • ISBN-10: 0525522476
  • ISBN-13: 9780525522478