Walt Longmire, Book #11
By Craig Johnson
Author’s Website: http://www.craigallenjohnson.com/
Wyoming’s beloved lawman must solve his coldest case yet when a T. Rex skeleton surfaces—along with a dead rancher—in Absaroka County
Longmire, the TV adaptation of Craig Johnson’s New York Times bestselling Walt Longmire Mystery series, has ratcheted up demand for the Wyoming sheriff’s written adventures. Publishing on the heels of the Longmire boxed set, Dry Bones is certain to join Johnson’s four most recent Longmire novels when it moseys on up the New York Times bestseller list.
When the largest, most complete fossil of a Tyrannosaurus Rex is discovered in Absaroka County, it would appear to have nothing to do with Walt. That is, until the Cheyenne rancher who finds her is found face down in a turtle pond. As a number of parties vie for ownership of the priceless remains, including rancher Danny Lone Elk’s family, the Cheyenne tribe, the Deputy Attorney General, and a cadre of FBI men, Walt must recruit undersheriff Victoria Moretti, Henry Standing Bear, and Dog to investigate a sixty-six million year-old cold case that’s starting to heat up fast.
If you are a fan of the wonderful, yet too short lived show Longmire, Dry Bones will be a bit of a shock. You will love it, but there are some major differences. If, however, you are a fan of the literary series Walt Longmire, Dry Bones will delight you with all the fabulous characters, prose, and enlightened experiences you expect from writer Craig Johnson. He writes with a candor and syncopated rhythm that infects the reader to a stunning effect. Walt Longmire is the philosophical sheriff of Absaraka County in Wyoming. His friends range from his crusty old predecessor to his best friend who is a Native American (Henry Standing Bear) that can track anything and always shows up when needed. This installment also stars a wonderful monster named Jen.
The beginning of Dry Bones almost reads like poetry describing the discovery of the largest and most complete fossil of a Tyrannosaurus Rex named Jen. Thus begins the fight for ownership of this money making dinosaur. At the same time the fight is beginning, Danny Lone Elk is found floating with no eyes. He owns the property and presumably Jen. With his death the ownership of Jen is called into question. It brings to town the parties trying to gain ownership and a load of pain for Walt. The Cheyenne tribe, Lone Elk’s family and the acting Deputy Attorney General and a passel of FBI men all descend on Walt to fight for this extraordinary find.
As the fight for Jen and the murder investigation are just getting started, Walt’s daughter Cady and her infant daughter Lola are flying in from Philadelphia for a visit. As unprepared as Walt is for an infant to come, he cannot wait for their arrival. Walt’s under sheriff and love interest Vickie is also looking forward to seeing her niece as Cady married her brother. This is an action packed, heart wrenching novel that grabs the reader and takes them on a mystical and intriguing mystery that entertains in its entirety. Vickie gets hurt, people go missing, and a helicopter crashes, then they get horribly tragic news from out east. So much goes on that as a reader, I was holding on to my seat (well bed actually).
Dry Bones is the 11th in Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire series and if you have not read any of the earlier books or at least watched some of the series you may feel a bit lost. If you have read any or watched any you will love this installment. If you are interested in Native American mysticism, good guys versus bad, white hat versus black, you will love this series. Walt is a lovable, yet complicated character. Craig Johnson has a wonderful writing style and he is a true storyteller. Heart wrenching and action packed, Dry Bones is a wonderfully well written novel that entertains throughout!