It is coming up on the end of the year and Sheriff Walt Longmire should be far from home in Philadelphia. His daughter, Cady, is about to have her first child and she needs her father at her side. He is also needed in Wyoming as his old boss Lucian Connally has asked for his help.
Lucian, the former sheriff of Absaroka County, has asked Walt to go over with him to neighboring Campbell County, specifically the town of Gilette. Known for the coal trains that roar through the county as well as the boom and bust cycles of oil and gas, Lucian had plenty of opportunity and reasons to come the county over the years. A friend of his, Detective Gerald Holman, recently committed suicide in a rundown motel room. According to his wife, Phyllis, he never would have done such a thing so she does not believe it really was a suicide. According to her, the local law enforcement folks wrapped up the investigation all too quickly in an attempt to cover something up. What that was, she has no idea, but, she is convinced that her husband’s job on the “Cold Case Task Force” of the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department was the cause. She wants Lucian’s help and by extension, Walt’s, to find out what actually happened and why.
Lucian owes a debt that goes beyond the grave as Phyllis makes clear. Not that Walt really wants any part of it, but Lucian needs help and that means Walt will be involved to the very end. Once unleashed, he isn't going to quit as Lucian points out early on to Phyllis:
“’I want to warn you that if you put Walter on this you're going to find out what it’s all about, one way or another.” Another pause and I could imagine the face that was peering down at her, a visage to which I was accustomed. “You're sure you want that? Because he's like a gun; once you point him and pull the trigger, it’s too late to change your mind.’” (p11)
That he is and that fact is clear again from start to finish of Any Other Name: A Longmire Mystery. The march of the clock is always present in this latest high octane read from author Craig Johnson. Against the clock of a baby about to make its way into the world in Philadelphia, and the worsening December weather in Wyoming and all points nearby, Any Other Name constantly ratchets up the pressure as Walt and others work a case that goes far beyond a simple suicide. The case constantly expands until it reaches far beyond the small town in Wyoming.
Consistently far superior to the television series that shares the name, the latest Longmire mystery is another good one. With main characters that have become incredibly real to the reader, the beauty of Wyoming, and cases that feature plenty of twists and turns, the books are always good. Any Other Name is another wonderful installment of a series that began in The Cold Dish.
Any Other Name: A Longmire Mystery
Viking (Penguin Group)
Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano Texas Public Library System.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2014
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