After having read two of the Walt Longmire series way out of order, I decided to get myself a list of the books and read them in order. As with all good detective/police procedural series, the protagonists develop and grow, and although each is a stand along mystery, the lives of the principle characters continue as a life does. So, the first one in the series is The Cold Dish, named after that old proverb, ‘revenge is a dish best served cold’. We meet Walt, Sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming, and learn of his adult daughter Cady, a legal eagle practicing law in Philadelphia, and meet Vic, his tough deputy, a gal with a whole family on the police force in Philadelphia, who is smart, gutsy and has a mouth like a stevedore.
The blurb tells us that the story is about Cody Pritchard, a young man found dead. Two years earlier, Cody and three accomplices had been given suspended sentences for raping a Northern Cheyenne girl. Is someone seeking vengeance? Longmire faces one of the more volatile and challenging cases in his twenty-four years as sheriff and means to see that revenge, a dish that is best served cold, is never served at all.
So four young men brutally gang rape a young woman who suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome. She does not testify against them, because she doesn’t want to hurt their feelings. Then one of them is found shot. And then another of the four. Things get complicated, but the likable sheriff with the help of his lifelong bff, A Cheyenne native, work together to discover just who seems to be stalking those young men.
I really like Craig Johnson’s writing style. Clear, with a touch of humor, he creates a decent guy as the protagonist, one we can all like.