This is actually the eighth in the sheriff Walt Longmire series, but there was plenty of back references so the reader does not feel lost, and it is not just same old old old with a new detective puzzle, but the growth and development of the main characters of the series.
In this volume, Sheriff Walt whose jurisdiction lies right outside the Cheyenne Indian Reservation, is on the rez with his best life long friend, Henry Standing Bear, to scout out a suitable area for Walt’s daughter’s upcoming nuptials. While out looking at a really pretty site, to their horror they witness a young Crow woman plummeting from Painted Warrior’s majestic cliffs. Is it a suicide, or something more sinister? And to add to the awfulness, Dog, the sherif’s giant …. um, dog, finds a bundled baby not far from where the woman landed. The baby is still alive, and dog has decided to not leave the child’s side.
A new tribal police chief is on the job, making more enemies than friends, and gets Walt to agree to help in the investigation, even though it isn’t his jurisdiction.
Great plot, love the characters, but what I think just might be the star of the series is the location, the Western feel, the scenery. Johnson’s ability to describe without boring the reader is enviable. In Junkyard Dogs, set in the deep winter, his descriptions of the cold, snow and ice were so on I could feel that winter seeping into my bones as I read. In this book, he makes you see the panoramic stunningness of the Western landscape.
I think this series is now a Netflix offering. How would I know? I don’t have a TV. But if I did, I would certainly watch it.