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Book review: <i>Any Other Name</i> by Craig Johnson

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Book review: Any Other Name by Craig Johnson

the cover of the book

In the wilds of northern Wyoming, Sheriff Walt Longmire battles the clock to solve a missing person's case. The pressure is on, and from the worst possible direction – his daughter, Cady, is about to give birth to his first grandchild and if he isn't there, she'll kill him.

The story

Walt Longmire is out of his jurisdiction on unofficial sheriff business as a favour to his old boss Lucian Connally. In Campbell County, the next county over from Absaroka, Lucian's old friend Gerald Holman has died and Lucian has been called in to pay a debt. Walt and Dog have gone along for the ride at the request of Holman's widow, and Walt hopes he can wrap the case up in time to get to the birth of Cady's first child in Philadelphia.

Lucian and Walt take a look at Gerald's cases and come up with three missing women. Walt's investigations take him to the tiny town of Gillette's least savoury places, although there aren't many places to begin with. Using his unique investigative tactics, Walt comes up with some promising leads, and he and Henry Standing Bear pursue them into the wild and back.

The clock is running out and Walt is badly injured. Can he solve the case before another girl dies, and get to the birth of his first grand-daughter?

The style

Any Other Name is classic Walt Longmire. The thing is, Johnson has been writing this series for a while, and Walt Longmire is now an effortlessly three dimensional character who just jumps off the page. I don't know if this is in part because I know him so well, and all the characters are familiar to me in the manner of old friends, but the characters just seem to get better and better crafted as the series progresses.

The storyline is solid. The last Walt Longmire I read was Spirit of the Steamboat”, which is a teaser novella in between his full length stories, so I was ready for a less whimsical, more detective-oriented story. Any Other Name certainly fulfilled my requirements, being fast-paced with just the right amount of spirit guide appearances. It also contains a lot of Lucian Connally, who has just the right amount of grumpy old man caricature about him to provide comic relief, and just a smattering of love interest in the form of Vic Moretti. Walt seems to be getting older, and his love for Vic is more intense and sweet than ever. In short, this Walt Longmire story runs true to form in good, solid storytelling.

Who is this book for?

Anyone who has read Craig Johnson before and enjoyed him should definitely not overlook this story. It's a goodun.

If you like this book, you would also like...

Craig Johnson has written a lot of other stories. They are also very good.

In short

Title: Any Other Name
Author: Craig Johnson
ISBN: 0670026468
Year published: 2014
Pages: 336
Genre(s): Crime fiction
Review Type: