Publishers Weekly Review
Bestseller Johnson pays homage to Agatha Christie in his cleverly plotted 13th Walt Longmire novel (after 2016's An Obvious Fact), which takes place in both the past and the present. In 1972, Walt, an Absaroka County deputy and newly returned Vietnam War vet, joins his boss, Sheriff Lucian Connelly, for the Wyoming Sheriffs' Association annual excursion across the state aboard the steam train Western Star. In Walt's pocket is a copy of Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. On the train, Walt attracts the attention of Kim LeClerc, the comely companion of Sheriff George McKay, who warns the deputy to stay away from her. Soon afterward, during a station stop, someone knocks Walt out just as he's about to reboard the train. Walt hitches a ride to the next stop, where he learns that McKay has disappeared and another sheriff has been shot dead. In the present day, Walt is opposed to the release of a serial killer, who's dying and has been imprisoned for decades, for a personal reason that will catch readers by surprise. Witty dialogue abounds; when Kim asks Walt if he killed many babies in Vietnam, he replies, "Hardly any, they're small. Hard to hit." And Johnson winds up the whodunit with a solution that Christie could never have imagined. 15-city author tour. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist Review
Walt Longmire carries an Agatha Christie paperback in his latest outing, a little wink to the reader as most of this mystery takes place on a train. It's no Orient Express the Western Star puffs its way across Wyoming, carrying the members of the Wyoming Sheriff's Association on their annual excursion, but one of them is a murderer. Employing a terrific storytelling device, Johnson cuts between past and present: In 1972, Longmire has recently returned from Vietnam; is estranged from his pregnant wife, Martha; and rides the Western Star as a newly hired deputy and guest of legendary Sheriff Lucian Connally. In the present, Longmire, now a legend in his own right, finds a routine parole hearing turned into a political cause célèbre; readers soon intuit that the two story lines are connected. The thirteenth entry in this much-loved series is well plotted and fast moving, and, as always, at least half the entertainment is in watching the characters interact. But while the exchanges between Walt, Lucian, friend Henry Standing Bear, Undersheriff Vic Moretti, and daughter Cady can be sometimes predictable after so many books, seeing Walt as a young man, on the rocks with Martha and doubting his career choice, adds unexpected nuance and depth. With an ending that forebodes an intense follow-up, this is one of the strongest Longmire novels in years.--Graff, Keir Copyright 2017 Booklist