“Any Other Name” by Craig Johnson. (Walt Longmire #10)

*Read between 18th and 23rd September 2018

In Any Other Name, Walt is sinking into high-plains winter discontent when his former boss, Lucian Conally, asks him to take on a mercy case in an adjacent county. Detective Gerald Holman is dead and Lucian wants to know what drove his old friend to take his own life.

With the clock ticking on the birth of his first grandchild, Walt learns that the by-the-book detective might have suppressed evidence concerning three missing women. Digging deeper, Walt uncovers an incriminating secret so dark that it threatens to claim other lives even before the sheriff can serve justice—Wyoming style.

In all of my reviews to date of the Longmire adventure mysteries, I have referred to the author as Mr Johnson; I may have to amend his title to Mr Reliable. For Mr Johnson has done it again. He has delivered yet another engaging, enjoyable and action-packed adventure for us to lose ourselves in.

Walt really should be by the bedside of his daughter, Cady, as she prepares to give birth. Instead, he is tagging along with Lucian and trying to avoid taking Cady’s increasingly worried calls.

By now, with this, the tenth full-length book in the series, regular readers will be familiar with the fact that our Sheriff is not a man to back down or a man willing to walk away from a situation. I suppose that’s part of why we love him and root for him all the time. As his old boss, Lucian Connally, memorably states “He’s like a gun; once you point him and pull the trigger, it’s too late to change your mind.”

What begins as a favour to Lucian soon turns into a “mission” for Longmire. As the case becomes deepens, Walt refuses to give up and is determined to locate the missing women. This steadfastness sees our Sheriff battle the elements and the bad guys and put himself, not for the first time, in physical danger.

This tale was yet another terrific addition to the Longmire stable. The sarcasm and with is here in abundance and there is action and thrills aplenty. One of the most important facets of a Longmire mystery is here in its full majesty – the weather – and this plays a telling part in the action that unfolds.

Yet, for me, this story lacked a little of the power and drive and the emotional “hit” that came with “A Serpent’s Tooth”. I suppose it was quite a demand from me to expect such a high level of drama and excitement to be maintained between the two novels. Additionally, and a little disappointingly, some of the unanswered questions from that earlier tale have still to be fully resolved. As readers, we invest a heck of a lot of emotion into these familiar and treasured fictional creations and we, perhaps irrationally, expect answers and resolutions!

But, as with Sheriff Longmire, I am confident that Mr Johnson will not let us down and that he will guide us to those answers soon.

And I eagerly await that next journey.

Talking of journeys; in spite of my earlier misgivings, the author paints such a vivid picture of the world of Longmire, that I am giving serious thought to taking a trip to Wyoming and have high hopes of seeing it for myself. I wonder if the folks at Wyoming tourism have put Mr Johnson on a retainer? His novels and his colourful creations are doing a great job of selling the state!

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