Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Junkyard Dogs by Craig Johnson
Craig Johnson's books, read by George Guidall, have something of the wise old dad about them. No matter that Walt Longmire, sheriff of Wyoming's Absaroka County, is not so old he doesn't lust after his deputy, the apple-assed Vic Moretti. That just makes him more of a man. And man he is. Bearing all manner of physical insult, he comes out on top once again, chasing his quarry through an 18" snowstorm high in the hills surrounding Red Lodge, Montana.
The ridiculous nature of the events that set off a chain of murders can only be based in truth because no novelist would create such stories for fear his tribe of readers would leave him for dead. In interviews Johnson tells us that he gets the basis for his outrageous stories from his friends in the police, so the one about the man cleaning the chimney in the middle of the winter with a rag soaked in kerosene, and tied with a rope to the bumper of a Durango, has got to be true. Hard as it is to believe. But it is the home-smoked flavor of these great western stories that make this series so...home grown. This is a series I allow myself to savor like a fine cigar. I pace myself, withholding the pleasure of beginning a new story until I feel I have earned a special treat. They are soothing to the soul, funny to the bone, candy for the brain, and oh-so-reassuring for those among us who fear wisdom eludes our public servants.