First Sentence: Joseph Conrad
said that if you wanted to know the age of the earth, look
upon the sea in a storm; if you want to know the age of the
Powder River country just be on the wrong side of a coal train.
Sheriff Walt Longmire is about to be a grandfather—very
soon. He has promised his daughter, Cady, that he will be
in Philadelphia for the baby’s birth. His old friend
and former boss, Lucian Connally, asks him for a favor of
going with him to an adjacent county and visit a woman whose
daughter is missing. One missing woman leads to secrets, corruption
and possible death.
Johnson is the epitome of a story teller. You are not a viewer;
you are a participant. How does he do it? He starts by hooking
you into the story from the very beginning by his strong voice
and the ability to create a very visual sense of place. He
makes you feel and see what he describes. His inclusion of
spiritualism adds to the sense of place, the strength of the
character and the story.
Part of that voice is his humor. It’s not situational,
but dry and natural. His dialogue is among the best being
written. Most of it is his characters. Walt is such an engaging
character. He is truly the “long arm of the law”
and well-liked by his colleagues. But he’s not infallible
nor is he superman.
Best of all, even the secondary characters are well developed.
None of Johnson’s characters are flat or stereotypes.
They all have a part to play in the effectiveness of the story.
The supporting characters of Henry Standing Bear and Undersheriff
Vic Moretti, Lucian and Dog are significant to the story.
Even the weather becomes a character within the story.
Any Other Name is an excellent book. It’s filled
with tension and breath-catching suspense, but the pacing
is perfect with enough pauses in the action for balance. Johnson
is an author who both entertains you and educates you. There’s
not a single wrong step to be found.
Reviews of other titles in this series
Yard Dogs #6
Hell is Empty #7 [review
Other Name #10