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The Dark Horse (Walt Longmire) [Kindle Edition]

Craig Johnson

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Wade Barsad locked his wife Mary's horses in their barn and then burned it down. In return she shot him in the head six times - or so the story goes. Sheriff Walt Longmire doesn't believe Mary's confession, and he's determined to dig deeper.

Posing as an insurance claims investigator, Walt goes undercover and soon discovers that the population of an entire town might have wanted Wade dead, including a beautiful Guatemalan bartender and a rancher with a taste for liquor but not so much for honesty . . .

'A winning mystery with characters coming off the page' Portland Oregonian

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Craig Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of nine novels in the Walt Longmire mystery series, which has garnered popular and critical acclaim. Among other awards, The Cold Dish was a Dilys Award finalist and the French edition won Le Prix du Polar Nouvel Observateur/BibliObs; The Dark Horse, the fifth in the series, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year; Junkyard Dogs won the Watson Award for a mystery novel with the best sidekick, and Hell Is Empty, selected by Library Journal as the Best Mystery of the Year, was a New York Times best seller, as was As the Crow Flies. The Walt Longmire series is the basis for the hit TV drama Longmire, shown on TCM in the UK and starring Robert Taylor, Lou Diamond Phillips and Katee Sackhoff. Craig Johnson lives in Ucross, Wyoming, population twenty-five.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 420 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 248 Seiten
  • Verlag: The Murder Room (28. September 2013)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00F50EPTM
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #136.490 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.7 von 5 Sternen  393 Rezensionen
78 von 82 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Continuing justice in the Bighorns 8. Juni 2009
Von Communications Pro - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Late last year, Craig Johnson and his Walt Longmire mysteries came to occupy a rarified space in my world -- a favorite author for whom you wait in anticipation of his next book, looking forward to the moment you get to crack it open and find out what your friends on the page are up to this time. Johnson's mysteries are well structured and compelling, not relying on gimmicks or tricks, but instead on fleshed out characters, snappy dialogue, close observation of human nature, and a vivid landscape that is just as important as any person in the book.

Longmire, the maybe-retiring-in-a-few-years sheriff of fictional Absaroka County, Wyoming, isn't a supercop or a kick-butt guy like Lee Child's Jack Reacher. He's an older guy, a Vietnam vet, and a Wyoming native. He grew up on a ranch, is a widower with one daughter, and a strong sense of justice that is served well by his skills as a steady methodical cop. More than that, he's an interesting person, something of a renaissance man without feeling forced (as Reacher can at times). This is a good thing as the mysteries are all in first person so if we were bored with Walt, we'd have a problem and not much reason to keep reading.

While the Longmire mysteries are well stocked with eccentric characters, it's his two primary sidekicks -- Henry Standing Bear and Victoria "Vic" Moretti -- who stand out. The Bear, aka The Cheyenne Nation, is Walt's oldest and best friend, a fellow vet, and his guide in the Native American reservations and communities. Moretti, his detective, is a transplant from Philadelphia, an excellent cop, and perhaps one of the sexiest and foulest mouthed law enforcement characters in current fiction. In all three cases, the characters have grown and changed over the course of the books. One of my pet peeves with some mystery writers is that they often refuse to acknowledge the passing of time and the evolution of a character. I read series like this not simply for the mystery but to go on the journey with the characters, to see what happens to them and how they grow.

This past week, I got my hands on Johnson's newest book, "The Dark Horse", and it didn't disappoint. Told in alternating pieces -- what's happening now and what happened over the preceding days -- Johnson leads us through a fascinating murder mystery in which the prime suspect in a brutal murder is found with the gun, with gunpowder residue on her hands, and who confesses to the crime on multiple occasions. For reasons that become clear through the flashbacks, we learn why Walt has gone undercover in Absalom, WY, on the belief that the confessed murderess is actually innocent. The mystery is intriguing, the new characters in Absalom are quirky without being cartoonish, and, of course, Vic and the Bear are along for the ride.

While not as strong an entry as Johnson's debut , "The Cold Dish", I enjoyed "The Dark Horse" tremendously and it stacks up well against books two through four. None of the books are written to fit the bill of a "page turner" but that's OK. They aren't intended to be thrillers, though they do have their thrilling moments. Instead, they are a close look as the diverse community that Longmire inhabits and how he copes with the occasional violence through the lens of a man with a strong moral code, a compulsion to set right an injustice, and who has seen and done violence before, much to his regret. It's for that reason that I look forward to reading about Walt Longmire for many books to come.
28 von 29 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Vote for Walt Longmire! 16. Juni 2009
Von Cathy G. Cole - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
When I began blogging last June, one of the very first authors I raved about was Craig Johnson. Get ready to listen to more raves because my opinion of him is unchanged.

In this fifth book of the series, we see the Sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming, working undercover as an insurance agent in the tiny, ill-tempered town of Absalom. Absalom resident Wade Barstad, well-known womanizer and jerk-about-town, set fire to his barn. The fire roasted alive his wife's horses, which didn't set too well with Mary. Mary Barstad waited till Wade went to bed. She then proceeded to put six bullets in his head and set fire to the house. When the fire department showed up, Mary confessed to killing her husband. But the sheriff in that county smells a rat, and he soon has Walt Longmire sniffing the very same eau de rongeur. Seeing as how most Absalom residents would just as soon shoot strangers as look at 'em, will Walt have enough time to figure out what really happened?

Although Johnson writes of his corner of Wyoming as if it's a character in and of itself, it's really the two-legged ones for whom you want to read this series. Each a rugged individualist, learning everyone's outlooks on life as well as their relationships with the other characters is the meat and potatoes of these books. The mystery is the huge wedge of lemon meringue pie that puts a satisfied PAID to the entire meal.

It's difficult to write a novel about the West and not have the landscape have its say. Just ask Hillerman or Bowen or Box...or Craig Johnson:

"I thought about how we tilled and cultivated the land, planted trees on it, fenced it, built houses on it, and did everything we could to hold off the eternity of distance-- anything to give the landscape some sort of human scale. No matter what we did to try and form the West, however, the West inevitably formed us instead."

Walt Longmire was raised by his mother to respect and help the young, the old and the infirm. He's the type of person who can stare at the wall around a pay phone and think

"People had written and scratched things so deeply that re-paintings had only heightened the sentiment. I wondered if Custer really wore Arrow shirts, if DD still loved NT, if the eleven kids that got left at the parking lot were still beating the Broncos twenty-four to three, or if 758-4331 was still a good time. I thought about the love, heartbreaks, and desperate passions that had been played out through the phone in my hand...."

No matter how he may try to dissemble, when the chips are down you want Walt Longmire guarding your back. The man who can wonder about DD and NT truly gives a damn.

The book is told in two alternating time frames: the present while Walt is undercover, and the two weeks leading to his arrival in Absalom. Although this had me chafing at the bit a few times, it did serve two purposes: reminding us why Walt thought Mary Barstad was important enough to risk his life for, and giving us doses of Walt's co-workers and friends who couldn't follow him into this investigation. This series isn't the Walt Longmire Show; the secondary characters are just as well-drawn and easy to get attached to as he is.

Although I still doubt the wisdom of having a character like Walt go undercover practically on his own home turf, I loved this book. In a nostalgic post a few days ago, I mentioned being horse crazy, which was a bit prophetic. The Dark Horse was drawing to a close. Walt had to save someone's life and the only transportation available to take him down off a high mesa and toward help was a magnificent black horse. I swear, if someone had interrupted me at that moment, I wouldn't have bothered with a gun or a baseball bat or a scream of rage. I would've let fly with one of my Spontaneous Combustion Looks-- guaranteed to flash fry the recipient down to his Tony Lamas in one-tenth of a second.

Craig Johnson turned back my clock. While my adult brain was being very well taken care of, I was also a child, sitting here with my eyes glued to the page, reading about a hero and a horse and a race against time. Not many writers are skilled enough to satisfy on so many levels. Johnson is one of the few.
26 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Another Exciting Chapter in the Life of Sheriff Longmire 4. Juni 2009
Von A. Roberts - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Ever since "Cold Dish" and becoming acquainted with the characters of Absaroka County, I've looked forward to what can happen next in this little western community. Walt travels outside Durant this time going undercover (which isn't easy when so many peple know you) to investigate the death of Wade Barsad. Walt encounters some interesting characters in the town of Absalom including an old rancher and a young boy. I think this is the first time Mr. Johnson has included a child in his storyline and some how a child just always adds a lot of sentiment and humor which this author is so good at.

As usual when you start a Craig Johnson book, they are difficult to put down until the last page. The last hundred pages or so become more suspenseful and there is just no way you can quit until you finish the book. There are a couple surprises and twists and turns to keep you interested and coming back for more.

In this book, Walt has his usual conversations with Dog, his sometimes humorous interactions with his long time friend Henry Standing Bear, all of which adds to some great reading. I loved the sentiment between Walt and Benjamin and also Walt and the abused horse. This author has a knack for bringing a lot of different emotions into his books.

I enjoyed the book and think you will also. If you have read the previous 4 books in the series you will enjoy this one more as the author refers to some of the previous events and people several times but it is also a good stand alone book.

I'm already looking forward to Craig Johnson's next book which I imagine will be next May again. A long time to wait but always worth it.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Another excellent entry 3. August 2009
Von Cheryl A. Reynolds - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Let me start out by saying I have a bumper sticker that says "Walt Longmire for Sheriff of Absaroka County"...and I live in Minnesota. That's how much I love this series, and if Walt were a real sheriff, I'd want to move to his patch. This is #5 Walt Longmire mystery set in Wyoming. The elections are coming up and Sheriff Longmire is avoiding thinking about it, and things are a bit slow in Absaroka County. Walt's daughter Cady has returned to her home in Philadelphia and he's at loose ends. The Sheriff of a neighboring county sends him a puzzle to chew on and a prisoner to house since their jail is overflowing and Walt eagerly jumps into it.

Mary Barsad has confessed to shooting her husband Wade six times in the head after he set their barn afire--with her beloved horses inside. Wade was universally disliked, and were it not for Mary's confession, the suspect list would be a mile long--and would include some ghosts from his past, as he was in the witness protection program. But after talking with Mary, Walt doesn't believe she's guilty--and he goes undercover in Jackson County, posing as an insurance investigator--although his cover doesn't last very long. (I kind of wondered about that, anyway. Walt was born and raised very near where all this action took place and he recognized a few of the characters--so why would they NOT recognize him?)

As usual, this was a well-told story in a wonderful voice, and the book was nearly impossible to put down. I love Walt, I love his cast of secondary characters, including the great state of Wyoming, which Johnson obviously loves. With a perfect balance of slow, rambling detail and fast-paced action, and a plot twist I didn't see coming at all, this will likely make my top ten of the year list.

The only thing missing for me was the voice of George Guidall who narrates the audio versions--I listened to three of the previous four books and could hear his version of Walt's voice faintly at the back of my mind as I read along.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Another Excellent Craig Johnson Story 10. Juni 2009
Von J. Groen - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Craig Johnson just keeps putting these excellent books out - one after another. This time the story takes Walt Longmire undercover trying to solve a case in a neighboring Wyoming county. Over time, of course, everyone in the small town called Absalom knows who he is and they start letting him in on on their secret. The book has the usual colorful writing of Craig Johnson, the usual twists and turns in the plot and the usual exciting finish - this time with Walt riding a "dark horse" to catch the bad guy on Halloween eve. This time, however, his side kicks aren't as prominent. Cheyenne Nation has a small part at the end and also in a fighting competition that gives a little levity to the story. Vic is in the story with her usual colorful language and actions. In my opinion, the best part of the book is the story line, however. In this instance, Craig uses an interesting approach where he has a dual time line going on - the primary story where Walt goes undercover to try to figure out what is really happening and the story that starts a week earlier that shows how he came to the conclusion that something is not right about this situation. It makes for an interesting story line and increases the twists and turns of the story. This is the first time that I've seen this approach used (although it probably has been used before) showing that Craig Johnson is a very flexible and innovative writer (another reason why I really like his books). I highly recommend this book to any mystery reader. And, I wait excitedly for Craig's next book.
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