Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Dark Horse (Longmire Mysteries #5)

I've posted about Longmire before and you can see my reviews of previous books here:
The Cold Dish
Death Without Company
Kindness Goes Unpunished
Another Man's Moccasins 
The Dark Horse (Longmire Mysteries #5) is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and BooksAMillion.

The Blurb

Walt doubts a confession of murder in this novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Cold Dish and As the Crow Flies, the fifth in the Longmire Mystery Series, the basis for LONGMIRE, the hit A&E original drama series.  
Fans of Ace Atkins, Nevada Barr and Robert B. Parker will love The Dark Horse is the fifth installment in New York Times bestselling author Craig Johnson's Longmire Mystery Series, the basis for LONGMIRE, the hit A&E original drama series. Wade Barsad, a man with a dubious past and a gift for making enemies, burned his wife Mary's horses in their barn; in retribution, she shot him in the head six times. But Sheriff Walt Longmire of Wyoming's Absaroka County doesn't believe Mary's confession. Leaving behind the demands of his upcoming re-election campaign, Walt unpins his star to go undercover and discovers that everyone-including a beautiful Guatemalan bartender and a rancher with a taste for liquor-had a reason for wanting Wade dead.

My Review
The Dark Horse by Craig Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book broke with the usual formatting, jumping back and forth in a relatively short period of time. This didn't bother me in the slightest; I thought it was interesting to see Johnson tackle a different narrative style. Keeps the series interesting.

As for the plot itself... I figured out parts of the crime early because I have a health issue that helped me identify clues but I don't think this will affect the majority of readers.

Longmire the show is true to Longmire the book-series in the same way that Midsomer Murders is true to Caroline Graham's books: the show captures the essence of the characters but takes liberties with plots, which keeps both formats fresh for viewers. I've also mentioned that each new book in the series makes these deviations more apparent but this book was like a paused stop-watch; the threads that deviate fall by the wayside for this book - not ended, but not important...yet.

This book is mostly Walt, with his usual supporting cast of characters elsewhere, off doing other stuff and, to be frank, I missed them. But, since the plot-deviations between book and show involve on-going romantic threads, this book is a great example of why I prefer romances written by men and geared for male audiences. The romance isn't given preference over everything else going on in the story-world. Other stuff -crime- happens. The romance builds slow and steady over a long course of time and, in the end, helps both the characters and the relationships feel more real than the ones displayed in poorly-disguised bodice-rippers touted as westerns. The separation of Walt from the other characters felt like romance building for future books and that is something that will endear me to the series as a whole, when it's completed. 

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