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A decades-dead Vietnamese bar girl plays a starring role in a contemporary Wyoming murder investigation.

Walt Longmire, Sheriff of Absaroka County, has been acting as rehab coach for his daughter Cady, an assault victim (Kindness Goes Unpunished, 2007). But he’s called away to deal with a dead Vietnamese girl alongside the highway. The murder trail leads to a derelict Crow Indian by the name of Virgil White Buffalo, but the case is complicated when a tattered photograph found in the girl’s pocket shows Walt and a young prostitute back in the 1960s. How did this girl come to have this picture? Flashbacks show Walt reliving his war experiences and relationships but hardly prepare him for the arrival of Tran Van Tuyen, who claims to be the dead girl’s grandfather. Meanwhile, Virgil’s in lockup, wolfing down pizzas at the county’s expense. There are indications that Ho Thi Paquet, the dead girl, was here illegally, perhaps a “dust child,” the offspring of an American GI and a Vietnamese woman, and that another girl was traveling with her before she died. The sad resolution will do little to heal Asian/American tragedies past and current.

The back story, with its venality, racism and murder, is riveting, and Johnson dovetails Walt’s life then and now with great skill. Readers who’ve come to admire Walt’s cohort, Henry Standing Bear, will want to award him the Medal of Honor for his war exploits.

Pub Date: June 2nd, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-670-01861-1
Page count: 290pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2008

Kirkus Interview
Craig Johnson
author of DRY BONES
May 12, 2015

In the latest installment of Craig Johnson’s bestselling Longmire series, Wyoming’s beloved lawman takes on his coldest case yet. When Jen, the largest, most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever found surfaces in Sherriff Walt Longmire’s jurisdiction, it appears to be a windfall for the High Plains Dinosaur Museum—until Danny Lone Elk, the Cheyenne rancher on whose property the remains were discovered, turns up dead, floating face down in a turtle pond. With millions of dollars at stake, a number of groups step forward to claim her, including Danny’s family, the tribe, and the federal government. "Johnson's crusty sheriff (Any Other Name, 2014, etc.) remains tough, smart, honest, and capable of entertaining fans with another difficult, dangerous case,” our reviewer writes. View video >


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