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JUNKYARD DOGS by Craig Johnson



Pub Date: May 31st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-670-02182-6
Publisher: Viking

In rural Absaroka County, Wyo., where Sheriff Walt Longmire keeps an uneasy peace, junk isn’t always junk. It’s often worse.

Geo Stewart, 72, is the kind of man broken bones happen to. That’s old news to the docs at Durant Memorial Hospital. This time, however, along with a fractured clavicle—the result of being drawn some distance roped to the rear of an ancient Oldsmobile—Geo has a bit of unsettling news for the docs, who will pass it on to Sheriff Longmire, whose life it will immeasurably complicate. When he’s not in the hospital, Geo is steward of the Durant dump, which he prefers to call the “Municipal Solid Waste Facility.” In this capacity, he’s found a severed thumb. Since no one has reported it missing, Sheriff Walt has a mystery on his hands. And since nothing is ever as easy in Absaroka County as counting noses, or digits, the mystery will only deepen and develop links to other local mysteries, such as exactly what kind of crop is being harvested in a certain Durant basement, or who’s responsible for the sudden surge in the county homicide rate. Or, knottiest of all, what to do about the unseemly, ongoing romantic comedy starring grizzled, wintry Walt and Deputy Victoria Moretti, his feisty, foul-mouthed, adorable girl of summer.

It’s hard to imagine a more likable lawman than Sheriff Walt (The Dark Horse, 2009, etc.). Thumbs up.