Monday, October 24, 2016

An Obvious Fact by Craig Johnson

First Sentence:  I tried to think how many times I’d kneeled down on asphalt to read the signs, but I knew this was the first time I’d done it in Hulett.

Sheriff Walt Longmire and his friend Henry Standing Bear travel to Hulett, Wyoming.  Walt is there to assist in the investigation of a hit-and-run accident.  Henry is there to test himself, and his motorcycle, at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.  Neither of them planned for the accident victim to be the son of Lola, the very flesh-and-blood woman for whom Henry’s ’59 Thunderbird was named.  Is he more than that?  Biker gangs, the ATF, and a military-grade vehicle all add to the activity.

How can one not like Walt Longmire—“I shrugged and glanced at Dog, the hundred-and-fifty pound security system. “Stay. And don’t bite anybody.”…”Is he mean?” “Absolutely.”  As I said this, he reached his bucket head over the side door and licked her shoulder with his wide tongue, “Well, almost absolutely.”--Henry Standing Bear, Vic Morelli, and Craig Johnson’s crisp dialogue with wonderful wry humor.  However, one does have to pay attention in order to follow who is speaking when.
The interaction between Walt and Henry regarding the danger of motorcycles—“Why do people ride these contraptions, anyway?...T.E. Lawrence died on a motorcycle.  You know what I make of that?”  “He should not have left Arabia?” and Henry’s quoting Walt’s copy of Sherlock Holmes—“The game is afoot.”—speaks to their friendship.  The information Johnson includes on both the area and on motorcycles is quite interesting.
The books are feeling "less than" the original Longmire books, and a bit formulaic.   There's not the same level of intensity as once was.  The plot here is well done, but the book is definitely character-driven and has a lighter sense to it than previous books.  One note that felt off was Henry’s reaction to the victim. 
An Obvious Fact” is an enjoyable read, and would be a perfect airplane book. 

AN OBVIOUS FACT (Pol Proc-Sheriff Walt Longmire-Wyoming/SD-Contemp) – G+
      Johnson, Craig – 12th in series
      Viking – Sept 2016

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