ANOTHER MAN’S MOCCASINS – Craig Johnson (Reviewed by Condorena)

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These days Sheriff Walt Longmire of Absaroka County, Wyoming is using his free time helping his daughter Cady with her rehab routines as she tries to recover from severe head injuries. He is called to the site outside of town where a young woman’s body has been found. She has been murdered and Walt knows as he sees her that she is Vietnamese.  Nearby in a pipe by a culvert her pocketbook is found along side a sleeping gigantic Indian who almost kills Walt when he tries to take him in.  It takes four men to subdue him to take him to the hospital. The man is totally uncommunicative and erupts again at the hospital. Finally the only way to keep him calm is to make sure he has company while he is in the jail cell. And keep feeding him mountains of food of course. He refuses to answer questions but his physique resembles that of the White Buffalo family and so family members are sent for. He is a Crow named Virgil White Buffalo.
When going through the belongings of the young Vietnamese woman Longmire is stunned to see a picture of himself playing the piano is a bar taken while he was in Vietnam during the war. He was there is his capacity as a Marine Investigator looking for sources of drugs and drug dealers whose activities have caused the death of a young marine. Walt begins to have flashback daydreams of  those days in Southeast Asia. His close friend Henry Standing Bear was there as well but serving more covert missions into Laos.
Despite what conjectures others may have Walt Longmire was not any relation to the dead woman but he wonders how she is related to a woman in the picture of the bar. He is also very concerned about what she was doing in Wyoming. As he begins to track her path he encounters a somewhat mysterious man who claims to be the woman’s grandfather. He is Mr. Tuyen from Los Angeles who says he is working for an organization known as ‘Children of the Dust’ which  finds and helps the mixed race children born to the native women  and fathered  by American GIs.
Walt Longmire doesn’t believe the man is entirely open with him and he also can’t believe that as violent as Virgil White Buffalo can be that he murdered  the young woman
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These excellent story is new, fresh as well as historical. It is not a plot you have run into before. It is also entertaining to get a glimpse of the young Walt who was a 6’6” blond musclebound marine who plays the piano. Like many of us he has left those days behind but is stronger for them. There are racism issues,and the issues of the sad continuing fact of the exploitation of young women who are naive and endlessly hopeful that bad things are not going to happen to them if they listen to a come on of a better life in another place.
Craig Johnson reaffirms the idea that all authority figures are not corrupt and that while there is occasionally evil even in Wyoming, some of the time you can be rescued from it.
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3 Responses to ANOTHER MAN’S MOCCASINS – Craig Johnson (Reviewed by Condorena)

  1. Sounds like a multi-layered mystery–and I love that particular sense of place.

    • Condorena says:

      This particular novel in the Craig Johnson series is definitely one that has multiple layers. The characters which repeat throughout the series help make his mysteries so plausible.

  2. Beth says:

    Condorena has a knack for finding interesting books. She has given me reviews by authors that don’t seem to be on anyone else’s radar. The reviews make it clear why she likes the authors she has found.

    I am always more than happy to post a review by anyone who wishes to offer one.

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