Review: Junkyard Dogs by Craig Johnson
Junkyard Dogs is the sixth book in the Walt Longmire series (now a hit TV show on A&E). Walt Longmire is the sheriff of Absaroka County in Wyoming. He’s got nutty locals to deal with along with Indian troubles, a staff that talks back, a confusing relationship with his deputy Victoria “Vic” Moretti, a crazy ex-sheriff shooting up his room at the old folks home, and apparently a murder every couple of months.
Junkyard Dogs follows Walt as he deals with the eccentric Steward family headed by off-his-rocker Geo who opens the book by being dragged off his roof while cleaning the chimney. With kerosine. And he’s the bright one in the family. It’s not long before he winds up dead and Walt gets thrown into a world of junkyards, illegal drugs, and Neo-Nazis.
Walt handles the case with his usual wise-cracking way, following the clues through a deadly tangle of lies and business deals gone bad. If a multiple murder isn’t bad enough he’s got some issues to sort out with his deputies. Vic is buying a house and wants Walt’s help and Sancho—the newest member of the team—is suffering from PTSD after a near-death experience. Henry is busy planning Cady’s (Walt’s daughter) wedding to Vic’s younger brother Michael and Ruby is as sassy as ever. With a cast of zany characters and murder mystery that leaves Walt only a little chewed up, Junkyard Dogs doesn’t disappoint.
I started reading the Longmire series last year after seeing it pop up on a recommended list at Goodreads. It sounded interesting and I was looking for something grown-up to read. I was hooked by the end of page one. I didn’t start watching the show until season two was over (catching some of it in reruns). By then I was on book five. As much as I love the show which is different, but just as witty and entertaining, the books are so much better. Of course now I can only picture Henry looking like Lou Diamond Phillips. I’m sorry it took me this long to get to book six and that it took me so long to finish (school really cuts into recreational reading time).
Craig Johnson is a master at crafting a good mystery with just the right amount of humor. His grasp of Native American culture and small town living adds depths to his books that I don’t often see (probably because I read a lot of lighthearted teen romance novels). Each book gets better and better.