If you like mysteries out in the West (Wyoming in this case) then you will love this and his writing style. "The Cold Dish" is my top pick for the first novel Edgar Award, it's that good!" - Tony Hillerman
I waited patiently for this book even though I had already picked up some of the follow on titles in this series. I wanted to start from the beginning and I wasn't let down after having waited. This book was better than I had hoped! The writing style, the story line, the dialogue, and the relationships were all just terrific. I know that everyones likes are different but you'll not be sorry if you invest time in reading this book and this author.
As the title implies revenge is the theme of this book. When Cody Pritchard is found dead, Walt Longmire just knows that life is going to get complicated for his small town Sheriff's Department. Cody was a member of a gang of four that were arrested and tried for the sexual assault of a local Cheyenne woman - and when the men only received a light sentence the community was in an uproar, now that one of the golden four is dead, there are just too many suspects.
Sheriff Longmire initially suspects the Cheyenne community and with the help of his good friend, Henry Standing Bear, who also happens to be a suspect, the investigating begins. Now if only Walt can keep his professional distance maybe a reasonable conclusion can come about. But with the death of his wife 4 years before and a mourning process that just won't end, a new love interest, an unbelievable cast of characters, both in his own office and the community, Walt just might get to the bottom of this mess. That is if his bathroom shower curtain doesn't repeatedly try to wrap him up like a human burrito.
With a surprising ending and laugh out loud humor this is definitely a series worth continuing. And who knew, you can actually buy a helicopter out of the Neiman Marcus catalog.
First of the Longmire series. Complex and well-written tale of a the murders of young men who had raped a girl but served only token sentences. Longmire is sometimes reminiscent of Robert B. Parker's Spenser, but Johnson lacks the rat-a-tat rhythm. The pace slows down about midway through the book, and the main chracter takes a noir-ish nosedive at the very end.
1. so slow slow slow
2. a murder happens but it seems to be put aside while Johnson just meanders on about 'nothing'! pages and pages of NOTHING
3. I liked the tv show but this book isn't even close to the characters we know on tv, I didn't like any of the characters in the book AT ALL!
4. not much style of writing in this, just a lot of nonsense that doesn't pertain to the main storyline of a murder and the murder seems to be on the back burner
5. Longmire seems to be a lazy fat man with not much ambition, the rest of the cast isn't much better.
I had all the other books on my wish list but have now removed them, don't want anymore after the disaster of this one, don't waste your money
This book had almost everything--an interesting, conflicted hero; other complex characters; a rugged western setting; and a good mystery. I was surprised I hadn't heard of the author before, and I will be searching for the rest of the series to spend more time with these contemporary westerners.
snowglow reviewed The Cold Dish (Walt Longmire, Bk 1) on
Enjoyable and different. Great story, setting, characters, humor and writing. Very likeable lead character/narrator.
From the intro...
As the sheriff trying to unravel the mystery, he is also trying to find answers in his lonely disheveled personal life. His investigation leads him far beyond the identity of the killer. He experiences the hidden sordidness of an outwardly benign community and beholds the unimagineable strength of the Cheyenne Indians.
A thoughtful, riveting police procedural, it successfully combines rich good humor with pensive melancholy. While pressing forward like fate toward its stunning conclusion, the novel is equally adept in potraying the hard-nosed practicality of its narrator, the tragedy of sexual violence, the sublime mystery of the vast, open land, and the unconquerably humanity of the people who once called that land their own.
This is the first novel in the Longmire series and the second that I have read after The Dark Horse. I started reading this series after enjoying the Longmire TV show on A&E. Cold Dish is excellent - it really paints a picture of life in Wyoming including the mountains, rivers, and nature along with the people that inhabit this sparse land - the ranchers, Native Americans, and of course the lawmen. Parts of this novel were used for one of the episodes of the Longmire series. It involves the murders of some young men who were convicted of a brutal rape of a young native american girl with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. However, the plot of the novel and the TV show differs very dramatically. The ending of the book was a total surprise -- I really was not expecting who the shooter turned out to be in the novel. Overall, I really enjoyed this one and will be reading others in the series.
A terrific first novel and bodes well for the continuing series. I enjoyed all the characters, especially Walt's sidekicks - Henry (who is wise, witty and deadly) and Vic (who is foul-mouthed, funny and very good at her job). Walt Longmire is an excellent main character as sheriff - flawed but trustworthy - but this novel would not be as good if all the supporting characters weren't so strong. The former sheriff, the sheriff's office manager, the diner owner...the whole crew. They're all great. If you have any knowledge of the out of doors, you'll appreciate the care with which Johnson describes the terrain, the weather, the wildlife and the gear one needs to survive in it. Highly recommended.
First off, anyone expecting this book to be like the TV series will be disappointed. The only things in common with the show are the locations and the names.
That being said, overall it was a pretty good book. The mystery is just hard enough that you are not sure who is the murderer. The characters are more rounded than in the tv show. The sheriff is a more likeable character.
Not bad, but I probably will not read the rest of the series.
I really liked most of the book. The one thing I didn't like was the Vic character. I read this book after watching the Longmire show on A&E and was not expecting such an ugly character in the book. I don't really find anything redeeming in this foul mouthed character in the book and would have loved for her to be simply deleted. I really enjoyed all the rest of the book and LOVE the show.
I'm sorry, but I really tried to finish this. I wanted to, but it was horribly tedious. I just couldn't get through another 150 pages of dreary boring descriptions of everything from the road Walt was driving on to the simplest detail of what Vonnie was wearing every time he ran into her. In the 111 pages I read the only thing that happened was a boy was killed and a few other minor details that pretty much seemed useless. I love the A&E Series, Longmire, which these books are based on, but the books, not so much. I think I will stick to the series.