When a female resident of an assisted living center dies, Walt is called in by a fellow resident and the prior sheriff, Lucian Connally. He believes she was murdered and has a personal interest in finding out the truth.
Craig Johnson is a natural storyteller. The plot line is interesting and he uses great pacing throughout the book. But, it is the characters that keep you turning pages. Walt is obviously the star and he is a great mix of old Cowboy and modern man. His respect for Vic is central to their relationship and their dynamic is one of the main draws. Vic is sharp-tongued but smarter than most around her. I just love her, potty mouth and all (she really has some zingers in DWC.) And, you know what, I’d venture to say that Walt loves her too. I can’t wait to see how this turns out.
Henry Standing Bear – the loyal friend and wing man. Everyone needs a Henry in their life. Someone who will call you out when you are wrong but will risk their life for you.
Lucian plays a vital role in this story and we learn more about his past. He is about as non-PC as one can get and it works because he just doesn’t give a damn but deep down you see who he really is if you take away the bravado.
The secondary characters continue to add depth to the story with the feeling of a small town where everybody knows everybody else. From the diner waitress to Walt’s daughter, each play important roles along with a few new characters including a deputy who fits right in.
My only minor complaint is something that I noticed in book one but tried to ignore. When it happened again in DWC, it stuck out like a sore thumb. Walt is obviously a smart man and a sheriff who pretty much plays by the rules. But in both stories so far, he’s been far too willing to talk about current cases and what most would consider confidential information in front of women he’s seeing personally. I can get him sharing ideas with Henry, a long time friend that he can trust. But, someone who hasn’t earned that trust? The only reason I can think for Walt to do that is that they are women so he is less worried about it becoming an issue and I don’t really like that explanation. I’m going to forgive it for now and assume it’s just a character flaw that could be intentional or unintentional (mostly because he shows Vic so much respect and that gives me hope about his attitude towards women.)
While it isn’t perfect, another 5-star installment. Highly recommended.