“He didn’t like animals, and I don’t trust people that don’t like animals. Hell, animals are the finest people I know.”
When their barn containing several horses is burned down and her husband is found shot to death, Mary is arrested. She admits to shooting her husband in retaliation for killing her prized horses. Her arrest occurs in a neighboring county but the sheriff doesn’t have room so he asks Walt to keep her in one of his cells until she is taken to prison. Walt quickly figures out there is more here than meets the eye and he works to find what really happened to Mary, her husband and the horses.
Fans of the television show will recognize the plot from one of the episodes. While it stays pretty close in many respects, there are enough differences that I will still on the edge of my seat. Walt again puts himself on the line to find the truth and The Dark Horse couldn’t have been much better. Of course, he gets an assist from Henry and Vic along the way (yes, fans, there is more Vic and Walt action here…finally.) One of the things that continues to keep each book fresh and new are the secondary characters introduced for each story. Here we have an beautiful female bartender, old school ranchers and an almost-ghost town whose residents don’t welcome visitors with open arms. Plus, a strong-willed but damaged black mare with a grudge to settle.
There is something about this gritty sheriff that is hard to define. When an author finds the magic to build such a character, they have to just count their lucky stars. Craig Johnson will be counting for a long time.