Review – As The Crow Flies (Walt Longmire #8) by Craig Johnson

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There are so many crazy things going on in our world and sometimes a little thing in a book can make you think about important, real world issues.  As The Crow Flies is the 8th book in the Longmire series.  When I start a Craig Johnson novel, I love to read the acknowledgements and foreword.  In this one, Johnson talks about the fact that people ask him if he catches grief for using the word “Indian” instead of “Native American”.  Here is his response: “Most of my interaction has been with members of the Cheyenne and Crow tribes, who generally laugh when I try to use the more sensitive term.  They ask me where, exactly, I was born – hence, my being a ‘Native American’ too.  I’ve been fortunate enough to spend time over the years with these magnificent people, and I can honestly say that I enjoy their company above all others.”  In the narrative itself there is another non-politically correct reference: “In a perverseness of geography, there were two towns by the name of Birney just on and just off the Rez.  To the Indians they will forever be referred to as Red Birney and White Birney, but to the politically correct Caucasians the names had been transmogrified to Birney Day and Birney Post.”  I’m not sure why this really stuck with me, but it did.  In the world of social media, someone is always offended about something.  Wouldn’t it be a better place if we looked at the quality of a person’s character and how they treat others rather than assuming the worst ALL THE TIME?

Part of what I enjoy about the Walt Longmire series is the friendship between Henry Standing Bear and Walt.  Henry is everything.  The end.

In the past few months, I’ve been reading some of the Tony Hillerman series as well.  One of them, People of Darkness, discusses some Native American (see, I just did it myself) religions that use Peyote as part of their ceremonies.  It was interesting to see Walt experience this hallucinogen – is it legal in religious ceremonies now?  Just wondering.

My only complaint with ATCF is Walt and his women.  I get it – he is a man’s man.  But, honestly, I tired of him constantly staring at women, talking about their necks (that was just plain weird) and how staggeringly beautiful they were.  I know he and Vic aren’t exclusive but come on.  Women are more than hair, eyes, necks (?!), breasts and butts.  He was even carrying on about the light playing in his daughter’s hair and her adding suntan lotion to her feet.

Overall, enjoyable and a good addition to the series.  Just stop with the woman-ogling, Walt!

4/5 stars.

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