Sometimes titles are misleading. When you pick up a book called Depth of Winter, starring Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire, you assume you’ll get a story set in the Wyoming winter.
That’s not what this entry in Craig Johnson’s Longmire saga is, at all (the title’s from a quotation from Camus). It’s a quest story, in which old Walt heads down to Mexico (where it’s hot), all alone, to rescue his daughter Cady, who’s been kidnapped by a vengeful Mexican cartel boss. Instead of his usual cast of supporting characters, we have here a new group of people to help him out, and they’re pretty bizarre – a blind, legless humpback called “The Seer,” a young man with a pink Cadillac, a rancher, a mute Indian sniper. When a fictional series brings in a previously unknown supporting cast, you can be fairly sure those characters will suffer a high mortality rate, and that’s true in this case.
If I remember the first Longmire novel correctly (it’s been a while since I read it), Longmire was originally an overweight county sheriff who made a lot of jokes and was smarter than he appeared when it came to solving crimes. Now (probably under the influence of the TV series), he’s become a larger than life action hero, enduring and inflicting suffering beyond what’s plausible for a guy his age.
Depth of Winter was readable and rousing, with lots of action. But I had trouble believing in it. The final showdown was cinematic and completely unbelievable.
I bridled at a slighting comment on religious faith, though that comment was made in the context of Longmire giving thanks to… Somebody.
I want to read some of the earlier books, to verify my impressions about the evolution of the character, but for some reason I’ve only been able to find the more recent books available from my public library for KIndle. I find the Longmire books readable, but I’m not in love with them. This book struck me as uncharacteristic enough to qualify as extra-canonical.
Cautions for language and intense violence.