Friday, July 25, 2008

Another Man's Moccasins-Craig Johnson

Another Man's Moccasins
Craig Johnson
Viking, Jun 2008, $24.95
ISBN: 0670018619

The caller informs 911 that a female body lies alongside the highway in Absaroka County, Wyoming. Sheriff Walt Longmire goes to investigate. There he finds the corpse of Vietnamese woman Ho Thi Paquet; nearby sitting on the ground holding the victim’s purse as if it is sacred is Native American Virgil White Buffalo. However Walt is stunned when he goes through Ho’s personal possessions to find a photograph of him when he served as a military inspector in Nam with a Vietnamese barmaid circa 1968.

Walt concludes that the obvious in which Virgil killed Ho is not what happened. He and his friend Native American Henry Standing Bear investigate by trying to follow Ho's recent journey, They are shocked when the paths the young woman took lead back to a West Coast slave trafficking ring and the sheriff’s Vietnam duty.

This is the fourth Longmire police procedural (see DEATH WITHOUT COMPANY, COLD DISH and KINDNESS GOES UNPUNISHED), but this reviewer’s first; based on this superb tale this reviewer will have to go back to read them. The whodunit is fun to follow, but the look back to Walt’s war time makes for a superior read as the present connects to four decades ago. Sub-genre fans will appreciate this engaging, engrossing thriller that ties late 1960s Viet Nam and 2008 Wyoming effortlessly together.

Harriet Klausner