Dan Johnson speaks to author Craig Johnson about his latest work, The Western Strar...
Sheriff Walt Longmire is enjoying a celebratory beer after a weapons certification at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy when a younger sheriff confronts him with a photograph of twenty-five armed men standing in front of a Challenger steam locomotive. It takes him back to when, fresh from the battlefields of Vietnam, then-deputy Walt accompanied his mentor Lucian to the annual Wyoming Sheriff’s Association junket held on the excursion train known as the Western Star, which ran the length of Wyoming from Cheyenne to Evanston and back. Armed with his trusty Colt .45 and a paperback of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, the young Walt was ill-prepared for the machinations of twenty-four veteran sheriffs, let alone the cavalcade of curious characters that accompanied them.
The photograph—along with an upcoming parole hearing for one of the most dangerous men Walt has encountered in a lifetime of law enforcement—hurtles the sheriff into a head-on collision of past and present, placing him and everyone he cares about squarely on the tracks of runaway revenge.
from publishers weekly:
"Bestseller Johnson pays homage to Agatha Christie in his cleverly plotted 13th Walt Longmire novel (after 2016’s An Obvious Fact), which takes place in both the past and the present. In 1972, Walt, an Absaroka County deputy and newly returned Vietnam War vet, joins his boss, Sheriff Lucian Connelly, for the Wyoming Sheriffs’ Association annual excursion across the state aboard the steam train Western Star. In Walt’s pocket is a copy of Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. On the train, Walt attracts the attention of Kim LeClerc, the comely companion of Sheriff George McKay, who warns the deputy to stay away from her. Soon afterward, during a station stop, someone knocks Walt out just as he’s about to reboard the train. Walt hitches a ride to the next stop, where he learns that McKay has disappeared and another sheriff has been shot dead. In the present day, Walt is opposed to the release of a serial killer, who’s dying and has been imprisoned for decades, for a personal reason that will catch readers by surprise. Witty dialogue abounds. Johnson winds up the whodunit with a solution that Christie could never have imagined."