cover image As the Crow Flies

As the Crow Flies

Craig Johnson. Viking, $25.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-670-02351-6

In bestseller Johnson’s excellent eighth Walt Longmire mystery (after 2011’s Hell Is Empty), Walt agrees to help the new tribal police chief of Wyoming’s Northern Cheyenne Reservation, Lolo Long, with an investigation, even though his daughter Cady’s wedding is imminent. Walt saw a woman, later identified as Audrey Plain Feather, plunge from Painted Warrior cliff holding her infant son, Adrian. Miraculously, Adrian survives, but the evidence points to murder, not suicide, in Audrey’s death. Suspicion immediately falls on Audrey’s abusive husband, Clarence Last Bull, but Walt isn’t convinced of his guilt, especially when the FBI shows up, hot on the trail of illegal drugs. Meanwhile, Lolo, an Iraqi war vet, is eager to prove she can do her job, despite her lack of police training. Johnson expertly highlights his conflicted hero’s dual role as father and sheriff in this deeply satisfying installment. The TV series Longmire, starring Australian actor Robert Taylor as the Wyoming sheriff, premiers on A&E in June. 10-city author tour. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents. (May)