cover image Land of Wolves

Land of Wolves

Craig Johnson. Viking, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-0-525-52250-8

Bestseller Johnson’s solid 15th Walt Longmire novel finds the laconic sheriff back home in Absaroka County, Wyo., barely recovered from the serious injuries he received on his quixotic foray into Mexico in 2018’s Depth of Winter. The discovery of a dead sheep leads Walt into the Bighorns, where he comes across a lone wolf—and potential predator—as well as the body of shepherd Miguel Hernandez, his feet “stripped of all flesh and hanging six feet above the ground.” Quips a doctor during the autopsy: “I think it’s safe to assume the wolf didn’t hang him,” though the wolf evidently was able to nibble on the corpse’s feet. Hernandez might have hanged himself, but Walt soon digs up evidence suggesting otherwise. Meanwhile, Walt antagonizes those who want to solve the area’s so-called wolf problem by shooting the animals, collapses after saving a man’s life by carrying him up a steep hill, and endures the wrath of people close to him who worry about what they see as foolish behavior. Johnson keeps the reader guessing up to the satisfying ending. Witty dialogue, an endearing lead, and distinctive supporting characters all add up to a winner. [em]Author tour. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman Literary. (Aug.) [/em]