cover image Daughter of the Morning Star

Daughter of the Morning Star

Craig Johnson. Viking, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-29725-4

Bestseller Johnson’s twisty 17th Walt Longmire novel (after 2020’s Next to Last Stand) takes the Wyoming sheriff to Lame Deer, Mont., where troubled Jaya Long, the star of her high school basketball team, has been receiving threatening notes. Jaya’s tribal police chief aunt worries that much of Jaya’s bad behavior stems from the disappearance of her 17-year-old sister a year earlier on a drive back home from Billings and that the notes may be related to that tragedy. After Longmire questions a number of people close to Jaya, including her dysfunctional parents, dead bodies start turning up. Meanwhile, Jaya’s team makes it to the state finals, and when someone roughs up the girls’ coach, the gallant Longmire fills in and provides Jaya some lessons on the value of being a team player. As usual, Longmire, a Vietnam War vet, shrugs off some serious physical knocks, including falling into a canyon, on the way to a dramatic showdown with a killer and a bittersweet if hopeful ending. Fans will hope the sheriff has no plans to retire soon. Agent: Gail Hochman. Brandt & Hochman Literary. (June)