A Serpents Tooth by Craig Johnson , Crime, Thrillers, Mystery and Horror Books

07.08.2017 20:56

Its always interesting to compare a book series to one thats been adapted for TV. My recent experience of this has been the Dexter and Rizzoli and Isles series. Now, add Longmire, based on Craig Johnsons superb and unique mystery thrillers about a most unusual Montana sheriff.

Walt Longmire is nothing if not fearless. Or, so it would appear. If fear doesnt trail close by as he confronts the evil that visits his Absaroka County jurisdiction, he hides it well. Such is true when he faces some vicious killers whove attached themselves to a Mormon clan with a mysterious purpose in buying up a big tract of land for reasons as yet unknown.

But, before we get into the plot of this latest adventure, lets start with one of the elements of intrigue that makes this sheriffs department distinct. That would be undersheriff Vic, or Victoria Moretti, a sassy and gorgeous lawwoman if there ever was one. Shes in love with her boss despite his much greater years. And Walt -- well, for his part, hes just confused about what he should do about his own feelings for the lady who fills out a uniform like few others. The improbability of the relationship is throwing his lasso into a loop. Hes a straight shooter kind of guy and he cant help worrying about a mismatch. But this doesnt stop him from engaging with his chief deputy when she makes it unrefusable.

The story begins with the sudden experience of wayward boy Cord Lynear, who turns out to be a Mormon lost boy and one of 400-pound Roy Lynears army of offsprings. A little thief in training, Cords just trying to survive on his own, one way or another. Longmire throws him in a jail cell for his actions but, as the sheriff learns more about him and his fathers actions, he leaves Cords cell unlocked, turning it into a witness protection motel room because of those who mean him harm.

Johnsons mysteries are always tainted with oddballs among the cutthroats and subnormality with the supernatural. One of those oddballs who appears out of the Montana wilderness is a delusional older man who represents himself as 200-year old Orrin Porter, Man of God, Son of Thunder, blessed by Joseph Smith himself. Hes come into Walts jurisdiction to find Cord and serve as his bodyguard... by self-appointment.

Longmires closest friend is Henry Standing Bear who serves as an ally in tight situations, a strategic advisor, and a mental guide to spiritual parallels to tangible reality. Walt, Vic and George face the armed children at the compound and, later, the killers. But,in a Longmire novel, theres always a situation in which Walt goes out alone and, often, unarmed, to face mortal danger, and this story is no exception. If theres a criminal out on the loose, its his duty. No second thoughts.

Though the TV series clearly attempts to adapt the source material faithfully, and while Robert Taylor is as good a representation of the title character as you could find, the TV version is no substitute for the read. This works in both directions: if youve only read the books, you might want to see the broadcast; and, vice versa, the TV translation should make you want to read the books. And, BTW, same goes for Dexter and Rizzoli and Isles.
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