A new novel in the beloved New York Times bestselling Longmire series.
What if you woke up lying in the middle of the street in the infamous town of Fort Pratt, Montana, where thirty young Native boys perished in a tragic 1896 boarding-school fire? What if every person you encountered in that endless night was dead? What if you were covered in blood and missing a bullet from the gun holstered on your hip? What if there was something out there in the yellowed skies, along with the deceased and the smell of ash and dust, something the Northern Cheyenne refer to as the Éveohtsé-heómėse, the Wandering Without, the Taker of Souls? What if the only way you know who you are is because your name is printed in the leather sweatband of your cowboy hat, and what if it says your name is Walt Longmire . . . but you don’t remember him?
In Hell and Back, the eighteenth installment of the Longmire series, author Craig Johnson takes the beloved sheriff to the very limits of his sanity to do battle with the most dangerous adversary he’s ever faced: himself.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A dogged sheriff can’t remember who he is in this haunting whodunit. Walt Longmire doesn’t actually know he’s Walt Longmire when he wakes up battered and bloody in the middle of a strange small town. But soon, he’s drawn into the Twin Peaks–like place, full of suspicious townies that aren’t half as scary as the community’s abandoned boarding school for Native American boys. This book in Craig Johnson’s long-running Walt Longmire series is steeped in a surreal blend of indigenous lore and Western gothic gloom. We appreciated the otherworldly settings as Walt bounces between past and present, unraveling the mystery of this unusual place and his own identity. Hold on tightly as Longmire fights an enemy that may not be of this world.
At the outset of bestseller Johnson's solid if surreal 18th Walt Longmire mystery (after 2021's Daughter of the Morning Star), the Absaroka County, Wyo., sheriff wakes up in the middle of a snowy street, part of his sheepskin coat frozen to the ground. He has no idea who he is or how he ended up in Fort Pratt, Mont., or why he's covered in blood with a bullet missing from his gun. Walt only learns his name when a waitress at a deserted café points out that it's printed in his cowboy hat's sweatband. Then, in a mystical turn, he's transported back to 1896, when 31 Native American boys died in a fire that destroyed Fort Pratt's Industrial Indian Boarding School. Meanwhile, Walt's undersheriff, Victoria Moretti, and friend Henry Standing Bear go looking for him. This departure from the usual straightforward police procedural centers on Walt's emotional health, keeping the reader wondering whether his fugue state is amnesia or insanity. Longtime fans will relish Johnson's new insights into Walt's character, though this isn't the place to start for newcomers.
Reading this series for so long now,I feel like I am on a adventure with old friends. Walt, Bear and Vic are great characters and I’m always excited for a new book.
His worst in the wonderful series!
Big disappointment! Fast forwarded through all of his ramblings and focused on Vic and Henry’s actions. Did not like it at all! I’ve read all of his other books and enjoyed them.
Good writing but strange story
Craig Johnson has always had this great word usage that makes the characters so fresh and fleshed out but unfortunately this story dips too much into the supernatural making it feel like an outlier in the series. In the past, there may have been a scene or two but so much of this story is outside the physical world and it lost steam for me.