Craig Johnson Month #4: Hell is Empty, Divorce Horse

Craig Johnson is an American author. He was born on January16, 1961 in Huntington, West Virginia, in the United States. Craig Johnson writes in the Western, Crime fiction, Mystery, and Detective genres. Craig Johnson’s Western based Mystery series, The Walt Longmire book series, has been adopted into a TV series. The seventh and eighth books of the Walt Longmire’s series are, Hell is Empty and Divorce Horse.

Hell is Empty

In this book, Wyoming Sheriff Walt Longmire and his deputy Santiago ’Sancho’ are escorting a trio of convicts through the Bighorn Mountains to meet Sheriffs of the neighboring counties and federal agents to determine in which Sheriff gets jurisdiction over a newly reopened case. One of the convicts, Raynaud Shade, confessed to murdering and burying the body of a Native American boy in the mountains some years back. The boy’s father is Walt’s spiritual guide and friend. In a sudden mountain storm, Shade, who is headed to the death row in Utah, escapes into the wilderness and Walt sets off after him despite warnings by his deputy Sheriff that Shade is leading him into a trap.

I find this story to be moving as it involves commitment and danger as Sheriff Walt Longmire braves a killer ice storm in Bighorn Mountains in pursuit of Raynaud Shade, a homicidal maniac and the ultimate law man’s nightmare. This is a complex game of a lawman pursuing a madman. Shade confessed to murdering and burying a seven year old boy, Own White Buffalo, who turned out to be the son of Walt’s friend and spiritual guide, Virgil White Buffalo. In his determination to see that justice is done, Sheriff Walt seems to be driven first by personal pain and then his commitment as a law enforcement officer to ensure that the murder faces the justice. While in his Custody, Shade is a remorseless psychopath, had begun professing an affinity for Sheriff Walt, and this made the Sheriff uneasy and now he must find him. In the wilderness Sheriff Walt is only guided by Indian mysticism and a tattered paperback of Dante’s Inferno. I like Sheriff Walt’s commitment as he battles the icy hell of the Bighorn Mountain, cheating Death severally to ensure that justice both spiritual and civil is served.

Divorce Horse

In this book, Sheriff Walt, who is still recovering from his manhunt in the Bighorn Mountain chasing Reynaud Shade the escaped Psychopath and convict, has no time to relax. Sheriff Walt’s daughter, Cady, has come home. She getting married to the brother of his under Sheriff Victoria Moretti in a few months, and she is in town to help her father ��get well’ and to discuss love, weddings and life.

I was delighted to read the book. This story is not filled with danger, it deals with personal relationships as Sheriff Walt’s daughter gets married and a local couple, the Jefferson’s, suffers from the pain of divorce. Sheriff Walt has to find time to help his daughter with her wedding, and to play peacemaker between the divorcing couple. When a race horse, the notorious Divorce Horse, goes missing, Jefferson a renowned Indian Relay Racer and once the meth head decides he must have it back. Sheriff Walt with the help of his friend and his daughter goes to the races to find the Divorce Horse. The story is related in an authentic and humorous manner which makes the book interesting.


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