The Durant Municipal Solid Waste Disposal Center has started receiving human body parts. Make that a finger. OK, make that a part of a thumb. Found in a styrofoam cooler someone just dropped off.
Dead winter in Absaroka County Wyoming, 2nd week of subzero high temps, the 3rd go around; a winter that "was stretching out like a really long Russian novel." Sancho, his Basque deputy, is thinking about quitting (bullet fever after a too-close call in a recent confrontation). Daughter Cady is engaged to the brother of his deputy/friend with benefits, Vic(toria). Vic wants to buy a house and Longmire never seems to have time to help her look. Given that Vic looks like "one of those women draped over the hoods at car shows . . . the ones with an attitude and a 17-shot Glock," Longmire seems to continually trip over his own self around her. He continually ponders "the damage we all did in life simply by getting up in the morning."
You have to wonder what the weather does to people on the high prairie when Duane Stewart and his wife Gina are taking Duane's grandfather Geo out for a ride . . . by tying Geo to the back bumper of a 1968 Toronado with 100 ft of nylon rope.
Geo is a decent enough sort, for a guy whose body hair has grown through his long underwear. He is a 2nd generation keeper of the Durant dump, ah, make that the Municipal Solid Waste Disposal center. Their main house used to be a cathouse in the late 1890s, complete with a 100 yard tunnel to help people escape the periodic busts of the place. But Geo is a bit pissed off at developer Ozzie Dobbs whose new megabuck project is on schedule, except the part where Geo moves the dump out of sight of the new McMansions going up.
Oh, and I failed to mention that old man Geo is bumping uglies with Ozzie's 80yo mother.
Longmire's trying to figure out who is missing part of a finger. But then Ozzie and Geo go at it over Geo messing with Ozzie's mother. Geo is hurt pretty bad, but he's one tough ol' buck. Heads out in the snow to walk home, gets turned around, uses an old junk Chevy for shelter and dies.
Just another day in Absaroka County. Starts off with good natured, double-entendre verbal jabs, gets side tracked by the thumb and next thing you know Longmire's got 3 bodies piled up, an Aryan Brotherhood hermit deep in a mountain valley, a mass production farm of hydroponic weed, an encounter with bear-strength pepper spray, and another 2 feet of snow over the week; one thing mounts on top of another that he "feels like a baby seal in a Louisville Slugger factory."
Six books into the Longmire series with no chance of slowing down. Having watched the show (3 cheers for Netflix for having the good sense to pick up the 4th season after the idiot suits at A&E dropped the show), the voices of the show fill my head while reading. Every gesture, quip, rebuke, whatever, rings with a known voice. OK, so the show is not an exact reproduction of the books. That's OK. Robert Taylor's portrayal is, to me, spot on and brings Johnson's character even more to life in my head. I'm extremely impressed with Johnson's ability to bring the bleak high prairie to life. One of my power rotation authors is George Pelecanos, in part because of his skill at making Washington, DC a critical character in his books; Johnson is to the Wyoming prairie as Pelecanos is to DC. From my corner as a DC native, that's some high praise.
#7 is Hell is Empty. On the shelf at the library, but not for long.
East Coast Don