Thursday, July 18, 2013

Memorable, readable picture of American West.

Craig Johnson's "As the Crow Flies" is a penetrating story of life on the Indian Reservation and the poverty and desolation of those living in the area.

Sheriff Walt Longmire is in the midst of preparing for his daughter's wedding. His good friend, Henry Standing Bear is acting as wedding planner.

The novel, written as if the author was standing on Sheriff Longmire's shoulder. The original location of the setting for Walt's daughter's wedding has met with a snag and Walt and Henry are looking for a new location when a woman falls to her death from a nearby cliff. Luckily, her infant survives.

Each character is finely drawn and their plight in the panoramic scope of the area is depicted as if the viewer was watching the action unfold before them. There has been a successful TV series based on Longmire's actions that has been very successful.

The list of suspects is long and Walt works with newly appointed Chief Lola Long, Cheyenne Tribal Police Chief, in attempting to find the killer.

This is a complex story, gradually unfolding before the reader. We wonder how some characters live in corrugated lined homes with the outside filled with broken down cars and maybe having electricity and water but reminiscent of Indian life many years ago.

Well done and brings back memories of the wonderful writer of American Indian life, Tony Hillerman.


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