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The cold dish by Craig Johnson
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The cold dish (original 2004; edition 2005)

by Craig Johnson

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890689,932 (4)252
Member:bfister
Title:The cold dish
Authors:Craig Johnson
Info:New York : Viking, 2005.
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Wyoming, crime fiction

Work details

The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson (2004)

  1. 20
    Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger (sjmccreary)
    sjmccreary: similar remote locations, small towns near Indian reservations, both are cold weather settings
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Set in Absaroka County, Wyoming, Sheriff Walt Longmire is having to deal with a dead body. He rather be drinking. Before long, another body turns up. Four years before, 4 boys were given a suspended sentence for rape of a mentally handicapped Cheyenne girl. Since two of them have turned up dead in a short amount of time, Walt revisits that old case for suspects to the recent murders.

There’s a lot of great characters in this book along with a complex mystery. First, let’s talk characters. Walt himself is an interesting man. He has a keen wit, but rarely feels the need to flash it about. He knows a well-timed silence can bring him more information than blathering on. Four years prior to the setting of this book, he lost his wife. He’s still mourning her in some ways. However, his best friend since childhood, Henry Standingbear, feels it is time for him to clean up, work out, start dating, and complete the final touches on his cabin on the outskirts of town. Henry and Walt served together in Vietnam, and Henry knows just how far he can push Walt when. For the reader, Henry is also a bridge between two cultures (American and Cheyenne). the humor displayed between these two often lightens a dark moment, or adds a touch of poignancy to a dire situation.

There’s plenty of women in this book and while they are all side characters, they have their own personalities and agendas. Overall, they are well written. However, I will say that I find it convenient and a bit amusing that all the women in the book (with the one exception of a mother I can think of and Walt’s daughter) are drawn romantically to either Walt or Henry. Still, I look forward to seeing how the women fare in the rest of the series.

The setting seems to be 1990s, though I might be off about that. There’s computers and a few cell phones, etc. However, I think Walt and Henry are in their 50s, and they both served in the Vietnam war. So, maybe late 1990s. If you have watched the TV series, Longmire, then you will have noticed that the TV series is set in modern times. No matter the year this book is set in, it is a modern-day Western. I really enjoyed the setting as it is somewhat like New Mexico, where I live. Lots of folks are hunters, own guns, plenty of space between homes and farms, and quite often a person can find themselves without backup in an emergency situation.

The murder mystery itself had some twists and turns and I was not expecting. Having it coupled to the older crime of the rape 4 years previously gave the murder mystery some depth. First, Walt had to determine if the two deaths were related to the older crime. If they were, he had a list of suspects. If they weren’t, then he had to find the motive before he could figure out suspects. One by one, his list of suspects dwindles. The ending was a bit of a surprise to me. However, the author did a good job of showing through Walt’s eyes how he missed the clues in front of him.

I’ll definitely be continuing this series. Mostly, it is the characters that drew me in and held me. They each have some flaw in their character that makes them human and easy to connect with. I am very curious to see where the author takes these characters that I grew attached to in such a short amount of time.

The Narration: George Guidall was a good fit for Walt Longmire, through whose eyes the story is told. Guidall is not always my favorite narrator as he has a limited range. for this book, he put it to good use. However, most of his female voices sound very similar to begin with and over the course of the book lose their individuality. ( )
1 vote DabOfDarkness | Aug 2, 2015 |
The narrator and central character of this novel and series, Walt Longmire, is a great voice - sympathetic with a wry sense of humor. It allows the author to tell an interesting story of revenge, set in modern day, remote Wyoming. Walt is the sheriff and has a supporting cast of characters that is varied and present interesting color. I look forward to reading another of the current 11 in the series. ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
I thought the characters were interesting and the story was plenty high drama. I love the quirk Craig Johnson gives Henry - that he doesn't use contractions. It gives him a very unique voice. There is a lot of foul language, which is no surprise in a police drama, but I'm not sure I feel like reading another one. ( )
  nittnut | Jun 15, 2015 |
I am thrilled to have been introduced to this author and his series of novels featuring Walt Longmire, a county sheriff in Wyoming. I loved reading this one (first novel) and look forward to reading many more.

Johnson has a great way with words - very descriptive without getting too "wordy". He does an excellent job of character and plot development. Especially appreciated was his ability to keep the final conclusion a mystery - so many authors seem to unable to keep the climax and outcome to the mystery hidden. They so often telegraph the "punch line".

The lead character is a complex man who I look forward to getting to know as I read future novels. ( )
  labdaddy4 | May 26, 2015 |
This was a good page turner and a well written book. As someone who lived in Wyoming for a time, the small details and the way Johnson writes about the culture of this state really has the feeling of reading about somewhere I consider home. I look forward to reading the rest of the series. ( )
  EllsbethB | May 9, 2015 |
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Epigraph
Revenge is a dish best served cold. --Pierre Ambroise Francois Choderlos de La Clos, Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Dedication
For
The Dairy Princess of Wayne Count
And the Crack Shot of Cabell ...
First words
"Bob Barnes says they got a dead body out on BLM land."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
After twenty-four years as sheriff of Wyoming's Absaroka County, Walt Longmire's hopes of finishing out his tenure in peace are dashed when Cody Prithcard is found dead near the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Two years earlier, Cody had been one of four high school boys given suspended sentences for raping a local Cheyenne girl. Somebody, it would seem, is seeking vengeance, and Longmire might be the only thing standing between the three remaining boys and a Sharps .45-70 buffalo rifle.
With lifelong friend Henry Standing Bear, Deputy Victoria Moretti, and a cast of characters both tragic and humorous enough to fill in the vast emptiness of the high plains, Walt Longmire attempts to see that revenge, a dish best served cold, is nver served at all.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143036424, Paperback)

Introducing Wyoming’s Sheriff Walt Longmire in this riveting novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Hell Is Empty and As the Crow Flies, the first in the Walt Longmire Mystery Series, the basis for LONGMIRE, the hit A&E original drama series
 
Fans of Ace Atkins, Nevada Barr and Robert B. Parker will love this outstanding first novel, in which New York Times bestselling author Craig Johnson introduces Sheriff Walt Longmire of Wyoming’s Absaroka County. Johnson draws on his deep attachment to the American West to produce a literary mystery of stunning authenticity, and full of memorable characters. After twenty-five years as sheriff of Absaroka County, Walt Longmire’s hopes of finishing out his tenure in peace are dashed when Cody Pritchard is found dead near the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Two years earlier, Cody has been one of four high school boys given suspended sentences for raping a local Cheyenne girl. Somebody, it would seem, is seeking vengeance, and Longmire might be the only thing standing between the three remaining boys and a Sharps .45-70 rifle.
 
With lifelong friend Henry Standing Bear, Deputy Victoria Moretti, and a cast of characters both tragic and humorous enough to fill in the vast emptiness of the high plains, Walt Longmire attempts to see that revenge, a dish best served cold, is never served at all.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:23 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

When a local boy is found dead near the North Cheyenne reservation, most people assume it was an isolated incident, but when Sheriff Walt Longmire launches an investigation, he discovers that two years earlier, the dead boy and three other high school boys had been given suspended sentences for raping a Cheyenne girl. Soon, a second boy is gunned down, and only Sheriff Longmire can keep the other two safe.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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