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The Dark Horse (2009)

by Craig Johnson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Walt Longmire (5)

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7875422,085 (4.12)108
When Walt Longmire meets a woman jailed for her husband's death, he travels outside his usual haunts to discover the truth behind this unusual murder case.

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» See also 108 mentions

English (54)  French (1)  All languages (55)
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
Character List


The Dark Horse (Walt Longmire #5)

Kyle Straub was the sitting prosecuting attorney
Ernie Brown, editor in chief of the Durant Courant
Joe Meyer state attorney general’s office, let alone from the ranking officer himself.

Mike Niall, old rancher

Absalom was King David’s son—the cursed one who turned against him.

Mary Barsad was tall with blond hair pulled back in a ponytail, with a face that had more character than pretty would allow. She and her husband had The L Bar X.
Wade Barsad dead husband
Juana, and she was from Guatemala. bartender at hotel
Her son, Benjamin

Sandy Sandberg sheriff of Campbell County
Bill Nolan bein’ number two, wanted to kill that son-of-a-bitch polygraph
Cliff Cly, who was in a bar over here tellin’ everybody how he did it polygraph
Hershel Vanskike might have been interested in killin’ the bastard, too.
“Oh, he screwed an old rancher, Mike Niall,

( )
  kevn57 | Dec 8, 2021 |
A good read and a fast story. Was a little confused w who's at one point. Longmire stories are always good but alwasy seem to be missing something. A little too cornball, confusing, or a missing seen. But a solid 3.5. ( )
  JBreedlove | Apr 7, 2021 |
Gods, how I hate back-and-forth in time, and bits of this felt like, "HERE IS YOUR PATH, READER," All caps an everything - but the writing has moments nearly as solid as the first book. A favorite character, new in this book, probably never to be seen again: Worth it. ( )
  wetdryvac | Mar 2, 2021 |
The Walt Longmire series is one of my favorites. I love the characters, the setting, the plots....I just enjoy the books. I also loved (and miss) the television series. The casting was perfect! There were huge changes in some characters and plots between the books and the television adaptation, but that's ok. I enjoyed both as separate, but related, Longmire stories.

The Dark Horse is the 5th book in the series. Walt Longmire knows something isn't right with a case he's investigating. A man locked his wife's horses in their barn and lit it on fire. So, the wife allegedly got a gun and shot him in the head six times. But....the facts just aren't lining up. The case is even from another county, but Longmire decides to go undercover to do some digging around. It's difficult to go undercover in a small town that only has about 40 residents.....but he wants to know what actually happened. on the ranch that night before a possibly innocent woman goes to prison for murder.

I love how the Longmire books combine rural and tribal life, law enforcement investigation, and humor to form awesome modern western tales. Vic Moretti is my favorite character. Vic is foul-mouthed, tough and very protective of her boss. She's a skilled deputy, but also a sexy woman who doesn't take any crap from anybody. I love her relationship with Walt and the way she deals with people. Awesome character! Henry Standing Bear comes up a close second to Vic. He has been Walt's friends since they were in school together. They also served in Vietnam together. Their relationship is an incredibly close one. Henry is complex....very spiritual, very loyal and rough & tumble when he has to be.

I enjoyed The Dark Horse. The plot was engaging and interesting. There were some excellent twists and side plots. Great story! I listened to the audio book version (Recorded Books), narrated by George Guidall. Guidall gave an excellent performance as usual. The Recorded Books version I got from my local library also includes a lengthy interview with author Craig Johnson. It was so interesting to hear him talk about his writing, characters and life!

On to the next book -- Junkyard Dogs! ( )
  JuliW | Nov 22, 2020 |
A mystery with a lot of unexpected twists and turns. The evolvement of horses makes it very much a cowboy story. Walt continues to find ways of getting hurt anf also stays involved with interesting guns.
Longmire demonstrates interesting cultural asides - often subtle.
A satisfying story. ( )
  waldhaus1 | Sep 27, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Craig Johnsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
guidall, georgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Welch, DarrenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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dark horse:noun
1a; a usually little known contender (as a racehorse) that makes an unexpectedly good showing
b: an entrant in a contest that is judged unlikely to succeed.
2: a person who reveals little about himself or herself, esp. someone who has unexpected talents or skills
For Sue Fletcher,
the real "Wahoo Sue,"

for Juana DeLeon,
whose heritage lives on in Auda, Marlen, and Benjamin.
First words
"It was the third week of a high-plains October, and an unseasonably extended summer had baked the color from the landscape and had turned the rusted griders of the old bridge a thinned-out tired brown."
"It's important to me because I believe you're innocent and I've spent most of my life defending and protecting the innocent."
I watched Hershel and Benjamin, cowpokes separated by a good sixty years but joined in a brotherhood of horseback and by a thing we all shared, the want of a journey to a mystical place.
There was a lesson my mother had instilled in me at an early age, which had been reinforced by my experience in Vietnam and by my twenty-four years as sheriff of Absaroka County. She said that I should protect and cherish the young, the old, and the infirm, because at some point I would be all of these things before my own journey ended.
I remember him speaking to the horses he shod in a low and reassuring voice, explaining what he was doing to them; he said it was one of the things we owed them for their absolute, unreserved, unswerving loyalty. He said the outside of a horse is always good for the inside of a man.
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When Walt Longmire meets a woman jailed for her husband's death, he travels outside his usual haunts to discover the truth behind this unusual murder case.

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Book description
Wade Barsad burns down his barn with his wife Mary's horses in it. In return, she shoots him in the head.

Wade Barsad. a man with a dubious past and a gift for maknig enemies, burned his wife Mary's horses in their barn; in retribution, she shot him in the head six times, or so the story goes. But Sheriff Walt Longmire doesn't believe Mary's confession and is determined to dig deeper.

Unpinning his star to pose as an insurance investigator, Walt visits the Barsad ranch and discovers that everyone in town - including a beautiful Guatamalen bartender and a rancher with a taste for liquer - had a reason for wanting Wade dead.
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