‘Any Other Name’ – Walt Longmire #10 by Craig Johnson – a relaxing comfort read but I could do without the obligatory mystic moment

Walt is sinking into a high-plains winter of discontent when his former boss, Lucian Connally, asks him to take on a mercy case in an adjacent county. Detective Gerald Holman is dead and Lucian wants to know what drove his old friend to take his own life.

With the clock ticking on the birth of his first grandchild, Walt learns that the by-the-book detective might have suppressed evidence concerning three missing women.

Digging deeper, Walt uncovers an incriminating secret so dark that it threatens to claim other lives even before the sheriff can serve justice–Wyoming style.

‘Any Other Name’ worked better for me than the last Walt Longmire book, ‘A Serpent’s Tooth’. It required a lot less suspension of disbelief and had a better mystery at its heart.

It was good to see Walt’s ex-boss, Lucian Connally again, he’s a larger-than-life get-what-needs-doing-done previous generation of Sherrif that I find easy to imagine. He makes Walt seem quite reasonable.

I liked that Walt was working outside of his jurisdiction, one country over from home, where people know of him but he doesn’t have a history with them. It kept everything fresh. I also liked that the mystery Walt is trying to solve, the reasons behind the apparent suicide of a by-the-book police officer, managed to be both a credible police investigation and to provide some very unexpected outcomes.

I could have done without the, by now apparently obligatory, mystical moment in the plot where Walt is visited by the spirit of a man he knows is dead. It’s getting a little old.

That aside, the action scenes worked, the plot held up, the suspects and witnesses were interesting and Walt’s dry, erudite humour was on form.

There was just the right amount of contact with the regular cast of characters to keep me up to date with the ongoing train wreck that is Walt’s personal life without getting in the way of the plot.

There was nothing spectacular here but it made a good comfort read and sustained my appetite for the series.

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