- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group; Reprint edition (26 April 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143108182
- ISBN-13: 978-0143108184
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.5 x 19.7 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 113 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
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Dry Bones: A Longmire Mystery Paperback – 26 Apr 2016
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"Fast-paced [and] entertaining . . . Johnson, as usual, offers colorful glimpses of Wyoming history and its physical features. Johnson is able to make the landscape itself at least as fascinating as the slightly off-kilter, and sometimes murderous, folks that inhabit Walt's universe."
--Charleston Post & Courier "Yet another classic Craig Johnson mystery."
"The [Longmire] series continues to be fresh and innovative. In Dry Bones, Johnson accomplishes this through a 'sixty-five-million-year-old cold case' with current social and political implications, as well as via vibrantly complex characters. Devoted series fans won't feel a sense of déjà vu in Dry Bones, but they will easily identify Johnson's tendency toward innovative imagery ('my brain felt like it was bouncing around like a sneaker inside a washing machine'), crack dialogue, humor and a strong sense of place. Absaroka's maker brings dem bones to life, and readers are sure to rejoice."
--Shelf Awareness "[Walt Longmire] remains tough, smart, honest, and capable of entertaining fans with another difficult, dangerous case."
"[Longmire] never disappoints the reader: he's a hero through thick and thin."
--Publishers Weekly Praise for Craig Johnson and the Longmire Series "It's the scenery--and the big guy standing in front of the scenery--that keeps us coming back to Craig Johnson's lean and leathery mysteries."
--The New York Times Book Review "Sometimes funny, sometimes touching, and always entertaining, Wait for Signs is a complete delight."
--ShelfAwareness "Like the greatest crime novelists, Johnson is a student of human nature. Walt Longmire is strong but fallible, a man whose devil-may-care stoicism masks a heightened sensitivity to the horrors he's witnessed."
--Los Angeles Times "Johnson's hero only gets better--both at solving cases and at hooking readers--with age."
"Johnson's trademarks [are] great characters, witty banter, serious sleuthing, and a love of Wyoming bigger than a stack of derelict cars."
--The Boston Globe
"Johnson's pacing is tight and his dialogue snaps."
"Stepping into Walt's world is like slipping on a favorite pair of slippers, and it's where those slippers lead that provides a thrill. Johnson pens a series that should become a 'must' read, so curl up, get comfortable, and enjoy the ride."
--The Denver Post
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The mystery at the heart of Dead Bones is the death of Danny Lone Elk. Lone Elk owns a ranch on which a large, complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton has just been unearthed. The find is worth millions to whoever owns it. But Lone Elk’s ownership is contested among the federal government, the Cheyenne reservation, and the Lone Elk family. And then, of course, there’s the question of whether Lone Elk died naturally or was murdered.
Longmire works through these questions in his characteristic Absaroka County way. There’s the patient questioning of witnesses, the mystical experiences, the encounters with a nature indifferent to human wellbeing, and the sly sense of humor.
One of my favorite gags in this book is the stoically raised fist and incantation of the words, “Save Jen.” (Jen is the name of the T-rex whom the Absaroka residents want to keep at the local dinosaur museum.) Trust me, it gets funnier as the book goes along.
I’m a huge Longmire fan. As much as I enjoyed this book—and I enjoyed it a lot and read it in one evening—I didn’t think this was the best installment in the series. It’s not bad, mind you. (I can’t imagine a bad story by Craig Johnson.) It’s just not the best.
Even so, if you like the other Longmire books, I know you’ll like this one.
I was enjoying the read and cruising to a solid three star rating when I reached the middle of the book and encountered one of the most dramatic surprises I’ve ever encountered in a fictional thriller. I won’t reveal the plot but I can say that it involves Walt Longmire and affects several people whom he cares deeply about.
As Walt works diligently to solve the mystery of Danny Lone Elk’s demise, he is joined by various characters trying to insert their two cents worth. A District Attorney, state police and FBI agents are all over the place. Almost everywhere Walt journeys he encounters people raising a clenched fist and proclaiming, “Save Jen!,” referring to the T-Rex and not the woman archeologist. It gets a bit tiresome at times.
Walt and his long time sidekick, Henry Standing Bear, embark in a helicopter to recon the wilderness area and locate several key suspects. They encounter a severe thunderstorm, something that seems to occur often if it’s summer in Absaroka County; otherwise in winter it’s a snowstorm.
As for the dramatic surprise I mentioned earlier? It’s partially resolved in the Epilogue and paves the way for another splendid Longmire thriller.
My introduction to Walt Longmire, a modern-day sheriff in rural Wyoming, is in the Netflix series, LONGMIRE, which I have binge-watched the series from start to end. I became engaged in the characters and stories. I then read about Walt in DRY BONES, the 11th in the series but the first I have read.
Some of the differences between the two versions are small. In DRY BONES, for example, Walt uses a pocket watch. In the television show he uses a wrist watch. Other differences are much bigger. It was a shock, for example, to see his daughter, Cadie, married to Vic’s brother and living in Philadelphia rather than Wyoming. And to find Walt is a grandfather. (I won’t compare and contrast characters even more so as not to spoil it for those who have not yet seen the television series.)
Most interesting of all is the tone and mood of DRY BONES. In the book there are no larger than life villains compared to the television series. And the characters in the shows seem to express more existential angst and more deeply felt schisms between Indians and whites.
(This is not to say, however, that DRY BONES does not involve some important questions. In the book, for example, the plot involves not just a valuable T-rex skeleton but also questions of cultural conflicts.)
Johnson in a “reader’s guide” for DRY BONES, says of this dichotomy: “… it’s like two separate but equal universes.”
I agree with this and suggest anybody who enjoys the television series will find that, while different in some ways, the books will be just as enjoyable. (And vice versa.)