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The Dark Horse by Craig Johnson Review

Title: The Dark Horse

Author: Craig Johnson

First published April 15, 2009

318 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9780670020874 (ISBN10: 0670020877)

Rating: 4.29


Craig Johnson’s The Dark Horse takes readers on another thrilling ride with Wyoming’s sheriff, Walt Longmire. When a woman is accused of killing her husband, Walt’s gut tells him that something isn’t right.

He goes undercover to investigate the case and discover the truth. As he delves deeper, he uncovers a web of lies and deceit, with several suspects who might have wanted the man dead.

With his trademark blend of classic noir sensibilities and humor, Johnson weaves a tale of social justice and redemption in the rugged landscape of Wyoming. The Dark Horse is a must-read for fans of the series, as Walt Longmire puts his life on the line to save a woman in an unfriendly place.

About the Author

Craig Johnson is a multi-faceted American writer who dabbles in novels, short stories, and plays. He resides in the quaint town of Ucross, located near Sheridan, Wyoming, which boasts of a population of just 25 people.

The accomplished author has penned twelve novels that revolve around the character of Sheriff Walt Longmire. These novels have received critical acclaim from Kirkus, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and Library Journal, with one of them being named one of the best books of 2009 by Publisher’s Weekly.

In addition, two of Johnson’s books, namely and , have been finalists for the Dilys Award, while bagged the Wyoming Historical Association’s Book of the Year title. Furthermore, the novel secured the Western Writers of America Spur Award for the best book of 2008 and the Mountains and Plains award for fiction book of the year.

Apart from being a writer, Craig Johnson has worked in various fields, including as a police officer, educator, cowboy, and longshoreman. His writing prowess has earned him accolades such as the Tony Hillerman Award for “Old Indian Trick,” fiction book of the year by the Wyoming Historical Society for , and the Wyoming Council for the Arts Award.

Editoral Review

Craig Johnson’s The Dark Horse, published on April 15, 2009, is a gripping mystery novel that takes readers on an enthralling journey into the heart of the American West. Johnson is an award-winning author and screenwriter known for his popular Longmire series, and The Dark Horse is no exception to his reputation for producing engrossing and fast-paced crime fiction.

Set in the rugged Wyoming countryside, The Dark Horse follows Sheriff Walt Longmire, a stoic and unflappable lawman, as he investigates the suspicious death of a local horse trainer. When Longmire discovers that the murder is linked to a lucrative horse racing scam, he is drawn into a dangerous web of deceit, betrayal, and greed that threatens to tear apart the close-knit community he has sworn to protect.

With the help of well-drawn supporting characters, such as Longmire’s exuberant deputy Vic Moretti and his best friend, Henry Standing Bear, the sheriff delves deeper into the investigation, finally uncovering the shocking truth behind the killing. The Dark Horse is a masterful blend of suspense, action, and mystery that will keep readers on the edge of their seats from start to finish.

Johnson’s prose is evocative and atmospheric, painting a vivid picture of the rugged Wyoming landscape and the colorful characters who inhabit it. The plot is carefully crafted, with satisfying twists and turns that keep the reader guessing until the final pages.

One of the strengths of The Dark Horse is its profound understanding of the American West and its unique cultural heritage. Johnson peppers the novel with fascinating details about horse racing, Indian reservation life, and cowboy culture, all of which add depth and richness to the story.

At the same time, the book tackles important themes such as honor, friendship, and the insidious nature of greed. By deftly weaving these threads together, Johnson creates a book that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

If The Dark Horse has any flaws, it is that some of the plot twists feel a bit contrived or predictable, and the characters occasionally veer into stereotype. However, these flaws are minor, and Johnson more than makes up for them with his outstanding writing, humor, and emotional depth.

Overall, The Dark Horse is a must-read for fans of mystery and crime fiction, as well as for anyone who appreciates a good story well told. With its gripping plot, memorable characters, and stunning scenery, this book is sure to captivate readers from beginning to end.

For these reasons and more, we give The Dark Horse a well-deserved 4.5 out of 5 stars.