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Depth of Winter
Cover of Depth of Winter
Depth of Winter
Walt Longmire Mystery Series, Book 14
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"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

Walt journeys into the northern Mexican desert alone to save his daughter Cady, who has been kidnapped by the cartel

Welcome to Walt Longmire's worst nightmare. Winter is creeping closer, but for Sheriff Longmire this one is looking to be harsh in a way to which he is wholly unaccustomed. He has found himself in the remotest parts of the northern Mexican desert, a lawless place where no horse or car can travel, where no one speaks his language or trusts an outsider, far from his friends and his home turf back in Wyoming. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Tomas Bidarte, the head of one of the most vicious drug cartels in Mexico, has kidnapped Walt's beloved daughter, Cady. The American government is of limited help and the Mexican one even less so. Armed with his trusty Colt .45 and a father's intuition, Walt must head into the 110-degree heat of the desert, one man against an army.
"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

Walt journeys into the northern Mexican desert alone to save his daughter Cady, who has been kidnapped by the cartel

Welcome to Walt Longmire's worst nightmare. Winter is creeping closer, but for Sheriff Longmire this one is looking to be harsh in a way to which he is wholly unaccustomed. He has found himself in the remotest parts of the northern Mexican desert, a lawless place where no horse or car can travel, where no one speaks his language or trusts an outsider, far from his friends and his home turf back in Wyoming. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Tomas Bidarte, the head of one of the most vicious drug cartels in Mexico, has kidnapped Walt's beloved daughter, Cady. The American government is of limited help and the Mexican one even less so. Armed with his trusty Colt .45 and a father's intuition, Walt must head into the 110-degree heat of the desert, one man against an army.
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  • From the book

    1

    I turned my water glass in the slick circle of condensation on the smooth, red lacquer of the table between us and studied the man across from me. I was afraid that if I didn't pay attention, he might disappear. The Seer was like that; it was as if he simply drifted away, giving him access to places without appearing to be there, making other people's secrets his own.

    "You should take in some of the culture while you are here south of the border-go to the bullfights." Adjusting his straw porkpie hat to a jauntier angle, the hunchback smiled. "You might enjoy it."

    I said nothing.

    He looked in my general direction, the smile slowly fading. "My friend, Miguel Guerra, says you are highly motivated, but that if I can talk you out of this, I should."

    I still said nothing.

    He stared at me. "Do you speak Spanish?"

    I wiped the sweat from under my eyes with a thumb and forefinger-I had a hard time convincing myself it was coming up on November. "Very little."

    He had taken his cheap sunglasses off and placed them next to his drink. His eyes were opaque, and they wandered past me, toward the knobby hills to the south that rose from the desert like a bony hand, the fingers spreading to make peaks and battlements, as if the mountains were at war with the flat land. "That's not good, because where you are going there will be places where no one speaks English."

    The Seer sipped his soft drink and then batted the white cane between the knees of his threadbare pants at the exact place where his legs ended.

    "Your English is very good."

    He shrugged. "I have lived my whole life here in Ju‡rez and back before the new drugs, we were just a suburb of El Paso." He glanced down at his truncated legs. "Not the old drugs that did this. My mother traveled to Germany in the sixties and was given the drug that took my legs and my sight and in the process gave me this humped back." He vaguely waved at it sitting there like one of the battlements behind him. "Did you know that hunchbacks are seen as lucky in my country-that we bring good fortune?"

    "I hope that's the case."

    "Personally, it has never brought me any providence." He paused for a moment and then turned toward the Club Kentucky, seeing it the way it was in his mind's eye. "Ju‡rez used to be Las Vegas before there was a Las Vegas-twenty-four-hour bars, casinos, cabarets, brothels." The Seer sipped his soda. "It is said that this club invented the margarita." He nodded. "Marilyn Monroe sat on that very stool where you sit now."

    "How do you know Marilyn Monroe?"

    He smiled broadly for the first time, and I was surprised at the blinding perfection of his teeth. "My mother was here."

    "In this bar?"

    "S', January twenty-first, 1961. Monroe filed for divorce from Arthur Miller here in Ju‡rez. She was with two men, her lawyers, Aurellano Gonz‡lez Vargas and Arturo Sosa Aguilar. They filed a suit of incompatibility of character." He leaned in confidentially. "A marvelous playwright, but she told my mother he was hung like a cocktail sausage."

    "Huh."

    "She also saw your John Wayne drink himself senseless and walk out onto the sidewalk where he fell face-first like a tree." Sensing my disinterest, the Seer leaned back against the wall. "Most tourists love stories about Hollywood celebrities."

    "I'm not here as a tourist."

    He waved his cane toward me and changed the subject. "Can you ride a burro?"

    "I can ride a horse."

    ...

Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    April 1, 2018

    What's Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire doing alone in the broiler-oven heat of Mexico's northern deserts? Trying to find the international hit man and Mexico drug cartel boss who has kidnapped his daughter, Cady, intending to auction her off to his worst enemies. Next in the New York Times best-selling books that inspired the popular Netflix original series.

    Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 23, 2018
    Bestseller Johnson’s harrowing 14th mystery featuring Sheriff Walt Longmire (after 2016’s The Western Star) takes the Wyoming lawman to Mexico, where ruthless killer Tomás Bidarte holds Walt’s grown daughter, Cady, captive in a remote mountain compound in the middle of the Chihuahua desert. The six-foot-four Walt faces formidable obstacles in rescuing Cady, not least being his attention-drawing size. Fortunately, one of his allies on this suicidal mission, a blind man known as the Seer, thinks to pass him off as real-life retired NFL star Bob Lilly, a ruse that works for a while. Once Walt and his team arrive at the compound, the trouble really begins. The tension lets up only intermittently as Walt lurches from one dire situation to another. Humorous asides and witty dialogue provide welcome relief from the often grim circumstances in which Walt finds himself, including a stint in the stocks during a Day of the Dead celebration and the climactic confrontation with Bidarte, who plays matador to Walt’s bull. Johnson is in fine form. Author tour. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents.

  • Kirkus

    August 1, 2018
    An extended battle for kin and spirit in the Mexican desert.This 14th installment of Johnson's Longmire series follows Absaroka County's redoubtable sheriff, Walt Longmire, deep into the Chihuahuan desert in search of his daughter, Cady, who has been kidnapped by Tomás Bidarte, the head of a drug cartel and a very bad guy. After a preliminary skirmish with American authorities, who try to restrain him from entering Mexico, Longmire acquires a band of companions and sets off across a forbidding landscape, hoping to reach Bidarte's stronghold before Cady is killed. In a nice early episode, Longmire is passed off to a Mexican colonel as Bob Lilly, the Dallas Cowboy star; other obstacles are not so easily overcome, and as Longmire nears his objective, the dead mount. Several characters warn Longmire that he will need to be ruthless to succeed, but even as the dead accumulate, Longmire adheres to his own moral code. He refrains from killing expat David Culpepper, one of Bidarte's lieutenants, when he has the opportunity because Culpepper is at his mercy, and the contrast between Bidarte's amoral readiness to kill for little or no reason and Longmire's reluctance to take a life if not compelled to do so is possibly overdrawn. The action spans a few days around the Día de los Muertos, which provides somewhat stereotypical opportunities for masked shenanigans and drink-addled confusion. Longmire himself is a nice creation, as ready with a reference to antiquity or a quote from literature as he is handy in a brawl; his allies are satisfyingly varied and colorful, and the bad guys are ruthless and unprincipled. This is a rip-roaring adventure, and if Longmire seems uncannily able to recover from blows to the head and other injuries that would disable a lesser man, well, that's what it takes to defeat this "monster among monsters."The sheriff as the spirit of Quixote, riding a mule to the rescue.

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    August 1, 2018
    The fourteenth Walt Longmire novel picks up shortly after The Western Star (2017) left off, with the Wyoming sheriff now in Mexico on a desperate mission to rescue his kidnapped daughter, Cady, from the villainous Tom�s Bidarte. With a motley crew of locals in support?and not much more than a wing, a prayer, and a small arsenal of guns?Longmire heads to the small mountain town where she's being held in an old monastery with not much more than a wing, a prayer, and a small arsenal of guns. While Longmire remains the goodhearted stalwart we've come to know and love, this novel has a different feel, due in equal parts to the unfamiliar territory, the siege-of-the-fortress plot, and the absence of his Absaroka County supporting cast. Series fans will likely welcome the changes, at least temporarily, as Longmire masters repeated capture and gunpoint negotiations with his usual gruff �lan. Despite the horrors of drug-cartel violence and Longmire's own fears for his daughter, it all has the feel of an action serial; no matter how many bodies drop, the good guy's going to come out OK?and that's OK with us.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

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Walt Longmire Mystery Series, Book 14
Craig Johnson
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