My review of Craig Johnson's A Serpent's Tooth appeared in last Friday's Shelf Awareness for Readers. I'm reprinting it here with their permission. Be sure to add a copy of this one to your beach bag, your carry-on or your ereader this summer. Like its predecessors, it's on my list of recommended "must reads."
Craig Johnson takes his ninth trip to the rodeo with Walt Longmire in A Serpent’s Tooth. Referencing a line from Shakespeare for his title, Johnson sets Walt off in search of a “thankless child”—Sarah Tisdale—whose teenage son, Cord, has shown up in Durant. Sarah left her home in Short Drop, Wyoming to join the Apostolic Church of the Lamb of God, a polygamous group in South Dakota branching out with a compound in Wyoming, among other places.
An enormously large cult leader, a man claiming to be Orrin Porter Rockwell, and a deadly poet all cross Walt’s path in his efforts to reunite Sarah and Cord. And when his search uncovers a high-priced weapons cache as well as a stolen drill bit worth three quarters of a million dollars, Walt’s certain this is more than just a “lost boy” case.
While devote fans of this series wouldn’t dream of missing an installment, each book in the Walt Longmire series can easily be read and appreciated independently of the others. A Serpent’s Tooth is no different in that respect. Johnson employs his trademark humor, numerous literary allusion and a cast readers can’t help but love. Add to that Johnson’s obvious love of the land he’s writing about; readers will experience the West in all its grandeur while Walt battles the evils trying to deface his beloved county.
Blending the literary novel with the western and the mystery, Craig Johnson continues to deliver an exceptional reading experience. He’s not just staying on the bull for eight seconds, Johnson’s still winning the whole rodeo.
A Serpent's Tooth is available in hardcover (ISBN: 9780670026456) from Viking/Penguin. It is also available in unabridged audio, narrated by George Guidall from Recorded Books. As I've mentioned before this is one of my very favorite series on audio. There have been times I almost had to pull over to the side of the road because I was laughing so hard. Guidall not only gets Johnson's humor, he nails it!