Monday, March 31, 2014

Review: Spirit of Steamboat

Craig Johnson has been known to travel to book signings on his BMW R1100GS, a precursor to my trusty steed.  That would be good enough for me.  But, bonus upon bonus, his Walt Longmire series has proven to be good fun.  While, from one tale to the next, there may be some better or less better plot lines, the stories and the characters are quite engaging; many of whom the reader cares about more than the ultimate outcome.

Most of the Longmire series are traditional Who-Done-Its with subplots based upon cultural or societal issues played out on a vast and breathtaking Wyoming landscape.

Enter the novel “Spirit of Steamboat,” where the issue isn’t about catching some creepy villain, but rather how might the crew of an aging Mitchell B-25 (like what my dad worked on in WWII) might survive a 1988 life flight mission through the teeth of the worst storm the Rockies had seen in decades.

In this short piece we find the answer to tantalizing questions about characters Johnson introduced in his previous mysteries.  Because of the flashback nature of this composition, we should figure that we already know the outcome, but how the outcome is achieved is more than worth the price of admission. 

This is a marvelous use of twenty bucks and about three hours.  See your local, independent bookseller.


Spirit of Steamboat.  Craig Johnson. Viking Press. 2013. $20.

© 2014
Church of the Open Road Press

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