OOF. Took me a few months, but I got another book that blew my mind.
I’ll save the details for the end of the year episode, right now I just want to say this: it’s a bold move to get to the thirteenth book in a procedural series and change up the storytelling mechanism in such a way that could potentially alienate longtime readers.
Johnson has done a few books before that had alternating flashback scenes. I think the fourth or fifth Longmire book dealt with repercussions from his time in Vietnam, and we got glimpses of his war service.
THE WESTERN STAR though is a bit of a dual-case story. Walt was up against a murderer in 1972, and had to face the possibility of him being released from prison 40 years later. We see the case play out in real-time in the past as well as the drama surrounding the release in the present.
And the last 10% of the book was just a gut-punch like you wouldn’t believe. Bold, bold, bold. And for this reader, it worked. I’m glad I’ve kept up with this series.
The 2022 Best-Of list now has 4 books on it. Hoping to get to 10 before the end of the year, but I won’t force it.