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Any Other Name: A Longmire Mystery
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Any Other Name: A Longmire Mystery [Format Kindle]

Craig Johnson
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***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof.***
Copyright © 2014 by Craig Johnson



Joseph Conrad said that if you wanted to know the age of the earth, look upon the sea in a storm; if you want to know the age of the Powder River country just be on the wrong side of a coal train. A guy who worked for the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe once told me that the trains in northern Wyoming are about a hundred and forty cars and a mile and a half long, but it sure seems longer than that when you’re waiting on one. .

Lucian Connally, my old boss and the retired sheriff of Absaroka County, reached into his pocket and pulled out his beaded tobacco pouch the Cheyenne elders had given him along with the name Nedon Nes Stigo—He Who Sheds His Leg. “Damn, this is a long one.” He also pulled his briarwood pipe from the inside coat pocket of his light jacket, much too light for the weather, and fingered a small packet of wooden matches along with it. “We used to get calls from the railroad detectives, what a useless bunch, wanting us to come down and identify the hobos that climbed in the hoppers back in Chicago and Milwaukee, and with the slick sides on the railcar walls, they couldn’t get out. . . .” He stuffed a small amount of the tobacco into the bowl of his pipe. “They’d pull those cars into the mines and dump tons of coal onto ’em—imagine their surprise.”


He turned to look at me. “What?”

“Homeless; they don’t call them hobos anymore.”

He nodded his head and looked back at the train. “Flat as a damn pancake is what I called ’em.”

I watched the cars roll and felt the ground shake. The single largest source of coal in the United States, the Powder River Basin contains one of the largest deposits in the world and has made Wyoming the top coal-producing state since the late eighties.

He pulled a match from the pack and made ready to strike. “Pulverized pepper steak; wasn’t a lot to identify, I can tell ya that much.”

The major cities of the Wyoming portion of the basin are Gillette and Sheridan; in Montana, Miles City. The rest of the twenty-four thousand square miles is what they call sparsely populated and I called Durant and home.

It was a Saturday.

“Flat as a flitter.”

I was tired.

“Identify my ass.”

And I was about to lose my patience.

“Looked like hamburger.”

I scrubbed a hand across my face.. “Old man, you’re not going to light that pipe in my truck.”

He looked over at me for a moment, the silence between us carrying the electric charge of decades, grunted, and then pulled the door handle and climbed out of the Bullet. The clanging of the warning bells amplified through the open door before he slammed it behind him and hobbled on his one real and one fake leg to the corner of my grill guard, at which point he recommenced lighting his pipe with a great deal of dramatic flourish.

It was December on the high plains, but you’d never know it to look at him, cupping his knotted hands together without a shiver or gloves for that matter and ducking his Stetson Open Road model hat down against the wind. Amplified by the flashing red lights of the railroad-crossing barrier, the brief flicker of orange light glowed, reinforcing the impression that he was the devil and that the deal I had struck with him was venal and binding.

He raised his head, the consistent wind that battled the onward rushing of the train pulling at the brim of his hat like a miniature tornado, his eyes almost squeezed shut with nothing showing but the stained, walnut-colored irises glinting black in the half light.

I looked down at the letter lying on the center console; the postmark was from a week ago, and the return address was Gillette, in the Iron Horse Subdivision, which was located on the other side of the rumbling coal cars. Gillette was in Campbell County, technically out of my jurisdiction as the Absaroka County Sheriff.

My daughter was having a baby in a matter of days, and I was supposed to be visiting her in Philadelphia; instead, I was here, helping Lucian resolve his debt to a dead man.

A barely audible whine keened from the backseat, and I reached around and ruffled the fur behind Dog’s ears. The combination St. Bernard/German shepherd/dire wolf glanced at Lucian. The brim of my mentor’s hat was pressed against the crown of his forehead, making it seem like he was galloping at high speed like some soul-damned ghost rider in the sky.

I thought about how easy it would be to just throw the big three-quarter-ton into reverse and back out, turn around and take Route 14/16 back up to the Gillette airport to jump on a plane, but they likely wouldn’t allow Dog, so that was out.

Wondering what it was I was doing here, other than playing the role of chauffeur, I leaned back into my leather seat and felt the pressure of my Colt 1911. “Maybe they’ll have this talk, and then we’ll turn around and go home.”

I looked at Dog again, but he didn’t seem convinced.

Turning back and watching the old sheriff stare at the train, I sighed. “Yep, me neither.”

Pulling the collar of my sheepskin coat a little tighter and cranking my hat down so that it didn’t follow the train to Oregon, I pulled the handle on my door and slid my boots to the gravel surface. I crunched around to the front of the Bullet to lean on the grill guard with him. I spoke loudly, in the field voice my father had never let me use in the house, just to be heard above the endless procession of open cars and the bells that hammered their warning. “They still do.”

He studied me with a clinched eyeball and said nothing, puffing on his pipe like he was pulling the mile of coal himself.

“Find bodies in the hopper cars.”

The ass end of the train went by, another disappointment in that it was not a caboose but rather another set of locomotives helping to push from the rear, and I got that familiar feeling I always did whenever a train passed; that I should be on it, but it was going the wrong way.

Suddenly the bony arms of the crossing gates rose and the incessant clanging stopped. We listened to the wind for a while, and then the old man beat his pipe empty on the hard surface of the grill guard, unintentionally repeating the coda of the claxons. “Hard times.”

With this singular pronouncement he turned and climbed back in, leaving me watching the skies peeled back in folds of gray, darker and darker to the horizon.

He honked the horn behind me.


Flakes were streaking in the wind like bad reception as we pulled up to the house, an unassuming one; one that you’d drive right by, thinking that there must be happy people inside—at least that’s the way I liked to think.

We both sat there, dreading what was coming.

He cleared his throat and started to say something.


Gazing out the side window at a deflated Santa Claus that looked as if it might’ve over imbibed in holiday festivities, he grumbled, “Boom or bust.”


“Oil, natural gas, and coal; they used to have bumper stickers over here that read Campbell County— Give Us One More Boom and We Won’t Screw It Up.” He continued to study the Santa, looking even more like it might’ve arrived in the bottom of a train car. “Used to see a woman here back in the day; used to drive over here on Sundays. She lived alone in this big old house and had money—used to like spending it on me. Never saw her out on the town, never mentioned other men, never bothered me calling or anything like that and was always glad to see me. Whenever we got together we’d end up in motels over in Rapid or up in Billings — we’d mix drinks in this big champagne-gold ’62 Cadillac she had . . .”

“What ever happened to her?”

He stayed like that for a moment, not moving, and then nodded once. “Hell if I know.”

Lucian got out of the truck, and I trudged along after him through the snow that had just started blowing to South Dakota; I made a detour into the yard and reattached the small air compressor to the hose that led to Santa’s boot heel. The jolly old elf rippled on the ground as if trying to crawl away but then slowly grew and stood with an arm raised, a fine patina of coal dust covering his jaunty red suit.

I walked onto the porch where Lucian had rung the bell.

“That your civic duty for the day?”

“Evidently not. Here I am with you when I should be in Philadelphia with Cady.”

Nothing happened so he turned the knob and walked in.

“What are you doing?”

He looked at me, still standing on the front porch in the wind and scattered snow. He didn’t say anything but limped off into the house; I had the choice of following him or standing out there freezing my butt off.

I entered, careful to wipe my feet before stepping onto the unusually wide plastic runners that lay on the white carpeting, and, leaning to the side, I saw Lucian round a corner past a room divider to go into the kitchen.

I unbuttoned my coat and stuffed my gloves in my pockets and followed, hoping that if somebody got shot it would be him and not me—he was gristly and could take it.

When I got to the kitchen no one was there, only an electric wheelchair parked beside a door open at the far end of the room that led to a basement with one of those fancy stairway elevators that you see in the octogenarian catalogs I’ve been receiving far too often lately.


Revue de presse

"Bracingly ruthless and unsentimental."—The Washington Post

“Top-notch....Johnson's hero only gets better—both at solving cases and at hooking readers—with age.” —Publishers Weekly

"Well-crafted...filled with endearing characters and nonstop action." —Library Journal (starred review) 

"Once more, you can count on Longmire...for action both physical and cerebral, a bit of humor and romance, and a mighty good mystery." —Kirkus Reviews

“Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire’s eleventh case takes him out of his jurisdiction….Those who have followed the series all along will find no reason to stop now.”—Booklist

“[Johnson] has hit a home run....Indeed, this may be [his] best Longmire mystery yet.”—Wyoming Tribune Eagle

Any Other Name is yet another fast-paced novel filled with Johnson's brand of Wild West humor and quick wit.”—Deseret News

“Suspenseful and always entertaining....The 11th Walt Longmire mystery is one of the best yet.”—The Oklahoman Review


Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1775 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 324 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0670026468
  • Editeur : Viking Adult (13 mai 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00G3L7U0S
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°52.150 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 One of the best! 26 mai 2014
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Just finished Any other name and loved it !If you haven't read any of C Johnson's book this one will make you want to read all the others but it has got something special :it combines the very best features that you find in the other books.There 's just everything I like about C.Johnson in it:the powerful rhythm of the story ,the atmosphere (sometimes eerie) and above all the witty dialogues and great sense of humour!Go for it!
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.6 étoiles sur 5  567 commentaires
32 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Boy howdy, he's gone and done it again! 13 mai 2014
Par Cathy G. Cole - Publié sur
With the third season of A&E's "Longmire" set to premier in June, it's the perfect time for old fans and new to settle down with the newest Walt Longmire mystery-- and this one certainly doesn't disappoint. Craig Johnson has created one of the strongest ensemble casts in all of fiction, and in Any Other Name each character gets a turn in the spotlight.

Lucian owes the dead detective a debt, so he takes Walt into a neighboring county to talk with the man's widow, who simply cannot believe that her husband committed suicide. Lucian has some sage advice for the grieving woman:

"I want to warn you that if you put Walt on this you're going to find out what it's all about, one way or the other.... You're sure you want that? Because he's like a gun; once you point him and pull the trigger, it's too late to change your mind."

And that's one of the main things readers love about Walt Longmire: he's not going to quit, no matter what happens, no matter what it takes. If you're in trouble, he's going to come save your bacon. As Walt begins to dig into the case, he finds that Holman was looking into the disappearances of three women in Campbell County, and the trail leads to the tiny, rundown town of Arrosa. What's been going on in Arrosa and in Campbell County is a dark tale, but Walt is the stuff of legend in Wyoming as one of the Campbell County deputies tells us: "As soon as a cop gets killed in this state, all the old-timers say we need to bring in Walt Longmire."

However, this book isn't all about the case. During the investigation, readers are treated to a few facts about Wyoming and other subjects-- and pay attention, folks. These tidbits aren't just thrown in for your education, they're going to mean something further on down the line. That's one of the beauties of Craig Johnson's writing. It all seems so effortless and flows so smoothly that it's only after you finish reading the book that you can pick apart the pieces and see how closely Johnson fits them all together.

As always, Walt's self-deprecating humor plays a role in the story, and his support team of Vic Moretti, Henry Standing Bear, Lucian Connally, Virgil White Buffalo, and Dog all add their parts. Johnson's the type of writer who can write action so tense your hair can stand on end, then within seconds you'll either be laughing your head off or having a tear run down your cheek. His books get a hold of you and won't turn you loose until you've turned that last page, so if you're new to the books, consider yourself warned.

If the television series is all you know about Sheriff Walt Longmire, and you're wondering if you should bother reading the books, let me tell you something: you're in for a treat. The producers of the television series have purposely not made the episodes clones of the books. This way readers who have been passionate fans of Johnson since book one (The Cold Dish) can enjoy the television series... and fans of "Longmire" can enjoy the books. You can jump into the series anywhere, but I wouldn't recommend it. Start with the first one. Chances are good that the second you've finished that book, you'll be gobbling up all the rest--- and Any Other Name with its humor, tenderness, two blood-curdling chase scenes, and ominous forebodings for the future is probably the best of them all.
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Another great one 13 mai 2014
Par Chad Bewley - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Any Other Name is another fantastic book in the Longmire series. Craig does such a good job of making the characters real and the dialogue is outstanding as usual. I felt like this was an improvement over Serpents Tooth in that it seemed a little more focused and the characters were easier to track and tell who was who which I struggled with at times in Serpents. There is also the continuation of a major story arc from the last book which is an exciting direction for the series rather than more or less stand-alones up to this point.

Well done Mr. Johnson, looking forward to more.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Each episode of longmire series getting better. 16 mai 2014
Par KansasScout - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This might be the authors smoothest well organized book yet. The pieces fell together wonderfully and the book was very satisfying. This is a worthy addition to the series leaving you panting for more. I just wish they were longer!! Just delightful reading!
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The eleventh Walt Longmire novel (4.5 stars) 19 juillet 2014
Par TChris - Publié sur
Like all Walt Longmire novels, Any Other Name is a pleasure to read. The laid-back sheriff, his Cheyenne friend (Henry Standing Bear), his crusty former boss (Lucian Connally), his Undersheriff/lover (Victoria Moretti), his daughter (Cady) and his dog (Dog) all contribute to the fun. Actually, his daughter takes an off-stage role. She's in Philadelphia, about to give birth, and is insisting that Longmire solve the crime in time to catch a flight so he can be present when her baby is born. If you've followed the series, you know Longmire had best obey his daughter's commands.

Gerald Holman, a sheriff's detective in an adjacent county, apparently committed suicide in a locked room. Phyllis Holman thinks the true cause of her husband's death is being covered up. Longmire agrees to investigate Holman's death. He's soon poking his nose into unwelcome places. Shootouts ensue. Repeatedly.

Holman had been working on three cold cases, all of which involved young women who disappeared. The last woman to disappear was a stripper who worked for Tommi Sandburg, the sister of the county's sheriff. Tommi is a hoot, the kind of eccentric character Craig Johnson does so well. Tracking one of the missing women leads Longmire to an unfortunate but amusing encounter with a herd of buffalo and to a whacky sequence of events that has Longmire chasing a train in a blizzard. In the hands of most other authors, I would be rolling my eyes, but Johnson kept my eyes focused on the text. He makes me believe, makes me want to believe, no matter how unlikely the story becomes. That's the mark of a talented writer.

If Any Other Name has a weakness, it is the unoriginal explanation for the disappearance of the women, although the story does finish with a surprise. Still, I'm not sure the plot matters. Reading a Walt Longmire novel is like visiting with old friends. Walt is a good natured guy and the story's good natured violence sets the stage for the characters to exchange droll jokes. Walt is a model of dignity and kindness, a model that people in law enforcement, and everyone else, should emulate. Walt Longmire books are always fun to read and Any Other Name is no exception. I would give it 4 1/2 stars if I could.
10 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Meet the New West, Same as the Old West 23 mai 2014
Par Author Bill Peschel - Publié sur
Speaking as someone who has never been to the west ─ and, no, San Francisco doesn’t count ─ I leaped at the chance to review “Any Other Name.” After he packed the Mechanicsburg Mystery Bookshop for a signing last year, I was happy to make Sheriff Walt Longmire’s acquaintance and see what’s going on in his part of Wyoming.

I haven’t read any of the other books, so I have to go only by what I’ve read in “Any Other Name,” so bear with me if my points seem too obvious.

This time, Walt is enlisted by his old mentor to investigate a suicide. Over in neighboring Campbell County, an old detective was investigating several cold cases when he checks into a motel and puts a bullet in his head. The detective’s girlfriend enlists the help of ex-sheriff Lucian Connally, who talks Longmire into finding out what happened.

With the help of his girlfriend, Undersheriff Victoria Moretti and his friend Henry Standing Bear (whom he calls at times “the Cheyenne Nation” which slots him into the Mystical Indian Companion trope), they follow the thread that leads to several missing women, a strip club backed by a local power broker, a casino in Deadwood, South Dakota, intense waves of blinding snowstorms and trains. Lots of trains.

Apparently, this Western landscape is not the romantic vistas of a John Ford movie, but shabby towns, shabbier businesses, flat barren lands and endless trains. And did I mention the snow?

Like any fictional officer, Longmire is smart, tough and dedicated. As Connally puts it: “He’s like a gun; once you point him and pull the trigger, it’s too late to change your mind.” He’s not as cynical as Hammett’s Continental Op, and not a romantic knight errant like Chandler’s Philip Marlowe. He’s a closer cousin to Michael Connelly’s Hieronymus Bosch, only not as haunted by his cases.

Staying inside a character’s head for an entire book can be risky if he wears out his welcome by becoming tedious or whining or depressive. But Longmire’s appealing. He is not a loner; he has friends and he works to gets along with people. He has dreams that foreshadows events. His deadpan humor demands paying attention. Drawing on his photographic memory, he’s a walking Wikipedia, capable of dropping information about coal-car accidents, the history of “muffler men” signage, and Colt shooting irons. By the end of the book, racing trains and the elements to rescue a damsel in distress, you’re rooting for him as if you’re watching Ford’s “Stagecoach.”

Some things about the West never change.
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