Craig Johnson’s Hell is Empty – a Longmire Mystery

Hell Is Empty
By Craig Johnson
Penguin Books

Reviewed by Keith Jones

I have been reading the Longmire book series in order. Latest in my reading is “Hell Is Empty.” It is interesting how the plot of this book was borrowed for one of the episodes of the Longmire TV series. While the show was quite interesting, the book – as is usually the case – goes much deeper and differs in many details.

I have to say, that of the books I have read in this serial thus far, this is Craig Johnson’s best effort. He comments in the acknowledgments that this was the toughest to write. As a writer, I understand what he meant. In writing my first novel, there was a certain section that was particularly hard. I can tell you, if it tugs at the heart of the reader, it almost certainly does so to an even greater extent for the writer. This particular book quite effectively tugs at the heart.

This novel takes Sheriff Walt Longmire up on the highest ridge in the Big Horn Mountains in pursuit of an escaped killer. In the process, he has to revisit the crime and its victim. The suspense and tension in “Hell Is Empty” is Craig Johnson and Walt Longmire at their very best.

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