Title – A Serpent’s Tooth
Author – Craig Johnson
Sheriff Walt Longmire of Absaroka County, Wyoming is investigating the case of an angel who does home repairs for one of his elderly residents when he finds that the angel in question is actually a “lost boy” named Cord Lynear. So called lost boy because he is an outcast from a Mormon sect in the remote areas of the county. Young boys who are tossed out of the sect so that they would not compete with the elder men for the young brides to be.
The boy’s mother had filed a missing person report but now it is the mother who has gone missing. Sheriff Longmire with the aid of his deputy, Vic Moretti and best friend Henry Standing Bear, must unravel the mystery behind the lost boy Cord Lynear and his missing mother.
In doing so they find themselves faced with a violent polygamy sect and a dangerous killer from the Mexican drug cartel. There is also involvement from the CIA and a self appointed guardian angel for Cord. A mentally unstable man who believes himself to be the living, breathing embodiment of the two hundred year old Mormon, Orrin Porter Rockwell, Man of God, Son of Thunder.
“…Do you think there are more crazy people in our county than anywhere else?”
We drove west of town in the direction of Barbara Thomas’s house, and I turned down the air in the Bullet so that the fan would not blow Vic’s dress any higher on her smooth thighs as she propped her cowboy boots on the escarpment of the dash. “Per capita?”
Longmire goes headlong into the fray but this time is it only his life that is at risk, or is it the life of someone he loves?
The Longmire series simply does not slow down. Each novel, though a timeline in the relationships between Walt Longmire and those closest to him, stand firmly and powerfully on their own.
This novel is not an indictment of the Mormon beliefs but instead focusing on the history of the young religion and its impact on the west. The reality of polygamy sects and what is done to the young men and women in the sect is well documented and known.
The mystery instead is on what is happening in their compound and how they themselves are being manipulated by others who expect to profit from the land situations. Expecting that the guise of religious beliefs will protect them in what they are doing.
As always with a Longmire novel, the banter and witticism that is the dialogue of these western mysteries often drive the novel. Craig Johnson has created a cast of characters that feel as real as the wide open Wyoming countryside he uses for his settings.
Another really good read in the Longmire series!