When Lolo Long’s niece, Jaya, begins receiving death threats, Tribal Police Chief Long calls on Absaroka County Sheriff Walt Longmire along with Henry Standing Bear as lethal backup. Jaya Longshot Long is the phenom of the Lame Deer Lady Stars High School basketball team and is following in the steps of her older sister, who disappeared a year previously, a victim of the scourge of missing Native Woman in Indian Country. Lolo hopes that having Longmire involved might draw some public attention to the girl’s plight, but with this maneuver, she also inadvertently places the good sheriff in a one-on-one with the deadliest adversary he has ever faced in both this world and the next.
Well, forgive me, but I do so enjoy a Walt Longmire novel and deemed it long enough since the last I’d read and reviewed (Land of Wolves) that I could post his newest release.
This one, however, seemed a bit of a departure from his usual and I missed a few of my favorite well-developed support characters.
Walt Longmire, Sheriff of (fictional) Absaroka County, Wyoming has been contacted by Tribal Police Chief Lolo Long to investigate death threats that Jaya is receiving. Jaya is a high school senior well on her way to a real basketball career track via scholarship. She’s that good and she is being recruited. The problem is that she fails to be a real leader or a team player.
An additional wrinkle is that she is following in her older sister’s footsteps, who was also threatened and then disappeared. Sure that the two are connected, Walt brings along Henry Standing Bear to provide liaison and support with the tribal community. He also takes Dog and no one will mess with Dog.
ARGH! Well, potty mouth or no, I do miss Vic Moretti (his under-sheriff), and to a lesser degree his daughter, Cady.
Okay, a couple things: In most Longmire novels, there is a lot of Native American involvement (it’s Montana after all), the Bear usually featured prominently, and the author tends to include a lot of info about reservation life as well as supernatural or mystical stories handed down through the families by the separate tribes as to their beliefs, spiritually driven. And this one no different. Fascinating this.
Also, he loves to give equal time to the (historical) stories, allowing for the POV of both sides—native and non-native. In this one, he divulges the still currently deplorable stats on acts against Native American women (and girls), noting numbers of violence or disappearances far exceed those of female averages for the same crimes off the reservation.
This book takes on disproportional story time issuing play-by-plays of the basketball games with Jaya, the obstinate athletic teen, and the struggle to remain in the play-offs leading to championships.
While most of the Longmire books could be read as standalones, there have been a few recent examples of a thread brought forward and I wonder if that is what is occurring here as there are unresolved mysteries, questions to be answered at the conclusion.
I’m a die-hard fan (loved the Netflix series!), and most especially the audiobooks as George Guidall does a bang-up job of narrating, putting himself in the shoes of Henry Standing Bear and firing off glib philosophical spikes at Longmire, holding his own beautifully (love the dialogue between the two). But this one fell just a little bit short for me this time. No bother. I’m looking forward to Book 18.
Genre: Western Fiction, Police Procedural Mysteries
Publisher: Recorded Books
Listening Length: 8 hrs 25 mins
Narrator: George Guidall
Publication Date: September 21, 2021
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Daughter of the Morning Star [Amazon]
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars
The Author: Craig Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Longmire mysteries, the basis for the hit Netflix original series Longmire. He is the recipient of the Western Writers of America Spur Award for fiction, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award for fiction, the Nouvel Observateur Prix du Roman Noir, and the Prix SNCF du Polar. His novella Spirit of Steamboat was the first One Book Wyoming selection. He lives in Ucross, Wyoming, population 25.
©2021 V Williams