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Product Description

Walt doubts a confession of murder in this novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Western Star

Fans of Ace Atkins, Nevada Barr and Robert B. Parker will love The Dark Horse is the fifth installment in New York Times bestselling author Craig Johnson''s Longmire Mystery Series, the basis for LONGMIRE, the hit Netflix original drama series. Wade Barsad, a man with a dubious past and a gift for making enemies, burned his wife Mary''s horses in their barn; in retribution, she shot him in the head six times, or so the story goes. But Sheriff Walt Longmire doesn''t believe Mary''s confession and is determined to dig deeper. Unpinning his star to pose as an insurance investigator, Walt visits the Barsad ranch and discovers that everyone in town--including a beautiful Guetemalan bartender and a rancher with a taste for liquor--had a reason for wanting Wade dead.  


Review

Praise for Craig Johnson and the Walt Longmire Mystery Series

"It''s the scenery—and the big guy standing in front of the scenery—that keeps us coming back to Craig Johnson''s lean and leathery mysteries." — The New York Times Book Review

"Johnson''s hero only gets better—both at solving cases and at hooking readers—with age." — Publishers Weekly

"Like the greatest crime novelists, Johnson is a student of human nature. Walt Longmire is strong but fallible, a man whose devil-may-care stoicism masks a heightened sensitivity to the horrors he''s witnessed." — Los Angeles Times

"Johnson''s trademarks [are] great characters, witty banter, serious sleuthing, and a love of Wyoming bigger than a stack of derelict cars." — The Boston Globe

"The characters talk straight from the hip and the Wyoming landscape is its own kind of eloquence." — The New York Times

"[Walt Longmire] is an easy man to like. . . . Johnson evokes the rugged landscape with reverential prose, lending a heady atmosphere to his story." — The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Stepping into Walt''s world is like slipping on a favorite pair of slippers, and it''s where those slippers lead that provides a thrill. Johnson pens a series that should become a ''must'' read, so curl up, get comfortable, and enjoy the ride." — The Denver Post 

"Johnson''s pacing is tight and his dialogue snaps." — Entertainment Weekly

About 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 twenty-five.

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4.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
2,019 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

Matthew M.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Another Excellent Story!
Reviewed in the United States on April 22, 2017
I first heard about the Longmire series after seeing the TV show. I liked the characters and thought I would read one of the books to get a little more background on the characters. I WAS HOOKED! The books were in depth and told the story far better than the series. Don''t... See more
I first heard about the Longmire series after seeing the TV show. I liked the characters and thought I would read one of the books to get a little more background on the characters. I WAS HOOKED! The books were in depth and told the story far better than the series. Don''t get me wrong, the TV series is great and the actors do an outstanding job, but let''s face it. It is adapted for TV.

If you want to know the REAL characters, relationships, and character history, you have got to read this series!
I became hooked and just finished this, the fifth book, and loved it... I will be buying the sixth book very shortly!
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Sam Toole
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Gotta Love Walt Longmire
Reviewed in the United States on June 16, 2021
I took a rare jaunt into make-believe-land and returned to one of my favorite book series by picking up the 5th installment of the Longmire series, upon which the popular Netflix show is based. Absaroka County, Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire goes undercover in a... See more
I took a rare jaunt into make-believe-land and returned to one of my favorite book series by picking up the 5th installment of the Longmire series, upon which the popular Netflix show is based.

Absaroka County, Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire goes undercover in a tiny, dried up western town to discover the truth behind the murder of an eastern-transplant ranch owner by the man''s wife- a murder to which she has confessed. However, the case isn''t nearly as open-and-shut as everyone thinks, including the wife. Two weeks, a missing horse, a big red Dodge pickup, and one heck of a bar fight later, Walt puts all the pieces of the puzzle together, solves the mystery, and has the ride of his life to boot.

As much non-fiction as I generally read, it''s always fun to take a break from reality and dive into a good cowboy story. If you enjoyed watching the Longmire series on Netflix, I think you''ll really enjoy the books. Be warned that, as usual, the books and the show don''t line up, and some characters which feature prominently in the show don''t show up much in the books, and vice versa.

Also- the books are somewhat serial in nature, so it helps to start from the beginning of the series. I mean, you could pick this one up and read it and do ok, but reading a Longmire book that''s later in the series is like showing up on the third day of a five day event: you find it easy enough to get the gist and know what''s going on, but everyone else will still be making references to stuff that you missed on the first two days, just enough that you still feel a little left out, and you keep getting told that you just kinda had to be there.
2 people found this helpful
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Bill R. Newsom
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Another riveting story set amidst the magnificent topography of Wyoming
Reviewed in the United States on September 16, 2020
For me, Craig Johnson''s prose is sometimes hard to follow, mostly when my attention wanders at the wrong time in the narrative. The reader has to pay attention to keep from missing important plot elements and character interactions. I''ve become more accustomed to his style... See more
For me, Craig Johnson''s prose is sometimes hard to follow, mostly when my attention wanders at the wrong time in the narrative. The reader has to pay attention to keep from missing important plot elements and character interactions. I''ve become more accustomed to his style with the experience of reading his books. His plots, "The Dark Horse" included, are first rate, and this is one of the main reasons I''ve stuck with purchasing all the books in this series. I really like the descriptions he gives of the topography of Absaroka County and surrounding areas, including details about the weather. His characters are well developed, consistent, and come across as real, especially descriptions of the Rez, and of the native American population Longmire''s character comes in contact with. These stories would not be complete without Henry Standing Bear.

I will buy and read as many Longmire mysteries as Craig Johnson can write, so please keep at it, Craig. I have read all my Longmire purchases on my Kindle Paperwhite.

If Walt Longmire suffers many more injuries, there won''t be much of him remaining to continue his future adventures. I''m only on Book 6 now.
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Richard C. Reynolds
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Complex plot with exciting ending
Reviewed in the United States on August 14, 2015
All the Absaroka County folks are back again to help Sheriff Walt Longmire solve the latest crime. Deputy Vic Moretti is feisty as ever wanting to engage Walt in a bit of romantic action. Although he introduces her as an Under-Sheriff — a clever double entendre by Author... See more
All the Absaroka County folks are back again to help Sheriff Walt Longmire solve the latest crime. Deputy Vic Moretti is feisty as ever wanting to engage Walt in a bit of romantic action. Although he introduces her as an Under-Sheriff — a clever double entendre by Author Johnson? — Walt has scruples about mixing pleasure with business. Henry Standing Bear appears about half way into the book as a boxing contestant but gives Walt plenty of help later. Besides trying to focus on his law-enforcement duties, Walt is worried about his daughter, Cady, who is back in Philadelphia and engaged to Vic’s brother Michael, an officer on the Philly police force.
Walt has a woman prisoner in his jail, Mary Barsad, who has confessed to killing her husband, Wade, after he’d set fire to their stable which destroyed six prize horses. Walt doesn’t believe that Mary actually did it and sets out as an undercover insurance agent to find out the truth. Walt’s journey takes him to all kind of places while meeting vastly different types of people. The exciting and tension-filled ending is not one you’d expect as Walt and a “dark horse” emerge from a harsh Wyoming winter evening to solve this complex mystery.
4 people found this helpful
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Angie Lisle
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Longmire Mysteries #5
Reviewed in the United States on July 30, 2015
This book broke with the usual formatting, jumping back and forth in a relatively short period of time. This didn''t bother me in the slightest; I thought it was interesting to see Johnson tackle a different narrative style. Keeps the series interesting. As for... See more
This book broke with the usual formatting, jumping back and forth in a relatively short period of time. This didn''t bother me in the slightest; I thought it was interesting to see Johnson tackle a different narrative style. Keeps the series interesting.

As for the plot itself... I figured out parts of the crime early because I have a health issue that helped me identify clues but I don''t think this will affect the majority of readers.

Longmire the show is true to Longmire the book-series in the same way that Midsomer Murders is true to Caroline Graham''s books: the show captures the essence of the characters but takes liberties with plots, which keeps both formats fresh for viewers. I''ve also mentioned that each new book in the series makes these deviations more apparent but this book was like a paused stop-watch; the threads that deviate fall by the wayside for this book - not ended, but not important...yet.

This book is mostly Walt, with his usual supporting cast of characters elsewhere, off doing other stuff and, to be frank, I missed them. But, since the plot-deviations between book and show involve on-going romantic threads, this book is a great example of why I prefer romances written by men and geared for male audiences. The romance isn''t given preference over everything else going on in the story-world. Other stuff -crime- happens. The romance builds slow and steady over a long course of time and, in the end, helps both the characters and the relationships feel more real than the ones displayed in poorly-disguised bodice-rippers touted as westerns. The separation of Walt from the other characters felt like romance building for future books and that is something that will endear me to the series as a whole, when it''s completed.
7 people found this helpful
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TLK
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Whoo who
Reviewed in the United States on May 15, 2019
Kept asking myself who done it? Who was guilty? I''ve read most of Craig Johnson''s novels and not in order. Each one written well. Characters are great and I feel as if I''m a bystander in the scenery. I''ve not seen the Netflix versions but can replay the moments in my... See more
Kept asking myself who done it? Who was guilty? I''ve read most of Craig Johnson''s novels and not in order. Each one written well. Characters are great and I feel as if I''m a bystander in the scenery. I''ve not seen the Netflix versions but can replay the moments in my mind. Recommend to anyone who likes mysteries and fun. I read them so fast always wanting another one.
One person found this helpful
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Jane Stecker
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Longmire and Johnson are Great
Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2019
This fifth entry in the Longmire series is an outstanding addition to a fabulous set of mysteries starring Walt Longmire. Walt is the Sheriff of the fictional Absaroka County in rural Wyoming. The author creates some interesting sidekicks for the sheriff, such as Deputy... See more
This fifth entry in the Longmire series is an outstanding addition to a fabulous set of mysteries starring Walt Longmire. Walt is the Sheriff of the fictional Absaroka County in rural Wyoming. The author creates some interesting sidekicks for the sheriff, such as Deputy Vic Moretti, Henry, the Cheyenne Nation, Standing Bear, and Dog, picked up in an earlier book in the series. Although each book can be read alone it''s more fun to read them in order. Well Done, Mr Johnson. Keep more Longmire novels coming.
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Amy S. Lemley
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
satisfying read
Reviewed in the United States on July 6, 2014
If you don''t love the world Craig Johnson has built around Walt Longmire, then you don''t have a drop of romance in your soul. This is the west as we wish it was, where right is right, and wrong is wrong; and Walt Longmire is the sensitive, strong, smart, and downright... See more
If you don''t love the world Craig Johnson has built around Walt Longmire, then you don''t have a drop of romance in your soul. This is the west as we wish it was, where right is right, and wrong is wrong; and Walt Longmire is the sensitive, strong, smart, and downright heroic interpreter of this place. Boy howdy. This series is saved from being predictable and trite by two things: Johnson''s able prose, and Walt''s inner dialogues. I am a 58 yr old female lawyer and if Walt was real, I would propose to him. Dog: check. Horse: check. Kid: check. Women swooning for cowboy/cop: check. Indian sidekick: check. The elements for rolling your eyes are there, ok? But you don''t. Because deep down, you want them all to be there; you want the people, places, and things that symbolize a western mystery/romance to really be there. And you want the skill of the writer to be good enough that you aren''t even TEMPTED to make fun of it all. Craig Johnson doesn''t disappoint. I can''t get enough of Walt Longmire and I find myself wanting to live in his world. You will, too.
4 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Mav617
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
S-ooo Girl!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 7, 2020
Wow, these books are amazing, what a series and this one is the best yet as an exercise in masterly penmanship. I am gushing I know, but can''t fault this in any teeny, tiny way. I''ve read Tolkien, hundreds of lesser lights but this character and these stories are pure...See more
Wow, these books are amazing, what a series and this one is the best yet as an exercise in masterly penmanship. I am gushing I know, but can''t fault this in any teeny, tiny way. I''ve read Tolkien, hundreds of lesser lights but this character and these stories are pure escapism. Never been to Wyoming but feel like I know it well, and even more determined now to go and ride horseback there, camp under the big sky, drink a Ranier or six, fire a big frame .45 etc when the Covid rubbish gets sorted!
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P.D
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Another great Longmire novel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 15, 2014
This is the second time I have read this book;Loved it the first time & it was even better the second.I love the way Craig Johnson describes everything. Instead of, as in some books, rushing through the descriptive pieces I find myself rereading them, really trying to soak...See more
This is the second time I have read this book;Loved it the first time & it was even better the second.I love the way Craig Johnson describes everything. Instead of, as in some books, rushing through the descriptive pieces I find myself rereading them, really trying to soak up all the atmosphere. I will be reading this at some occasion for a third time & will still enjoy it. If you have read any of the other Longmire books, do not miss this one. If you enjoyed cowboy films at all, try this series of books. If you like crime fiction that is slightly different to the usual, try this series. If you have watched Longmire the TV series & enjoyed it, read the books that the series is based on.
2 people found this helpful
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Gilman
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Space
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 15, 2020
A good way to àpen your mind. Original crime novel. And Craig Johnson is a really good man. A real cow-boy full of positive energy.
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Mary Heron
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A COMPLEX MYSTERY EXPERTLY TOLD
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 25, 2013
Wade Barsad burned down his barn with all his wife''s horses in it, in response she shot him in the head six times. Simple, not for Walt Longmire, when she ends up in his jail he finds himself unable to accept the facts and decides to go investigate, out of his own county...See more
Wade Barsad burned down his barn with all his wife''s horses in it, in response she shot him in the head six times. Simple, not for Walt Longmire, when she ends up in his jail he finds himself unable to accept the facts and decides to go investigate, out of his own county pretending to be an insurance investigator Walt starts to dig and what he uncovers is the most complex tale in the series so far, we do see the regular cast of characters but this is Walts story, this is the fifth in a series which keeps getting better with each new instalment
One person found this helpful
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M. J. Nunns
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Highly recommended
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 22, 2016
Ploughing through the series of books, having watched the TV show for the last few years. Very good and the TV show is different enough that you don''t always know the conclusion before you start the book, which is a relief.
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