Synopsis of Hell and Back A Longmire Mystery
What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the street in Fort Pratt, Montana, where 30 Native American boys perished in a boarding school fire in 1896? Imagine if, during the night, you ran into nothing but corpses. What would you do if your pants were soaked in blood and your rifle was empty?
What if the Northern Cheyenne are right and there is something out there in the yellowed skies, along with the dead and the smell of ash and dust, something they call the Éveohtsé-heómse, the Wandering Without, the Taker of Souls?
What if the name embroidered in the leather sweatband of your cowboy hat is the only way you know who you are, and that name is Walt Longmire… but you don’t remember him?
In the latest Longmire novel, Hell and Back, author Craig Johnson pushes the popular lawman to the breaking point as he fights his most formidable foe yet: himself.
Book Review of Hell and Back A Longmire Mystery
Walt Longmire, sheriff of Absaroka County, can’t make sense of what just transpired. He doesn’t know how he got bloodied by a snowplough or why he’s got a battered cowboy hat with the name “Longmire” scrawled on the inside.
He chats to locals in the little village, still a little shocked and bewildered after the disaster, but their answers only serve to deepen the mystery. What the heck happened, and why was he even here?
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HELL AND BACK is the eighteenth book in Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire Mystery Series (now a Netflix TV series), and Johnson is a critically regarded and New York Times bestselling author. HELL AND BACK is a fantastic and intense tale, a suitable and harrowing sequel to his previous novel, DAUGHTER OF THE MORNING STAR.
This story is an incredible homage to the Indigenous children who suffered so much at the hands of the people who ran the Residential Schools in North America.
You will share Walt’s shock and confusion at what is happening and why he is where he is from the very first page. Changes in scenery and cryptic responses from characters aren’t making it any easier for anyone to figure out what’s going on or who Walt truly is.
Walt realizes in his mind’s constantly shifting scene that he is in Fort Pratt and the year is 1896, but why is the number 31 significant to him?
The most effective way to make the reader feel the pain and anguish faced by Walt and the young Cheyenne boys as he tries to help them while also grappling with the very powerful Éveohsé-heómése, the Wandering Without, the Taker of Souls, is to have the reader enter the tumultuous landscape of Walt’s mind and experience the events he endures.
HELL AND BACK is potent medicine, and I think that new readers would benefit greatly from reading a few of the earlier mysteries, particularly DAUGHTER OF THE MORNING STAR, before diving into HELL AND BACK, in order to get the fullest possible appreciation of the novel and the richest possible reading experience.
Fans of the series like myself will enjoy following the heroic quest of Henry Standing Bear and Victoria Moretti as they search desperately for their lost Sheriff.
Whether you’re a die-hard follower or you just enjoy a good puzzle, HELL AND BACK is a fantastic book. This voyage, while challenging and frightening, is absolutely captivating.
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About the Author
James Robinson is a voracious reader who has been captivated by the magic of books since childhood.
With a background in journalism, he has honed his skills in writing insightful and engaging book reviews.
James has a particular interest in historical fiction and non-fiction, delving into the pages of the past to uncover intriguing stories and perspectives.