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The Dark Horse (Walt Longmire #5)

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  4,021 ratings  ·  387 reviews
Walt doubts a confession of murder in this novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Cold Dish and As the Crow Flies, the fifth in the Longmire Mystery Series, the basis for LONGMIRE, the hit A&E original drama series

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...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 25th 2010 by Penguin Books (first published May 28th 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Algernon

Most people go through their lives believing in things that they never have much contact with - the police, lawyers, judges, and courts. They have an unstated belief in the system; that it'll be impartial, fair and just. But then there's the moment when it comes to them that the police, the courtroom, and the laws themselves are just human, vulnerable to the same shortcomings as all of us, that they're a mirror of who we are, and that's the heartbreaking dychotomy of it all - that the more cont...more
Harry

Update:
This is where we look at Walt's life as if in a great Western. Walt reconnects with his past and connects with a huge, black beast: tortured, chained in place and left alone to die in the middle of the great plains, far away from civilization, in the snow, and wounded beyond belief:

It was then that I saw something at the far edge of the circle. It was something dark and big, and it was rapidly moving my way. I thought it was the owl again, even thought it was the wrong color and didn't se...more
Nancy
I do not know if mildly depressed Wyoming Sheriff’s and Northern Cheyenne Indian’s are usually this funny, but I look forward to each book in the Walt Longmire series for this sole purpose. I am not going to say that Walt Longmire has a death wish, but that man sure can find himself in questionable situations. Who else in their right might would try to go undercover in a town of forty people and not think that there might possibly be a chance of being shot at? Yeah, that should tell you a little...more
Bruce Snell
Book Number Five in the Walt Longmire series by Craig Johnson. Walt is working undercover in a neighboring county, seeking evidence that a murder suspect currently housed in his jail is not guilty of the murder to which she has confessed.

The story is told in alternating chapters with the first chapter being set in the present, and the next set several days ago when Walt first became involved with the case. The chapters continue to alternate with the "present" advancing in time as the investigat...more
Susan
Craig Johnson is always a sure thing. Walt, Vic, Henry and Dog are back with a risky, fly by the seat of your pants, covert operation. Walt has taken on a case where the accused is just not fitting his criteria of a murderer and in all good conscience cannot let this sleeping dog lie. A woman is accused of killing her husband and burning down their house and barn. It just so happens that it was located out in one of the roughest parts of the Wyoming countryside. Walt goes sleuthing around under...more
Amy Sturgis
This is a solid continuation of the Longmire series. When a confessed murderer is sent to Walt Longmire's jail to await trial, he becomes convinced she is innocent. His personal investigation sends him to Absalom (population 40), where he finds more than he bargained for, including a dose of his own past. I missed Absaroka County and especially its people (Henry Standing Bear, Vic Moretti, etc.), who are sidelined to a large degree, but I appreciate the classic Western motifs in play in this wor...more
Joel Neff
This was the first of the Longmire books to do less than stun me into an engrossed trance and I am hard pressed to put a finger on why. The action is good, the mystery is good, the story is, in short, good. But. There were two problems I had reading the book that are neither one a fault of the book itself and more to do with the circumstances surrounding it: the first problem is that this story was used as the basis for an episode of the television show. It was, of course, different on t.v. and...more
Shaun
I listened to the unabridged audio book version of this.

This was just a great book. I have nothing but good things to say about this story. The Dark Horse is an excellent example of what a character driven story line should be. Craig Johnson created an interesting, likeable, and somewhat sarcastic main character in Walt Longmire. What guy didn't want to be the cowboy type when he was a child?

Between the strong but simplistic plot, the great supporting characters like Henry Standing Bear and Dog...more
Momof3-foundmyMarco~ Mal, come Play with me. Flynn, you record
4 stars. I'm not a fan of the flashbacks, but I did like the way this story unfolded. Walt still has a lot going on--with his daughter, the election, Vic, etc. and there was something in the way he handled Mary (who I found a little frustrating) that made me fall a little in love with him. That coupled with the brief phone call with Cady. Definitely met some interesting characters this time around.
Will continue with the series.
Philippe Malzieu
A thriller for the pleasure. Between two books, the relaxation of a well written book, with an intrigue tended like the reins of a horse. Of course there is stereotype. The Longmire sheriff is tough guy. he has a painful past. In thrillers, detective is always disillusioned and cynical. And there is women above all the guatemaltec bandita Juana.
But what makes the charm of the book is that it is America such as can dream it an European. Infinite spaces of Wyoming, the faithful horse, values…
The f...more
B.R. Stateham
Another Walt Longmire novel . . . and a good one. The big sheriff from Absaroka County, Wyoming becomes more attractive with each book read in the series (I think there's about 18 of'em). He's big, he's tough, he has a sense of humor and he's humane. Something quite rare to find in this genre; a tough guy who is humane.

The older I get, the harder it is, it seems to me, to find a series that truly captures my attention. Became a fan of the Longmire TV series and thought I'd try the books. Turns o...more
Greg McClay
I happened to watch the Longmire tv epsiode (S1 E3 "A Damn Shame") based on this plot prior to reading the book, which in some sense spoiled it while I read because I thought I knew what was coming but in fact made it that much better because there is almost no relationship between the characters of the two stories. Plot overlap, yes, but a significant difference in character development. So the last 100 pages were a definite plus. Boy, howdy.

I find Longmire to still have the Eeyore type qualit...more
Sue
Kind of hard for a 6'5" guy to go undercover in a dried up town of 40, seemingly mostly heartless, citizens. But Walt gives it a go, because his soul tells him the prisoner in his jail is innocent. No matter that she's plead guilty. No matter all the evidence to the contrary.

I blew through all the Jack Reacher books, and overall enjoyed them, despite some issues. Now I've stumbled on Walt Longmire, and have decided he's all the good of Reacher with absolutely none of the bad. Walt has a soul, b...more
Kathleen Hagen
The Dark Horse, by Craig Johnson, B. Narrated by George Guidall, produced by Recorded Books, downloaded from audible.com.

This is the fifth in the Sheriff Walt Longmire series about a Wyoming sheriff. I actually found this book disappointing. First of all, any book that doesn’t have much of Henry in it in this series is disappointing to me. In this book, Sheriff Longmire is asked to hold a female prisoner for another county which doesn’t have room. She is accused of murdering her husband by shoot...more
Kathy Davie
Fifth in the Walt Longmire mystery series about a Wyoming sheriff and his own sense of justice.

This story was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year in 2010 as well as aDilys Award nominee.

My Take
This one was a pip. Sure, it's your typical mystery in that the good guy is investigating a murder. It's not so typical for a Walt Longmire as he's hunting around, undercover, in another man's jurisdiction, without much backup.

The flashbacks were odd---be sure to read the chapter starts as Johnson fl...more
Sam Sattler
This is the fifth book in the Walt Longmire series, and it is not my favorite because it fails to make much use of Walt's wonderful supporting cast. In this one, Walt goes undercover and with the exception of a rather brief appearance or two from Henry and and even briefer contribution from Vic, Walt is pretty much on his own.

The novel's plot was hugely adapted for use in the Longmire television series, and as is almost always the case, the book's plot is much more involved and interesting than...more
Michael
Oct 05, 2009 Michael rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of western mysteries, Larry McMurtry fans.
Recommended to Michael by: "Deadly Pleasures" review
4 1/2 star review. In the fifth book with Walt Longmire as the protagonist, Walt is asked to house Mary Barsad in his jail to await her trial. She confessed to killing her husband Wade, after he set fire to the family barn with her horses inside.

This wonderful tale reminds me of the TV shows of the past. At one point Walt is challanged to a fight in the town saloon, by an intoxicated moose of a man. I can picture this happening in an episode of Gunsmoke and Marshall Dillon disposing of the drun...more
Eric
Oct 11, 2013 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Walt Longmire
This entry into the Walt Longmire Mysteries is an interesting one. While the actual mystery, unraveling the truth of what happened between an unhinged wife and the loathsome husband she already confessed to killing, doesn't take him far from home -- just into the next county -- it gives us a number of new perspectives on the protagonist and the setting. This is a reoccurring theme of the series, which, to its credit, is far more character driven than most mysteries.

This book serves as a bit of...more
Sandra
This was a most delightful listen between Craig Johnson's mellow prose and George Guidall's narration. It's the story of an aging Wyoming sheriff named Walt Longmire in present day who tries to solve the murder of a sociopathic lowlife. His wife has been accused of the murder and is of no help, since it was done after her barn was set on fire with seven purebred horses locked inside. She's too traumatized to talk. The sheriff laconically goes about his business with a dry understated wit that ha...more
Patty
I am almost beyond words to describe how much I love this series. Walt and his world are just sheer joy to visit. In anticipation for the release of this book I re-listened to the previous four books. I think The Cold Dish is still my favorite but each book has something that makes it special and worth rereading (or re-listening).

In The Dark Horse Walt is trying to prove that the woman in his jail is not the killer she has confessed to being. The trail takes him back to the Powder River to a sm...more
LJ
First Sentence: It was the third week of a high-plains October, and an unseasonably extended summer had baked the color from the landscape and had turned the rusted girders of the old bridge a thinned-out, tired brown.

Mary Barsad is accused of having shot her husband six times in the head and burning down their house, with his body in it, after he allegedly burnt down the barn with her beloved horses locked inside.

Not everyone believes Mary is guilty. Sheriff Walt Longmire has gone undercover t...more
Debbie Maskus
Craig Johnson presents a Wyoming that is harsh, bitter, but beautiful. In this episode, Walt is investigating undercover the death of a horrible man who was shot 6 times in the head and left to sizzle in a burning house. His wife confesses to the crime, but Walt does not believe that she is guilty. The characters are portrayed as believable heroes and villains. I admire the many ways that Johnson uses to describe characters and setting. There are always comic moments, like the writing of Shakesp...more
Eleanor Kuhns
I am late to these books and I don't understand why it took me so long to get to them. They are fabulous!
J. Keith
The Dark Horse
By Craig Johnson
Penguin Books

Reviewed by Keith Jones

The Dark Horse is yet another great example of writing that is both excellent and fun. We see Sheriff Walt Longmire exhibit his idealistic character through his inability to leave well enough alone. Walt has a guest lodger from a neighboring county in his jail in the form of confessed murderer Mary Barsad. Despite having admitted to shooting her husband as he slept, something about the case doesn’t seem right to Walt.

So, we get to...more
Mike
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wayne Zurl
THE DARK HORSE by Craig Johnson

I read one of Johnson’s Longmire books (DEATH WITHOUT COMPANY) last year and didn’t like anything about it. I didn’t review it for some reason, maybe I remembered my grandmother’s adage of don’t say anything if you can’t say something nice. But I think the Longmire TV series is pretty good and mainly because I like Wyoming, I decided to try another. I’m glad I did.

THE DARK HORSE was excellent. Walt Longmire sees something in a prisoner, transferred to his jail to a...more
Ellen
Once more, Walt Longmire finds himself involved in murder and mystery. This time, horses are at the center of the story, particularly an unusually fine horse that has disappeared and a woman convicted of murdering her husband, temporarily housed with Sheriff Longmire. The story is an intricate weaving of character and plot, with many twists and turns and unexpected revelations.

Craig Johnson does a remarkable job as an author as he creates living characters who might just as well walk into a cof...more
Oceana2602
Ok, so I haven't even finished this (hat (<- hahahah, I wrote HAT instead of had. I wonder where my mind was....) to leave the house somewhere around page 220 this morning), but I already love it.

Johnson again chooses a format that is not one of my favourites - jumping back and forth in time with about a wekk between the events. So far, the timelies haven't met.

But he does it so smooth and effortlessly that you it's never distracting.

The story takes us back to Walt's home country, and at the...more
Mike Schneider
This is another book from Craig Johnson that I wanted to go on and on and not come to an end. As I work my way through this "Walt Longmire" series, I'm feeling so good while immersing myself in these books that my only hesitation is that there aren't many more books to go....here Walt solves an incredibly complex murder mystery, with horses and the wild Wyoming mesa country thrown in for good measure. Keep writing 'em, Mr. Johnson!
Stacy
This was another great Longmire read! At first, I was nervous about the time jumps because I thought it was going to be like the lazy Hollywood films/shows that give you a bunch of action and then say "48 hours earlier" or some other random time jump back. However, it turned out to be really interesting as the past and present slowly met up with each other. I really loved the tone of the book, and always enjoy Craig Johnson's writing style. The mesa and Wahoo Sue were awesome! The only thing tha...more
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63607
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

American novelist and playwright. He lives in Ucross, near Sheridan, Wyoming, population 25.

Johnson has written nine novels featuring Sheriff Walt Longmire: The Cold Dish, Death Without Company, Kindness Goes Unpunished, Another Man's Moccasins, Junkyard Dogs, The Dark Horse (which received starred reviews from...more
More about Craig Johnson...
The Cold Dish (Walt Longmire, #1) Death Without Company (Walt Longmire, #2) Kindness Goes Unpunished (Walt Longmire, #3) Another Man's Moccasins (Walt Longmire, #4) Junkyard Dogs (Walt Longmire, #6)

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“Some of us are not meant to cowboy-up” 3 likes
“I should protect and cherish the young, the old, and the infirm, because at some point I would be all of these things before my own journey ended.” 2 likes
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