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Hell Is Empty (Walt Longmire, #7)
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Hell Is Empty (Walt Longmire #7)

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  6,927 Ratings  ·  704 Reviews
Wyoming's favorite sheriff braves a frozen inferno as he races to capture an escaped murderer.

Well-read and world-weary, Sheriff Walt Longmire has been maintaing order in Wyoming's Absaroka County for more than thirty years, but in this riveting seventh outing, he is pushed to his limits. Raynaud Shade, an adopted Crow Indian, has just confessed to murdering a boy ten ye
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published June 2nd 2011 by Viking (first published May 14th 2011)
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Dec 20, 2014 Carol. rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: hard core fans of Walt
Current self says, "Self, don't read this book. Skip it and go to the next Walt Longmire."
Past self says, "Self, it really bothers me to read a book out of order. What if I miss something? I have to complete them."
Current self: "Stop being so obsessive compulsive."
Past self: "I breathe, therefore I am."
Current self: "Just for that, I'm gonna slap you into next week."

Johnson tried, he really did. But there's no mystery here, only Walt chasing down escaped prisoners in the middle of a Wyoming snow
Nov 24, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, series
The Hook - Needed an afternoon with a friend and knew Longmire would not disappoint.

The Line Walt borrow this quotation, attributing it to his late wife:

”Cigarettes are killers that travel in packs.”

Mary S. Ott, Bartlett's Unfamiliar Quotations (Leonard Louis Levinson), Source: Bloomsbury book of quotations.

The Sinker Hell Is Empty is truly a superior blend of fact, Indian lore, and literature. If you haven’t read this series treat yourself. Begin at the beginning The Walt Longmire Series.
Aug 02, 2014 Algernon rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014

One reason I am so fond of the Walt Longmire series is that I don't realy know what to expect in terms of plot from any new issue I pick up. The first book was about chasing a serial killer, the second about investigating a murder 40 years old, the next moved to Philadelphia from some big city action, another did some extended flashback to the Vietnam War or dealt with crime in a ghost town. Some volumes are built on teamwork, others on solitary efforts by Sheriff Walt. Some are based in Absarok
First Sentence: “Didn’t your mother ever tell you not to talk with your mouth full?”

What started as a routine hand-off of prisoners quickly became anything but routine. Sociopath and child-killer Raynaud Shade escapes along with two other prisoners and two FBI hostages into the rugged mountains of Wyoming. Also headed that way is a major spring blizzard. Sheriff Walt Longmire, with a Colt .45, a Sharpe’s rifle, a copy of “Dante’s Inferno”, and Indian mysticism heads into the mountains, and the s
Mar 01, 2016 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had me worried beforehand as I read the varied reviews that were for a change not generally complimentary. That said this is the one book that should be read as a part of the series and is perhaps less of a standalone.

Sheriff Longmire is doing the escorting of some seriously scary prisoners towards a place were one of them will be showing the feds a corpse of a little child, or at least its remains. When the feds take charge and Longmire goes home everything goes wrong.
Walt Longmire is
Amy Sturgis
Apr 14, 2014 Amy Sturgis rated it it was amazing
Craig Johnson manages to do something different with every new addition to his Walt Longmire series, and in the case of Hell is Empty, he's created one of his most memorable and meaningful novels yet. The majority of the novel follows Walt's one-man hunt for the convicted and escaped murderer Raynaud Shade in the icy hell of the Cloud Peak Wilderness Area at 13,000-foot elevation during a winter blizzard. This cat-and-mouse pursuit unfolds as an extended reimagining and commentary on Dante's Inf ...more
In this seventh book in Walt Longmire series he is assigned to transport four dangerous prisoners into the hands of the FBI in the next county. After the exchange and while on his way home he discovers a bobby-pin in his sandwich. Earlier that day they had stopped for a predetermined, scheduled lunch where they all received sandwiches. Evidently there was a leak of their commute schedule and one of the prisoners girlfriend, in order to aid in their planned escape, had positioned herself as an em ...more
Jun 03, 2011 Trish rated it really liked it
A couple of years ago I wrote that it takes a brave man to create a novel that parallels and paraphrases the greats like Shakespeare and Dante. But Johnson takes it on handily: everybody in this new addition to his Sheriff Longmire series reads Dante—a paperback copy makes its way through backpacks and winter whiteouts to mountain peaks and cabin hideouts. It makes me want to go back and wrassle with The Inferno some more. FBI agents, Indians, cops, murderers and gang-bangers--everyone finds s ...more
Joel Neff
Jan 28, 2014 Joel Neff rated it it was amazing
One of the things I most enjoy about the Longmire books (and one reason they garner comparisons to Tony Hillerman's work) is that Craig Johnson is not afraid to veer away from the straight and narrow path of mysteries into more abnormal territory.

In almost every book in the series (so far) Sheriff Walt Longmire has perceived, or nearly perceived, things that may or may not be there. He calls them The Old Cheyenne, we, the readers, might call them ghosts, or spirits, or hallucinations. Whatever t
Abandon Hope all ye who enter here: Much sarcasm and spoilers ensue.

After all that romance, I needed little testosterone. Just a dab. Where can a girl go for good old fashioned machismo? Not Jack Reacher. That will leave hair on a girl's chest. Sweet, self-deprecating Walt Longmire patrolling the wilds of Wyoming seemed just the thing.

Unfortunately, this novel was heavy on psychology and short on mystery. Not enough of the Walt who I love or the relationship he has with the secondary characters
Rick Riordan
Nov 08, 2013 Rick Riordan rated it it was amazing
The latest in a series about Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire, this is the first Johnson novel I’ve read, and the first adult mystery I’ve read in quite a while. I’m not sure what attracted me to the book – probably the title, and the premise of following a psychotic killer into the wilderness. Hey, we’ve all been there, right? Normally I’d start a series at the beginning, but I had no trouble following the action. I like Walt Longmire’s character. He’s a widower, a father, an older man who can’t a ...more
I saw a variation of this story on the excellent Longmire TV series (well, it has sort of jumped the shark recently), so I was prepared for having a basic idea of what was going to happen. Wrong. Very different. No problem, the books are always good.

Walt takes off after a gang of escaped convicts in the middle of a snowstorm. There’s a marvelous scene up in the mountains where Virgil White Buffalo, the huge Indian and Vietnam veteran from a previous book, and Walt hunker down during a snowstorm
May 22, 2013 Harry rated it it was amazing

My admiration for this series escalates with each book in the series. Hell is Empty takes Walt back to the high plains in his hunt for a child killer who defying all logic deliberately leads Walt to the highest point in the range and at about 13,000 feet, in a monumental winter storm, faces Walt knowing there's no way out.

The fog and snow was level with the top of the mountain, and it was as if I were resting on a plain of clouds stretching out forever.

Aided by a beast, a mountain lion; g
4 ++

I really enjoyed this installment in the Sheriff Walt Longmire mystery series and wonder why I have waited a year to read it since book six. I have said in the past about these books . . .

All the books involve several harrowing physical situations where Walt gets beat up physically, and sometimes mentally, and barely escapes with his life - all at heart-pounding, breakneck speed.

The difference in this book is that the entire book is a "situation" as Walt might say, in which he is tracking d
Feb 10, 2012 Ashley rated it liked it
I made the mistake of reading a few reviews of this book before I jumped in. One hit me, saying that they felt (Jen!) that it's becoming difficult to believe any human being would be so hard-headed to continue time after time to put themselves in such reckless situations. Having not yet read this new book I reflected upon Walt's previous encounters, and felt that although he was sometimes a stubborn ass and often refused backup, I had mostly gone along quite easily with his encounters.

But as I
Aug 25, 2015 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The plot for Hell is Empty was used as the loose basis for the first episode of season two of the television series. Several criminals are being transported across the county and escape into the Bighorn Mountains. In blizzard conditions, Walt sets out alone to find them.

Once again, Johnson delivers a strong story that is well-paced and easy to read. But what really makes this series so enjoyable are the characters. Even the bad guys are interesting and multi-dimensional.

Johnson includes Crow a
Jan "don't blame me, I also voted for Hillary"
What does a Wyoming sheriff and Dante's "Inferno" have in common? Read this Longmire mystery to find out!
Jun 10, 2011 Patty rated it it was amazing
Usually I wait a while after finishing a book before writing the review. But, since there are almost no words to describe this book I figured, what the heck.

I've been a big Craig Johnson/Walt Longmire fan for several years now and have always considered his first, The Cold Dish, my favorite. Hell is Empty hasn't surpassed it but it is in a dead heat.

Walt and Sancho are delivering some prisoners to the FBI when things go bad. Many FBI are killed and the most dangerous of the criminals are on the
Jul 25, 2014 Karl rated it it was amazing
This is my fifth Craig Johnson book and I would rate this one the best of all the one's I have read. The book begins with high energy and never lets up. The one element that Mr. Johnson left out of this volume are the usual sidekick characters but for only peripheral mention. He has sustained this book utilizing only Walt Longmire to drive the story.

The story is a survival story that takes place in a terrible blizzard in the mountains. Longmire must capture a crew of escaped prisoners in the mou
Ah, Walt. You should never be allowed out in a snowstorm.

I can see the reviews of this have been mixed, and it's definitely an a-typical Longmire book. But I liked the way it explored the more supernatural elements as Walt made his quest up the mountain.
Kathy Davie
Jul 03, 2013 Kathy Davie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Seventh in the Walt Longmire mystery series set in Wyoming and revolving around Sheriff Longmire.

Hell is Empty was on the New York Times bestseller list and was voted Library Journal's Best Mystery of the Year.

My Take
And, in spite of all this, it's my least favorite of the series and confusing.

I do love how Johnson ignores the whole politically correct thing and has fun with his cowboy and Indian jokes.

"'Hey, how come you didn't bring that other deputy, the good-looking one?'
… 'I left the women
Jul 04, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
When you open the show with some law enforcement types transporting a bunch of psycho killers across country in a van you pretty well know what's coming. One of those law enforcement types is my old buddy Sheriff Walt Longmire and the country is the foothills of the Big Horn mountains in Wyoming, alreaded well blanketed in winter's snow and there's more on the way. Deputy Saizarbitoria (Sancho) is working his way through a bunch of book lists provided by his friends and colleagues (the full set ...more
Aug 01, 2011 Maddy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-reads
PROTAGONIST: Sheriff Walt Longmire
SETTING: Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming
SERIES: #7 of 7
RATING: 4.25

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” - The Tempest

On the job for more than thirty years, Absaroka County sheriff Walt Longmire faces one of the most challenging cases of his career when adopted Crow Raynaud Shade confesses to murdering a young boy ten years earlier and burying him in the Bighorn Mountains. Longmire is assigned to transport Shade, several other convicts and some federal marsha
Oct 21, 2013 Eric rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Walt Longmire, Dante's Inferno
The author of this series, Craig Johnson, is not content to churn out paint-by-number mysteries. With each book, he pushes the boundaries of his craft -- integrating flashbacks, different settings, non-linear storytelling, playing with tone, etc. -- but what he does in this book may be his crowning achievement.

There is actually no mystery in this Walt Longmire mystery -- it is made clear at the beginning that Raynaud Shade, the prisoner that Walt is transporting, is guilty of killing a child. Th
Sep 29, 2013 David rated it liked it
I tend to like Walt Longmire, after being introduced to him through the A&e television series. Most of Johnson's novels sneak a bit of Native American myticism in, but usually there is a balance between reality and the metaphysical-- this time.. Johnson goes over-the-top and doesn't even bother to provide a mystery.

That doesn't mean this one isn't a good read, full of literary references to Dante's "Inferno" (Johnson's titles usually reference some highbrow classical literature source like S
Jun 17, 2016 William rated it liked it
Well, maybe three stars, but I enjoyed reading this even less than that rating would suggest. It's interesting that my rating is fairly unusual and that most readers have found this a memorable book. Usually I can see the other side to ratings, but for the life of me, I found little in this book to praise. Yes, Johnson writes very well, and I am not giving up on the Longmire series, but I am hoping this one is a detour.

So many of the things I like in this series are missing from this book. In mo
Kathleen McFall
Feb 19, 2012 Kathleen McFall rated it really liked it
I've just discovered the talented Craig Johnson. This book was my first (I got wind of it awhile back via a review of Hell Is Empty on BookGasm). I've now finished Hell Is Empty along with two others and am contemplating a fourth. That should tell you something. This is a good solid series, so far, one that need not be read in sequence - each stands alone - although there are threads that carry from one to the other, largely related to the relationships among the characters. These relationship l ...more
This series gets better with each book.

This time around, Walt is assisting with a prisoner transfer and investigation with several agencies, including the FBI. Yes, there is cold, ice, and the typical Wyoming winter you have come to expect. Is it ever summer, or even spring, in Absaroka county? Or are all of the criminals so excited to have some warmth that they take some time off from breaking the law so we don't get mysteries set in summer? But I digress.

Walt, protector of everyone, is on the
Barb in Maryland
Jul 21, 2011 Barb in Maryland rated it really liked it
First, I have a request for Craig Johnson--please! no more stories where Walt is on a mountain, on foot, during a blizzard. Please!!
This starts as a simple 'track down the psycho escaped prisoner' story. And, in a way, the story remains just that. But it is so much more--a story of survival and a story that explores the boundaries of reality. That's a fancy way of saying that, for vast stretches of the action, the reader is never sure what's really happening. It is as if the reader has suffered
Aug 21, 2015 Thomas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: us-rural-crime
I really enjoyed reading this book and rate it 4.5 out 5 stars. This book 7 in the series, which I started reading after watching the tv series. I have been reading the books in order. The characters are well developed and grow with each book. This book has Walt Longmire, Sheriff of Absaroka county, Wyoming, chasing escaped convicts in the middle of a ferocious Wyoming mountain blizzard.
I enjoyed the humor in the book including one conversation that he has with Virgil White Buffalo over which on
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  • Vermilion Drift (Cork O'Connor, #10)
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  • A Nail Through the Heart (Poke Rafferty Mystery, #1)
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Craig Johnson an American novelist, short story writer, and playwright. . He lives in Ucross, near Sheridan, Wyoming, population 25.

Johnson has written twelve novels featuring Sheriff Walt Longmire: The Cold Dish, Death Without Company, Kindness Goes Unpunished, Another Man's Moccasins, Junkyard Dogs, The Dark
More about Craig Johnson...

Other Books in the Series

Walt Longmire (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • 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)
  • The Dark Horse (Walt Longmire, #5)
  • Junkyard Dogs (Walt Longmire, #6)
  • As The Crow Flies (Walt Longmire, #8)
  • A Serpent's Tooth (Walt Longmire, #9)
  • Any Other Name (Walt Longmire, #10)
  • Dry Bones (Walt Longmire, #11)

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“It’s never about who’s the fastest, strongest, toughest—it’s always about who, when everyone else would pause, will commit.” 3 likes
“slogans about smoking: “Cigarettes are killers that travel in packs.” 3 likes
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