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The Western Star

(Walt Longmire #13)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  7,225 ratings  ·  892 reviews
The thirteenth novel in Craig Johnson's beloved New York Times bestselling Longmire series, the basis for the hit Netflix series Longmire

Sheriff Walt Longmire is enjoying a celebratory beer after a weapons certification at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy when a younger sheriff confronts him with a photograph of twenty-five armed men standing in front of a Challenger st
Kindle Edition, 303 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Viking
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Mar 21, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Western Star by Craig Johnson is a 2017 Viking publication.

This is the thirteenth book in the Walt Longmire series.

‘He did it, she did it, or they all did it’

Walt never misses the parole hearing, which takes place every four years, for a prisoner over at Cheyenne, who happens to be the most dangerous criminal he ever encountered. This time, though, the prisoner in question is dying and seeking compassionate release. As Walt continues to oppose the release, he is taken on a trip down memory
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: craig-johnson
This is book 13 in the Longmire series. I have enjoyed all of them. This book is told in two threads, one present day and one in 1972. They do connect at the end, and there is a cliffhanger for those of you annoyed by cliffhangers. The book opens in the present day with Walt coming to a parole hearing for a murderer he arrested in many years ago. Then the flashback sequence starts in the same chapter--somewhat confusing and it took me a while to separate the two. We learn more about Walt and his ...more
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this 13th book in the Walt Longmire series, we get a glimpse of Walt’s past and of his wife, Martha, with past and present colliding with disastrous results. In the present, Walt is in Cheyenne visiting his daughter and granddaughter, and also to attend a parole hearing for a convict who Walt does not want released. When the action moves into the past, we get the story of a train trip on The Western Star.

When Walt was a beginning deputy under Sheriff Lucian Connelly, he took part in this cere
There are pedigreed dogs like the ostentatious Lowchen, the uppity Samoyed, or the haughty Tibetan Mastiff. You know, dogs that demand belly scratches at all hours of the night eat only organic chicken browned in a low-sodium broth, and when you toss them a tennis ball to fetch, they look at you like you just ripped out a fart. And then you have the mutts. Sloppy goofballs that wag their tails even when you are berating them for eating the drapes and are always up for a walk even in a torrential ...more
Karl Jorgenson
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This, the 13th in the series, is subtly better than the previous three or four. Johnson uses the historic/current dual-story structure to good effect: here, Longmire's first murder investigation in 1972 resurfaces in present day. I think he wrote this story as a device to use the 'Western Star', a steam locomotive making its last run, hauling the sheriff's association on a three-day junket. Trains are tension builders, trapped but not trapped, always moving, isolated, compressed. Everybody on th ...more
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are actually two stories ( one from the past that eventually coincides with the present), but the reader is jostled a little by the back and forth momentum, IMO. And at the end, we are left with a huge problem that was somewhat neglected and we will have to wait to read the next book to continue the series.
The historical story about the Western Star, a legendary train famous in Wyoming history, is certainly worth learning about. This, along with interesting facts about the post-Vietnam era
Judith E
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Again, Craig Johnson has cranked out an engaging story full of memorable characters, with the star (sheriff, that is) being Walt Longmire of Absaroka County, Wyoming. It is not serendipitous that Walt climbs aboard the Western Star train with 25 other sheriffs, with a copy of Agatha Christie’s, Murder on the Orient Express, under his arm. Nuff said.
Jeff Dickison
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent entry in the Longmire series that is used to set up the next book, because this one ends with a cliffhanger. This is basically two tales in one, including murders on a sheriff's train from the 70's and another one in today's world when the original murderer is up for release due to health reasons. Johnson is the master of cool, witty dialogue and that is here in spades. Recommended. ...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Well, this was not the strongest book in the series. As much as I like Walt was I disappointed to see Vic reduced to just having a small part in this book. Although it was pretty cool to meet a young Walt Longmire newlywed and as a new deputy to Sheriff Connolly. However, the ending was promising. Been waiting for Walt to get even with his archnemesis.
Readers and fans of Craig Johnson's Longmire series - here's your warning. I started Johnson's The Western Star on my lunch hour one day. I read for half an hour, spent more than an hour talking to my mother that night, and, yet, I had to stay up and finish the book. Way too late. I had book hangover the next day. Darn you, Craig. In other words, The Western Star is a compelling story. It's a look back at a young Walt Longmire in a tribute to Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. But, ...more
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was ok

I enjoyed getting to know young Walt and young(er) Lucian a bit. That was fun. Unfortunately, we get almost no time with Henry and Vic, and wherever they're present in this book they could easily be replaced by cardboard cutouts without any loss of characterization. It would have been nice if this short book was a bit longer, and showed us young Henry, and involved Henry and Vic in the current timeline portions of the story.

Then there's the last 50 pages. Massive shift in the book
I love all of the books in this series and it should definitely be started at the beginning as to get all the nuances of each wonderful character. This addition takes Walt way back into his past, when he first comes home from the Vietnam War. A fun train trip turns into murder on and off the tracks.

For those of you who enjoy The Walt Longmire Series on Netflix, please note that the books are not the same stories as the TV series.
Fred Shaw
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Western Star (Walt Longmire #13) This is an excellent series if you like current day tough Wyoming sheriffs. Anyone with a partner called “The Cheyenne Nation” has got to be a tough pair. Enjoy
Mar 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having enjoyed quite a few episodes of Longmire on video, I thought I ought to try a book from the series for the first time. I found the humour to be enjoyable but I don't think I will read another one. It probably requires starting at the beginning for it all to make sense.

Library Loan
Kristi Lamont
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Ever read a book in a series and think well, the author wrote this just to get to the next "real" book? Well, that's what this felt like to me at the end. Also, and I really am sad about this, it feels like Craig Johnson has lost touch with the core ethos of younger Walt, Henry and Lucian. Which matters a lot when a great deal of the book is set in an earlier era. I dunno, the whole thing felt kinda thin and rushed. But it's probably me with the real issue, from having gotten so involved with th ...more
Rusty Burlingame
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was very disappointed. Easily the worst Longmire book.
The whole thing is less than 300 pages, and nothing much happens for the first 70. I don't mind the dual timelines, but the ending to one is ridiculously bad, and the ending to the other is a cliffhanger.
Two hundred pages in the middle were pretty good, and I enjoy the company of the various characters. Hopefully the next book is a lot better.
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
**As I continue my Longmire series read, full disclosure requires that I openly admit I am a devoted fan of the Longmire television show (on A/E and now Netflix) and have enjoyed reading the previous books in the Longmire book series that inspired that show even more. With that said, I am still doing my best to provide objective and an honest review. **

“The Western Star” is the thirteenth book in the “Longmire” mystery series, continuing the fictional adventures of Walt Longmire, Sheriff of Abs
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Book #54 this year - The Western Star by Craig Johnson. The latest in Johnson's Longmire series of which im a fan (more a fan of the books than the tv series.) This is an interesting one in that it cuts back and forth between when Longmire is just two weeks into work in law enforcement and having to figure out who is killing county sheriffs on a train and present day where he is ready to speak against parole for the killer of that first case on the train... only to learn of efforts to release th ...more
Sep 09, 2017 rated it liked it
So, storyline and mystery for this book were great and I enjoyed every minute of it. We get a split storyline in this one, which isn't all to unfamiliar with Johnson's latest Longmire books, this one going from around the '70's to current.

This book is about a train!! Fun fact: I looove trains!!!

In the past, Walt is a green deputy that was brought along on the sheriffs train "The Western Star" and yes it's exactly as is sounds, a train with half or all (I don't remember) of the state of Wyoming
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: x2017-18-season
The first entry in the series with which I am disappointed. It isn't self-contained, the back and forth between the past and present timelines is interesting at first but clunky after a while. The necessary pronoun games needed to keep the past storyline a mystery in the present grow to be ridiculous. The failure to address the expected political fallout from the present storyline is sloppy. All in all, the book is a good idea poorly executed. The whole volume seems more concerned with setting u ...more
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A 5-star book that receives a 4-star b/c of its ending as its an obvious set up for a sequel...deftly plotted homage to Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express," as Walt, of the early years, is on an excursion express full of sheriffs & the current Walt is fighting the compassion release of a notorious serial murderer...we slip back & forth throughout, enjoying Johnson's marvelously drawn we'll have to wait for our next installment! ...more
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, western
As always, another excellent addition to Craig Johnson's wonderful series. Here is an essay written by the author about Walt Longmire, his protagonist:
My husband and I bought and devoured every Longmire as soon as they hit the stores. We would trade off reading at night (luckily my husband went to bed earlier!) This book will remain special to me as it is the last book we read together.
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Started out slow and I wasn’t particularly liking it. The back and forth from Walt’s pass as a new Deputy Sheriff to the current day in time was somewhat challenging. But it grew on me to the point that I was actually intrigued as the mystery was enfolding. A really good one by Johnson, and another cliffhanger as well. Will have to get the follow up to this one.
Sep 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, western
Everytime I read a book from a series written by one writer and I know it is the last one for another year I kind put the brake on reading it. I want to savor the reading as too make the gap between the end of the book and the next publication become shorter. Which is perhaps all in my mind but each his/her own quirks.

Anyhow Walt Longmire is visiting his daughter and his granddaughter while at the same time doing his bit in a parole hearing of the first murderer he caught in the service of the A
David C Ward
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Ok - but no more than that. Maybe closer to two stars. A bow to Agatha Christie with murders on a train. Switches back and forth from Longmire's start as a sheriff/in life and the present as the original murderer - caught by Longmire - plots revenge even from prison. The problem is that the solution to the first series of murders is gothic and implausible; there's a sequence in a criminal hospital that's ridiculous. There are a lot of red herrings. And near the end there's a huge swerve as anoth ...more
Kathy Davie
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Thirteenth in the Walt Longmire mystery series set in Wyoming and revolving around the sheriff of Absaroka County, his family, and his friends. If you're interested, there is a chronological listing of the Walt Longmire books on my website.

My Take
It takes a bit to get used to Johnson leaping back and forth from the present to the past, but it’s easy enough once you get the hang of it. It’s a very nice segue into the past, and as the story goes on, Johnson gets to burning you up with wanting to k
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Western Star is the latest in the Sheriff Longmire Mystery Series by Craig Johnson. It is a book of two primary storylines--- one of the past decades ago and one of the here and now. A complicated book full of nuance and meaning, it isn’t one easy to review without revealing key details that would impact the enjoyment of the book.

In the here and now, Sheriff Walt Longmire is back at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy recertifying his weapon status. The academy is also on the way to Cheyenn
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook

The personal and up close look into Longmire's past is always cool to experience. I love how Johnson connects various elements of Longmire's life together. Thank goodness I have the next book! Diving into it next. =)
Oct 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the Longmire TV series > five out of five stars. This book was a split for me: four stars for the story in the past and two stars for the story in the present, although when it started to come together that bumped it up to 2.5 for the latter. The reviewer Karl makes a number of points I agree with. In addition I found it a bit of challenge reading the story in first person, seems to me Walt is the kind of fellow who wouldn't tell his own story - the way the TV show presents the ...more
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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

Other books in the series

Walt Longmire (1 - 10 of 16 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)
  • Hell Is Empty (Walt Longmire, #7)
  • As The Crow Flies (Walt Longmire, #8)
  • A Serpent's Tooth (Walt Longmire, #9)
  • Any Other Name (Walt Longmire, #10)

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