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The Dark Horse

(Walt Longmire #5)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  11,901 ratings  ·  892 reviews
Read Craig Johnson's posts on the Penguin Blog.

Walt Longmire goes undercover to save a woman in an unfriendly place

Interweaving classic noir sensibilities and humor with contemporary themes of social justice, Craig Johnson's popular Walt Longmire mysteries transport readers to the sparse and rugged landscape of Wyoming. In The Dark Horse, the sheriff investigates when hi
Hardcover, 318 pages
Published May 28th 2009 by Viking Adult
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Williamacrane You didn't miss much. The book is excellent, however. Most of the action takes place in Absolom along the Powder River. Neither Vic nor Henry have big…moreYou didn't miss much. The book is excellent, however. Most of the action takes place in Absolom along the Powder River. Neither Vic nor Henry have big parts in this tale. When It's available, get it.(less)

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4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,901 ratings  ·  892 reviews

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Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013

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
Sep 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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I’m a fan of Walt Longmire (first review here), an aging sheriff who represents many solid Western values, including independence, justice and connection to land and history. This is the 5th book in the series, and for me, the weakest. Luckily, I already have the next in the series available.

The story begins with a woman named Mary Barsad who is transferred to Walt’s tiny two-cell ‘jail’ as a means of making space–and revenue. And, just perhaps
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
An excellent entry in the series I love so much featuring Wyoming Sheriff Walt Longmire. This one is an “away game”, in which we get Walt by himself on a case without major contributions of his tough and lovely Detective Vic Moretti, bosom buddy Henry Standing Bear (“The Cheyenne Nation”), and lawyer daughter Katy. Walt has in his jail a woman who has confessed to shooting her husband Wade after he burned her beloved horses alive in their barn. He has some nagging doubts about her story, prompti ...more
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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 Dark Horse” is the fifth book in the “Longmire” mystery series, continuing the fictional adventures of Walt Longmire, Sheriff of Absaroka County
May 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Classic Sheriff Walt Longmire! As with all of the mysteries in Johnson's Longmire series, this one includes a cast of vivid and interesting characters, a terrible crime that must be solved and lots of action. In The Dark Horse, Walt is taken out of Absaroka County to Absolom, Wyoming in a neighboring county along the Powder River. A man has been murdered and then incinerated in a fire that also killed several horses. The man's wife has confessed to the killing, but Longmire is certain that she d ...more
Jacqueline J
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
First off let me just say I loved the dark horse's name, Wahoo Sue. Great name for a cutting horse. Well anyway another great entry in the series. Again, I listened to it on audio book. This is one of my favorite readers. Each character's voice is different and consistent and I can tell who is talking generally even without the name tags. The mystery was good. I liked the use of two different time lines. Description was good as always and as always I wanted to underline stuff. I thought I knew w ...more
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: western and mystery readers
Shelves: western, 2016
This is Walt Longmire in western mode and at the same time him doing a PI stint in another county.

It all starts when a certain Mary Barsand get a cell in Longmire's county jail, she did confess to the murder of her husband by shooting him six times in the head. At the same time her farm and horses got burned in a great fire. When Walt gets her talking he finds himself doubting her guilt.

Walt Longmire goes undercover and he does not do a very good job as more and more people seem to know about hi
Joel Neff
Jan 28, 2014 rated it liked it
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
May 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing

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
Judith E
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
The writing by Craig Johnson and the Audible narration by George Guidall are as soothing as a rambling horse ride through the mountains of Wyoming. They are a perfect match.

In #5 of the Longmire mystery series, Sheriff Walter Longmire is unsure Mary Barsad should have been arrested for the arson of her house and the murder of her husband, even though she has confessed to the crimes. Walt goes undercover because the crime was not committed in his jurisdiction, and he discovers mob involvement wi
Jeff Dickison
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good Longmire entry that I would have given 4.5 stars to if it hadn't bounced back and forth in time. I like my novels to unfold in linear fashion, if they can. This tale, while still quite good, could have been told that way, and would have been improved if it had been done so. Still a good read and recommended to Longmire fans.
Carolyn F.

First off, the narration was good although I wish he wouldn't have made Walt Longmire sound so old. Henry Standing Bear, who is the same age, didn't sound quite as old. I do realize that he fought in Vietnam and would be close to 70, but still I didn't want him sounding that old.

The story itself dragged a little in places. The mystery was easy to figure out from the beginning. (view spoiler)
Jun 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: us-rural-crime
This is book 5 in the Walt Longmire series. I enjoyed it and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Walt Longmire is the Sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming. The author says he is the Sheriff of "the least populous county in the least populous state." He accepts prisoners from other counties to help out with his budget. Mary Barsad is transferred to his jail from Campbell County. She is accused of murdering her husband. She confessed to the murder. But Walt suspects she is innocent. Her husband was accused o ...more
Bruce Snell
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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
Dillwynia Peter
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The last two in the series have not won me over, and I was beginning to think I should give it up as an unlucky fluke. An then this one came along an gave me faith. The last two have either been set in a big city (Philadelphia) or dealt with Vietnam. This one however, goes back to the region that suits Longmire best - the Wyoming plains.

Johnson appears to be more comfortable when dealing with horses, and the countryside, and the local characters that make up these small hard plains towns. Thus,
Well, that was fun. This fifth entry in Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire series was a quick and entertaining weekend read. It contained all of the elements that have made this such a likable series for me and few of the ones that I have found annoying in the past.

Sheriff Walt Longmire of Absaroka County, Wyoming is called on to go undercover in The Dark Horse. The problem is that his undercover work is to be done in an adjoining county, in fact the county where he grew up and where the old Longmire
Jul 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I really enjoyed the first four books in the Walt Longmire series and gave them all four stars. This one, however, I felt missed the mark, with a number of small plotting and characterization issues that left me unable to fully accept the believability of the story. I still plan to continue in the series, hoping that this is a minor stumble in the long series.
James Aura
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Craig Johnson blends character personalities, conflict and action as well as any popular fiction writer working today. This story like most of his others was just plain enjoyable and the kind of story you look forward to picking up, after you've been away. The emphasis on horses this time was fascinating with the 'Dark Horse' aspect emerging late in the mystery with great effect.
Benjamin Thomas
This 5th novel in the Walt Longmire series may be my favorite yet. I’m not sure exactly why; all of the books so far have been excellent with wonderfully written, tightly focused prose. His characters, especially Walt himself, continue to be multi-dimensional, flawed to some extent and absolutely real. The plots are intriguing and avoid the cliché’s that often plague many modern bestselling mystery authors.

Perhaps this one really struck me due to the nature of the plot itself. This time Walt is
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ages 13 and up
(2012) Incredible story! Loved it!

The first part of the story felt slow to me but I later realized that the details were needed to make the story an incredible story. The ending was great! I highly recommend this story as well. And for those of you who love horses or animals in general, the story will touch your heart.

(2017)This book, like all of his books, have a subtle spiritual element that incorporates Native American beliefs. The story was powerful and the characters so vivid and real.
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
4.5 stars. I love all of these book-people, love the world and the mysteries are always damn good. And though this was all those things that I love about the series, this one was maybe just a little more slow-paced. Still worth listening to.

And George Guidall is still one of my very favorite voices to listen to!
Helen Dunn
Jun 19, 2017 rated it liked it
I didn't know it at the start of the year but it looks like one of my 2017 reading goals is knocking out the whole Walt Longmire mystery series.

A friend described this series as "comfort reading. You pick one up and you know what you’re going to get." She was exactly right.

Solid western mystery.

Oct 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-drama
Just could not get into this book. In fact, kept looking at the number of pages left. While the characters were interesting and the dialog fun, I just got bored with the slow pace of the story and the constant switching between time and place. I didn't see any reason for this device. Just confusing and distracting.
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Abandoned at half way mark. A little too slow moving for me. I really didn't care about the characters, either. This series is just not for me.
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
More like 3 1/2 stars.. I find it so hard to rate books. :( I do like this one very much but found it hard to follow as it went from present day to just days earlier. This is one of the drawbacks, for me, of an audio book, that I can't just flip pages back and forth. However, I want to recognize George Guidall as a wonderful narrator. And the bonus at the end of this one - which was better than a printed version would have been - was Guidall's absolutely delightful interview of the author, Craig ...more
Mar 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, series
The Hook - The need for a moderately light read, a fill-in book.

The Line”Makes you wonder if he was dropped on his head as a child or if he was eating fucking paint chips like they were Cool Ranch Doritos, doesn’t it?”— Deputy Vic Moretti

The SinkerThe Walt Longmire Series is purely comfort reading. You pick one up and you know what you’re going to get. It’s that kind of relationship where you haven’t seen a friend for a while but can pick right up where you left off. In Dark Horse, the fi
Mar 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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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 15 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)
  • 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)
  • Dry Bones (Walt Longmire, #11)
“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.” 18 likes
“I don't trust people who don't like animals. Hell, animals are the finest people I know.” 15 likes
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