Book review: Latest in Longmire book series is a gripping ghost tale

Posted May 31, 2016

"THE HIGHWAYMAN: A Longmire Story," by Craig Johnson, Viking, $20, 208 pages (f)

Craig Johnson’s “The Highwayman” is the latest in his series of best-selling novellas about Walt Longmire, sheriff of Wyoming's Absaroka County. The series has spawned a television drama called “Longmire,” which started on A&E and can now be streamed on Netflix.

The story starts with Longmire and his friend Henry Standing Bear called to investigate the strange events happening to a Wyoming highway patrolwoman named Rosey Wayman, who has been newly assigned to the Wind River Canyon in Walt’s jurisdiction. The canyon is a remote and somewhat desolate place without consistent radio communication, which has earned it the name of “No Man’s Land” from locals and those who previously held Rosey's position.

Rosey has been hearing “officer needs assistance” calls on her radio while on duty in the canyon, but her reporting of the calls has led her superiors to begin to question her sanity. Due to the persistence of the calls, even Rosey worries about her own competency.

Longmire is called in to figure out what is going on. As a result of his investigation, he learns of the strange and tragic death of a former patrolman in the canyon over 30 years earlier. What Longmire uncovers is long-forgotten memories of Rosey and her relationship to locals and to the deceased patrolman.

Johnson is a good storyteller, and it is easy to see why the Longmire series is so popular. His characters are fleshed out, interesting and relatable. This ghost story is a great tale with enough twists and turns to make it a fun read. A reader new to the series can dive into the Longmire world immediately and will likely want to go back and read all of its previous entries.

"The Highwayman" doesn't contain any objectionable language, sex or violence, and is appropriate for teens and adults.

Scott Butters has over 35 years of experience in business and finance. He is a graduate of the University of Utah and bleeds red. He can be contacted at


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