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Monday, September 19, 2011

Hell Is Empty by Craig Johnson

I' d only read one other book by Johnson (The Cold Dish -- you know, revenge is a dish best served cold), but I liked it a lot, and Hell Is Empty ("Hell is empty and all the devils are here."  The Tempest) only made me eager to read more.

The Cold Dish was the first book in the series and the setting was a  blizzard and an arduous journey.  Strange that I've read the first and the latest in the series and that both have the weather as almost another character.  Now, I've got to seek out five books published after the The Cold Dish and before Hell Is Empty.

Walt Longmire is the sheriff of Absaroka County in Wyoming.  When several murderous convicts escape during a transfer to the FBI, killing several FBI Agents and taking two hostages,  Longmire goes after them.  The trail leads higher and higher into the Big Horn Mountains in the midst of a blizzard.  Cold as hell seems an apt description.

I missed Henry Standing Bear's presence (he has only a small role in this novel), but I liked Virgil quite a lot.  The novel has suspense, endurance, and mysticism

One of the minor characters, Sancho (a Basque deputy) has been reading Dante, and his copy of The Inferno (yall know I love The Inferno) plays a role in Longmire's hunt for the convicts.  Here we have hell featured once again.

  In the back of the novel, Craig Johnson includes the reading list that has been given to Sancho. Walt Longmire, Henry Standing Bear, Victoria Morelli, and several other characters each added 10 books to the list.  It is interesting to see the books each character deems important.  I'm always curious about what other people recommend, even fictional people.

As with the first in the series, I found Hell Is Empty to be a page turner.  Now, I've got to go back and try to pick up the other books in the series, hopefully in order.

Other reviews/ opinions:  Unruly Reader, My Random Acts of Reading,

Fiction.  Mystery/Western.  20ll.  320 pages.


  1. Kailana - Books and titles that refer to other books, quotes, titles always intrigue me. I choose books from the shelves based on that alone!

  2. Jenclair -- Thanks for linking to my review! So glad you liked the book, too. Craig Johnson is one of my absolute favorite mystery authors -- every single one of his books is perfect.

  3. Unruly Reader - I've thoroughly enjoyed the two Longmire books that I've read (the first and the latest) and plan to read my way through the middle of the series!