An Obvious Fact, the 12th novel in Craig Johnson’s popular Longmire series, tries to throw a wrench in the works by moving the titular hero out of his natural element. But Walt Longmire is an element in himself, perfectly capable of functioning in any place and under any circumstance with his usual gruff, hard-fisted dedication to righting wrongs wherever he finds them.
In this case, Walt leaves his usual stomping grounds of Absaroka County, Wyoming, to solve a hit-and-run at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. It isn’t long before an undercover agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms on the trail of a suspected gun-smuggling operation also ends up dead, increasing the scope of Walt’s investigation. Throw in a super-size military assault vehicle, rival motorcycle gangs and a plot to manufacture synthetic polymer weapons, and the stage is set for a thrilling climactic showdown in the shadow of the famous Devils Tower national monument.
That in itself would be enough to satisfy those looking for a fast-paced, action-packed read, but this is a Longmire novel, after all. As such, Johnson obligingly weaves in plenty of humorous banter, emotional bonding and deep characterization to bring his extended cast of Walt, Undersheriff Victoria Morettli and Henry Standing Bear to life. Henry, in fact, is a key focus of the book. At issue is his relationship to Lola, the real-life femme fatale and namesake for Henry’s ’59 Thunderbird, who is the possible mother of his son, the aforementioned hit-and-run victim.
An Obvious Fact is a welcome addition to the Longmire canon and one fans will anxiously wait to see adapted on the small screen.