In the 14th installment of Walt Longmire's saga, the titular hero finds himself at a Mexican Day of the Dead celebration, where he's up against an international hit man and the head of one of the most vicious drug cartels in Mexico, who happens to have kidnapped Walt's beloved daughter, Cady.
Open the cover and the action starts almost immediately when author Craig Johnson puts Longmire in the presence of a blind man who sees everything—a conundrum that works surprisingly well. From there, we’re incongruously taken in a pink Cadillac to violently dangerous situations that are faintly reminiscent of old-time westerns, and gun smoke that happens to come from some very modern automatic rifles. Indeed, that’s what makes this book so compelling: it’s a super-fast-paced updated throw-back kind of novel that will appeal to lovers of old-school oaters and thrillers alike ... find Depth of Winter if you want action, horses, deserts, and cutthroat cowpokes with AK47s. Really, would you want to miss a book like that?
While his last book was big on misdirection and mystery, Johnson shows off his versatility by switching gears and cramming in tons of action and suspense this time around. Part of the plot takes place during the Day of the Dead celebration, which proves to be quite fitting and offers a great setting ... As the story unfolds, things finally reach a boiling point, setting up an epic showdown between Walt and Bidarte that fans will no doubt be talking about long after turning the final page ... one of his most riveting and explosive novels to date.
Johnson’s prose is as sharp as ever. Plucking Walt from the confines of his home county and dropping him in the desert gives Johnson the chance to get literary...and cinematic. Depth of Winter isn’t so much a mystery as it is a Western, and Johnson gives the action the sort of big-screen treatment it deserves. There are shades of The Wild Bunch ... And the action is big, well-choreographed, and thrilling. There are brawls, shootouts, and some literally explosive moments, and they’re all suspenseful and well-earned. At the heart of the book is Walt’s ongoing internal conflict about when killing is justified ... In fact, Walt finds himself in this quandary so often that, by the book’s end, the motif is repetitive ... None of that is to say Depth of Winter is a ponderous slugfest. The narrative is propulsive and rarely stops, from Walt’s escape from a U.S. border patrol station that opens the novel to the tense finale that’s gripping, though predictable. And though the stakes are high, Johnson deploys his usual wit and humor to lighten the mood.