As much as I enjoy Craig Johnson’s series about Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire, I find that I’ve been neglecting him and so am way behind in reviewing the series. One thing I admire most about this series is the sense of place–how Wyoming is depicted so clearly it is almost a character. Unfortunately, Kindness Goes Unpunished takes place in Philadelphia, so we miss that here, but the book is still action packed and lots of fun to read.
Sheriff Longmire and his best friend Henry Standing Bear travel to Philadelphia. Henry is setting up a collection of photos at a museum in preparation for giving a lecture, and Walt is visiting his daughter Cady, who works there as a lawyer.
Before Walt even gets a chance to see Cady, she is found at the bottom of some steps in a coma. Witness testimony seems to indicate that she was pushed down the stairs by her boyfriend, who turns out to have a drug habit. Shortly thereafter, however, the boyfriend is shoved off a bridge.
Philly cops wonder if Walt is responsible for the boyfriend’s death. Walt is torn between worry about Cady and his impulse to track down the killer, so Walt’s lippy deputy, Victoria Moretti, gets on a plane from Wyoming. It helps that she is a Philadelphia native and has relatives in the police force. Walt makes a deal with the Philly police to assist them in their investigation. (No, Brits, that doesn’t mean the same thing here as it does in the U.K.) We readers also get to meet the entire Moretti clan, including Victoria’s mother, who seems inclined to flirt with Walt.
Although I missed the Wyoming setting, Johnson effectively employs the fish-out-of-water technique to produce a novel that is as good as ever.