I read this novel completely out of order with the others, but then I’ve been reviewing them out of order, too, so I guess that’s irrelevant.
First, old George Stewart, who owns the junkyard in Durant, Wyoming, is dragged behind a Toronado by his granddaughter. Then he is attacked by his neighbor. When Walt finds him in an attempt to investigate the first incident, he is dead, but not from these attacks. Someone has shot him.
Perhaps George’s death has to do with a new housing development next to the junkyard. The developer would like to remove the junkyard from the immediate vicinity of the homes he is building.
In the meantime, Walt is using the investigation of a severed thumb to try to keep his deputy, Santiago Saizarbitoria, who is considering quitting after being shot in the last book. Although Walt already knows that someone has claimed the thumb, he wants to keep Saizarbitoria busy and engaged in the hopes that he will stay.
Walt is also dealing with an eye injury and uncomfortable feelings about his daughter’s upcoming marriage to the brother of his other deputy, Victoria Moretti.
As I have said before, I think Craig Johnson is a great storyteller, and I love the setting of these modern-day western novels. To Junkyard Dogs, Johnson adds a touch of an offbeat sense of humor.