Sheriff Walt Longmire goes undercover in this exciting entry to the series. Mary Marsad has been sent to the Absaroka County jail after confessing to shooting her husband, Wade, after he burned down the couple’s barn with Mary’s horses in it. Not only has Mary confessed, she was found with the murder weapon and has gunshot residue on her hands.
Even though the case is out of his jurisdiction, Walt feels that Mary may be innocent and has been asked to look into the case by the sheriff of the other county. Walt goes to the town of Absalom posing as an insurance agent to see if he can figure out what happened. He discovers that Absalom holds many secrets, including motives for other people to want Wade Marsad dead.
This novel takes place during two different time frames, while Walt is undercover and two weeks beforehand, showing the reasons why Walt thinks Mary is innocent and why he doesn’t take his friends with him.
As usual, the recurring characters from this series have their places in the story, and we are always pleased to encounter Walt’s best friend, Henry Standing Bear, and his foul-mouthed deputy Victoria Moretti, among others. Johnson is a capable writer who creates convincing characters and vividly evokes the rugged landscape of Wyoming.