If anyone is wondering, it's as hot in Dallas as it is in Shreveport at the end of July, with a hot, dry breeze blowing here in Dallas, which is better than no breeze. Though Shreveport bears many similarities to Texas, once you enter East Texas, there is a different feel to the land. The trees look "scrubbier" along with the cattle, and there are more fields full of round hay bales wrapped in plastic--looking like giant Texas-sized, vanilla Tootsie Rolls.
I am getting hungry at this point, so everything is beginning to remind me of food. The Hyatt provides no free room food, unfortunately. I should have told Maria, my personal greeter, that this might be one way to make my stay more pleasant. I find it interesting that Maria zeroed right in on me as someone with a Head Start program, as opposed to being part of the other large group meeting here--Mary Kay Cosmetics.
While writing this, I have scrounged through my purse and have eaten the single grape lifesaver and the Sun Burst that I had leftover from some other Head Start workshop. It is now time to call my traveling companions and look for real food.
Later, with a full stomach....
Dallas feels like the beginning of the West, so it's a good place to discuss the latest Walt Longmire mystery I've read--Another Man's Moccasins, by Craig Johnson. (2008, 304 pages, read in Kindle download)
The setting returns to Wyoming with this book. Walt's daughter, Cady, is back in Wyoming to continue her recovery from the traumatic brain injury she suffered in Kindness Goes Unpunished, and Walt must solve the murder of a Vietnamese girl whose body is dumped in a ditch near the culvert where a troubled Indian has been living. Everyone thinks the massive Indian has to be the murderer, but Walt isn't ready to charge the guy without more concrete evidence. There are other strangers in town who seem involved in the case and sorting it all out is what Longmire does best.
In this book the action alternates between flashbacks to Walt's time in Vietnam as a young marine when he won't stop until he finds out who murdered a young Vietnamese bar girl , and the similar investigation he's pursuing in the present. We get to see the young, thoroughly decent, stubborn and brash Walter Longmire and note that little has changed, except Walt is now older, a bit wiser,and certainly more world weary. Walt and his second in command, Vic, are still tiptoeing around the idea of romance, but Cady and Vic's brother aren't so cautious as they deepen their relationship.
The action in Vietnam is violent and apocalyptic, while the present-day case evolves slower and with a lower body count. I'm not a big fan of flashbacks, but I am a fan of Craig Johnson, and the author utilizes this technique to propel the plot forward and to shed more light on Walt Longmire's character. The reader emerges from this book knowing Walt--his weaknesses and strengths--better.