Monday, December 30, 2019

My Washington Times 'On Crime' Column: Craig Johnson On His Walt Longmire Crime Series

The Washington Times ran my weekly On Crime column, which covered crime novelist Craig Johnson and his popular fictional character Walt Longmire.

I asked crime novelist Craig Johnson how he would describe his character Wyoming Sheriff Walt Longmire.

“Decent,” Craig Johnson replied. “It is a word that you don’t hear so much anymore. When we were growing up, that’s what you heard all the time. People said be decent to each other, be kind to each other.

“I think Walt kind of embodies a certain aspect of a lost American culture. He is decent and he does care, and he is looking out for the people in his county. Whenever I do ride-alongs with these sheriffs here in Wyoming, Montana and other places, I hear them say all the time, “my people, and my people this and that.” They take it very personally. People having entrusted them with the most treasured thing they have — their vote. They are connected.”

Mr. Johnson went on to say that Longmire has a code that he lives by and he is a throwback to the early cinema Western heroes, although he grants that Longmire is facing a more complex world today.

I first became acquainted with the modern-day sheriff by watching the television series “Longmire,” which was based on Mr. Johnson’s novels. The show originally appeared on A&E and later moved to Netflix. Walt Longmire was portrayed by Australian actor Robert Taylor and Katee Sackhoff portrayed his deputy, Victoria “Vic” Moretti, a transplanted South Philly Italian-American and former Philly cop. Lou Diamond Phillips portrayed Henry Standing Bear, Longmire’s best friend. The series also offered a good number of supporting cast members.

Mr. Johnson has written 15 novels about Walt Longmire, the sheriff of the fictious Absarka County in Wyoming. His latest novel is “Land of Wolves,” which I reviewed here.

Walt Longmire, a big and taciturn man with a dry sense of humor, has been described by Mr. Johnson as “overage, overweight and overly depressed, but he still gets up in the morning and tries to do his job.” As I noted in my review, his crime novels offer a modern take on what he calls the cowboy mythos and the romance of the epic West.

You can read the rest of the column via the below link: 

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