Walt Longmire's third outing takes him from Wyoming to Philadelphia to investigate a brutal assault on his daughter Cady. Walt believes her ex-boyfriend is behind the crime, and searches him out. But when he turns up dead, Walt is back to square one.
I was a little concerned that the urban setting would be detrimental to this series, but I needn’t have worried. You can take Walt Longmire out of the west, but you cannot take the west out of Longmire. Wearing his cowboy hat and boots, relying on his trademark dry humor as much as his brawn, Walt strides the city streets and is well able to work alongside the Philadelphia police which includes various members of the Moretti family. With Henry and eventually Vic at his side, they unravel the various clues and find justice for Cady.
I am a big fan of this series, and the main character Walt Longmire is a huge reason why. This character jumps from the pages and is so real that it’s hard to realize that he comes from the imagination of a very talented author. In this third volume we are given a look at Walt’s softer side as we read of his anguish over his daughters condition. His romantic life grows by leaps and bounds and definitely will be something that the series needs to explore in future entries. Kindness Goes Unpunished is intelligent, witty, and totally captivating. Another winner is this great series.
Johnson spends a lot of time on the road, loves to talk about book with folks who don’t like to read and convinces his horses and dogs that he is John Steinbeck. His background is in law enforcement, hence his main character: Walt Longmire the town sheriff, but I get the impression that he enjoys having fun and loves what he is doing.
Walt visits the Big City. It doesn't turn out well - obviously otherwise there wouldn't be much in the way of a plot, but also the writing and
If you can look past coincidences, ignore the size of the city, then it's a fun little crime puzzle with a native american twist (of course). The characters and the puzzle make it worth reading if you like cosy-ish (apart from one gratuitous graphic sex scene. I'll leave you to guess who, but given the prudishness of the 1st book, it was not an unexpected exaggeration of direction), crime stories. The title is a little odd, as it seems to contradict the normal phrasing and meaning, and there isn't really much kindness around.
Setting: present-day Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
First Line: I didn't wear my gun.
Walt is on a trip to Philadelphia to visit his lawyer daughter, Cady, but the evening he arrives, Cady is critically injured and rushed to the hospital. She's in a coma, and
Although it was rather strange to see Walt out of his beloved Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, it was good to see how he behaved in strange territory. Walt kept his cowboy hat on his head, but (mostly) played nice with the Philadelphians. He's no fool. Walt knew he had to get along with the local police so the crime could be solved. What was, and continues to be, so very good about this series isn't just the plot, but all the complex interactions of the characters. We get to see Walt as a daddy whose little girl might die, and we get to see how the cavalry gallops in to help him. It's almost impossible for me to believe that these characters aren't real--that's how good Johnson is. I've read many mysteries of the lone-wolf-as-savior variety and liked them. However, I think that a book of this type showing a man and his friends and family and how they all love, respect and support each other would be more difficult to write, and ultimately more satisfying to read. Perhaps it's the latent John Donne in me. No man is an island.... Walt Longmire is no island, and we readers are much the richer for it.
Walt also gets to meet Vic's family, though in typical Walt fashion, you know that old fashioned guy sort of fashion, it's Vic's mother who gets the most invitations to dinner. The mystery degenerates into a bit of Treasure Hunt following those notes and Walt really needs to take more care with his physical wellbeing and stop getting run over or having bits shot off. Even among all the city folk he manages to keep a hold of his wry humour, along with the cowboy hat. It's not all about the fisticuffs and firearms though; there's a well played running theme about friendship and the love between father and daughter with a touching little pay-off set up in the first chapter and cashed in during the epilogue.
This is your classic fish out of water escapade. It's Tarzan's New York Adventure, Sherlock Holmes in Washington,.... well maybe not but maybe it could be an episode of McCloud. "There ya go!"
Craig Johnson is one of those authors who writes a book that leaves me thinking, "wow! This is amazing. But, now there's nowhere for him to go from here. You can't get better than perfection." KINDNESS GOES UNPUNISHED topped perfection. I'm reading the series in order, so I've now read books one through three. I love each and every one of them, but KINDNESS GOES UNPUNISHED is definitely my favorite. Walt has always been an extraordinarily REAL character. It would not surprise me in the least to run into this man on the street. But in his third adventure Walt's relationship with his daughter added another amazing dimension to his already life-like existence. A large part of Walt's existence is defined by his relationships with his friends and family. Because of the strength of those relationships, Walt is also left vulnerable when it comes to them - they are his Achilles heel, and no where has that been more evident than in KINDNESS GOES UNPUNISHED when someone harms Walt's only child.
But, rest assured. Even though a major trauma has occurred, Walt did not lose his sense of humor.
KINDNESS GOES UNPUNISHED introduces us to Vic's family who all live in Philadelphia. While Vic doesn't initially travel with Walt and Henry to the City of Brotherly Love, she does ride in when Sheriff Walt is in need of his deputy. And her presence in the midst of her family adds another dimension to her character as well. The dysfunction of the Moretti family creates a sharp contrast to the relationships of the Absaroka County family.
As with the two books before this, Johnson takes his characters through a plot of amazing proportions that changes each of them in significant ways. I can't imagine a reader traveling alongside the characters and not changing him/herself as well. I know I was a different person as a result.
KINDNESS GOES UNPUNISHED is nothing short of spectacular.
Walt and Henry (and Dog) travel to Philadelphia to meet Walt’s daughter Kate’s boyfriend and his family. Since Vic is also from Philadelphia, Walt uses the opportunity to visit with her mother. Henry is participating in a Native American art exhibit at the Art Museum. Before he gets a chance to see her, Katie is badly injured in a fight with her boyfriend who seems to be disliked by virtually everyone. Then the boyfriend takes a flying leap off the Benjamin Franklin bridge. And the bodies begin to pile up.
One little tidbit I picked up was that American Indians intensely dislike the white name for them: “Native Americans,” since they don’t consider themselves American. At least according to Craig Johnson who should know, I guess.
George Guidall does his usual fine job of narration. EXCEPT for one HUGE mispronunciation that I have heard from other readers of books that take place in Philadelphia. The Schuylkill River is pronounced “schoo-kill” although the official pronunciation is “school-kill” but definitely *not* “sky-kill,” as anyone who grew up in the area knows full well.
Couple problems I had with this book that made it less interesting than the others of the series I’ve read. Moving characters out of their home territory into an alien environment is always tricky. Walt is smart, granted, but on occasion he outsmarts the Philadelphia cops without even knowing the city. The business with Vic in front of her mother was a bit ridiculous. The Indian medicine ceremony in the ICU was absurd. Still, Johnson’s books have a nice mix of humor and character interaction.
I would recommend reading this series in order. In this title particularly, if you don’t know the characters and some of their backstory, you might be a little flummoxed.
Wasn't so thrilled with the whole Moretti love triangle thing, but otherwise a decent read.
Moreover, I’d say the plot is only moderately interesting, but the interplay of the characters in the subplots is well worth reading. Walt gets roughed up quite a bit; nevertheless he prevails and helps the Philadelphia Police Department solve one homicide, but not before three more characters are murdered or killed in battle. More importantly, (and more interestingly) Walt interacts romantically with both his foul-mouthed deputy Vic (Victoria), “the Terror,” and her mother!
Looking forward to the next in the series.