Itinerant lawmen Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch return in the gritty new installment of the New York Times best-selling series.
Appaloosa, the hometown of Territorial Marshals Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, continues to prosper, but with prosperity comes a slew of new trouble: carpetbaggers, gamblers, migrants, peddlers, drifters, thieves, and whores, all boiling in a cauldron of excess and greed. And there's a new menace in town: a wealthy, handsome easterner - and the owner of Appaloosa's new casino - Boston Bill Black.
Boston Bill is flashy and bigger than life. He's a prankster and a notorious womanizer, and with eight notches on the handle of his Colt, he's rumored quick on the draw. When he finds himself wanted for a series of murders, he quickly vanishes. Cole and Hitch locate and arrest him, but Boston Bill escapes once again. Another murder sets the duo on his trail, eventually taking them back to Appaloosa - where one woman in particular may - or may not - prove to be the apple of Boston Bill's eye.
©2016 Robert Knott (P)2016 Random House Audio
I love Robert Parker and loved the Cole & Hitch combo. But since Parker passed this series has fallen off significantly. It was a western with no gun fights. The dialogue dragged and was uninspired. Please get a new author to pick up this series and pretty please bring back the original narrator. Rex Linn is probably good but terrible with these character!!
This is nothing like what I've come to expect from this series. Disappointing and time to move on from the authors who have tried to carry on RBP's series.
One of the challenges of the franchise authors is that the subsequent authors aren't the real authors. Robert B. Parker inherently knew his characters, Ace Atkins, Michael Brandman, and Robert Knott don't know the characters as well as Parker.
You can see it in the reviews for the last one, The Bridge. I didn't read it because of the universally bad and weak reviews. The other challenge is original narrator, Titus Welliver, had to drop in order to concentrate on his role as Harry Bosch. Rex Linn took a book to get used to.
This time, it seems that Knott has earned his spurs and Linn has hit his stride.
In his performance this time, Linn is more believable as Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch. He has their pacing in a more believable flow and is strong in differentiating the host of one-time and multiple appearance characters. Five stars for Linn in this role.
Knott's plot incorporates a series of twists and turns that cleanly put together the pieces to make it obvious the accused killer is not -- but his clues and twists don't provide enough in the way of hints to actually try to outguess the actual culprit.
The twist at the ending is one of the better outcomes in the series. At least Knott has dropped whoring by Cole's wife Allie, but (spoiler alert), he still has to have Allie at threat of death by the antagonist. That one subplot is getting a little old. Even though it has a tie to the actual perpetrator, it's not a necessary part of the plot.
Overall, it's well worth the listen.
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