Brimstone (Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch Series #3) [NOOK Book]


Cole and Hitch are back in a new Western classic...

The guns-for-hire introduced in Robert B. Parker's Appaloosa are back...

When Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch track down the woman who stole Virgil's heart, they find a dispirited ...
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Brimstone (Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch Series #3)

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Cole and Hitch are back in a new Western classic...

The guns-for-hire introduced in Robert B. Parker's Appaloosa are back...

When Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch track down the woman who stole Virgil's heart, they find a dispirited prostitute rather than the innocent beauty she once was. Now they must save her, even if murder is the price of redemption.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Parker's gunslinging saddle pals Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch return for their third adventure, in which the two lawmen-for-hire exchange snappy dialogue and hot lead with assorted owlhoots, deadbeats and unwashed baddies in south Texas. Here, Virgil and Everett rescue Allie French, Virgil's former sweetie who ran off to become a prostitute, and head to Brimstone, where the two gunmen sign on as deputy sheriffs. Brimstone, however, doesn't exactly provide a quiet respite for this trio. Virgil and Allie have a hard time getting over his hurt and her shame, a mysterious Indian is killing local folks and leaving taunting messages, and brutal saloon owner Pike and corrupt preacher Brother Percival are headed for a showdown. Virgil and Everett settle on a tricky solution that involves a talented tracker, a bribe, a double-cross, a noxious cloud of gun smoke and a pile of perforated bodies. The result is classic Parker-exciting, suspenseful, fast-moving and entertaining. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Freelance gunslingers Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch (Resolution, 2008, etc.) ride into yet another town and treat it to another baptism of fire. Though he hasn't seen Allie French for a year, Virgil has never given up hope of finding her again. Riding south with sidekick and amanuensis Everett, he catches up with her in Placido, Texas. Virgil and Everett spirit her off in jig time, but the magic doesn't return so easily. Everett can spot the problem with Virgil right off: "With Allie he was different. I didn't like different." Clearly it'll take something special to rekindle the flame-something like the job Virgil and Everett are offered as deputy sheriffs in nearby Brimstone, "an actual town" that's more than just a collection of gamblers, drunks and whores. Val Verde County sheriff Dave Morrissey is concerned by the growing tension between Pike, a gang leader who's opened a perfectly law-abiding saloon, and Brother Percival, a firebrand revivalist determined to close down every watering hole in Brimstone. With each saloon Brother Percival shutters, his mission sets him more clearly on a collision course with Pike. The episodic plot prescribes some preliminary skirmishes: the kidnapping of a slain rancher's wife and daughter by a Comanche brave with a grudge against Pike; their rescue by Virgil and Everett and a half-breed tracker they've hooked up with; and their traumatic difficulties readjusting to life in Brimstone. But there's never any doubt that all this is heading to a climactic showdown between Pike and Brother Percival, followed by a post-climactic showdown between Virgil and his friends and the sole survivor, according to the iron rule that governed Virgil's first twoadventures: "Let the vermin fight to the death and then pick off the winner."No surprises, but provides some excellent evidence for anyone who wants to argue that Spenser's creator has been writing nothing but westerns for 35 years.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101050491
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/5/2009
  • Series: Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch Series , #3
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 45,757
  • File size: 560 KB

Meet the Author

Robert B. Parker was the author of more than fifty books. He died in January 2010.


Robert B. Parker began as a student of hard-boiled crime writers such as Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, but when he became a crime writer himself, he was one of the rare contemporary authors to be considered on par with his predecessors. The Spenser series, featuring a Boston-based ex-boxer and ex-cop, is one of the genre's most respected and popular fixtures.

Noted for their sharp dialogue and fine character development, the Spenser books carry on a tradition while updating it, particularly in giving its hero two strong alter egos in Hawk, a black friend and right-hand man; and Susan Silverman, Spenser's psychologist love interest. Parker's inclusion of other races and sexual persuasions (several of his novels feature gay characters, a sensibility strengthened in Parker through his sons, both of whom are gay) give a more modern feel to the cases coming into Spenser's office.

The Spenser series, which began with 1973's The Godwulf Manuscript, has an element of toughness that suits its Boston milieu; but it delves just as often into the complex relationship between Silverman and Spenser, and the interplay between the P.I. and Hawk.

By the late ‘80s, Parker had acquired such a reputation that the agent for Raymond Chandler's estate tapped him to finish the legend's last book, Poodle Springs. It was a thankless mission bound to earn criticism, but Parker carried off the task well, thanks to his gift for to-the-point writing and deft plotting. "Parker isn't, even here, the writer Chandler was, but he's not a sentimentalist, and he darkens and deepens Marlowe," the Atlantic concluded. In 1991, Parker took a second crack at Chandler with the Big Sleep sequel Perchance to Dream.

Parker took other detours from Spenser over the years. In 1999, Family Honor introduced Sunny Randall, a female Boston private eye Parker created with actress Helen Hunt in mind. Two years earlier, he introduced L.A.-to-New England cop transplant Jesse Stone in Night Passage. He also authored four bestselling Westerns featuring Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, a few young adult books, as well as several stand-alone novels that were well-received by his many fans.

Parker died suddenly in January 2010 while at home at his desk, working on a book. The cause was a heart attack. He was seventy-seven.

Good To Know

Parker's thesis in graduate school was a study of the private eye in literature that centered on Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Ross MacDonald. Critics would later put him in the same category as those authors.

Parker's main hero is named for Edmund Spenser, the 16th-century author of The Faerie Queene.

Parker had a hand in writing the scripts for some television adaptations of Spenser books starring Robert Urich, who also played Spenser in the ABC series from 1985-88. Urich suffered a battle with cancer and passed away in 2002, but adaptations continue to be made for A&E, starring Joe Mantegna. Parker approved of the new actor, telling the New York Times: ''I looked at Joe and I saw Spenser."

According to a profile in the New York Times, Parker met his wife Joan when the two were toddlers at a birthday party. The two reconnected as freshmen at Colby College and eventually had two sons. They credit the survival of their marriage to a house split into separate living spaces, so that the two can enjoy more independent lives than your average husband and wife.

Parker told fans in a 1999 Barnes & chat that he thought his non-series historical novel All Our Yesterdays was "the best thing I've ever written."

Parker had a small speaking part in the 1997 A&E adaptation of Small Vices. How does he have time to write his Spenser books, plus the other series and the adaptation stuff? "Keep in mind, it takes me four or five months to write a novel, which leaves me a lot of time the rest of the year," he told Book magazine. "I don't like to hang around."

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    1. Date of Birth:
      September 17, 1932
    2. Place of Birth:
      Springfield, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Death:
      January 18, 2010
    2. Place of Death:
      Cambridge, Massachusetts
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English, Colby College, 1954; M.A., Ph. D. in English, Boston University, 1957, 1971
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 55 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 55 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Another Classic Western from Parker

    I enjoy these easily read novels because the characters are easy to like. They are simple men, yet philosophically, black and white, good and bad complex, no gray areas. It will be a shame to see this series end after book # 4.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Another Winner in the Old West

    Parker shows his western prowess once again as we continue our time in the lives of Cole and Hitch. It's another trying tale, in another dusty coming of age town. An old character returns, and while you expect more of the same, that's not the case. This new town has new characters, with new goals and ambitions, presenting new issues for Cole and Hitch in the old west. It moves quick, with many climatic points, although the ending is fairly predictable. Never the less, it's a great read, but do yourself a favor and read Appaloosa and Resolution before you open Brimstone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2010

    The third book in the series is as good as the first two.

    The first in this western series by Robert Parker was Appalosa. This was made into a movie with excelletn casting. The second book, Resolution,, continued the plot in another town. This book is a further continuation, and somewhat of a resolution of the relationship betwen Virgil Cole and his loved one. I hope they make movies of the latest two. These are westerns in the "Gunsmoke" genre. A good read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2014


    For someone who does not like western, I realling enjoyed this series of books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Agian this series rocks!

    This second book in the series as good as if not better than the first. Fast read, straight to the heart of the matter and holds you there until the last page. It leaves you wanting more.

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  • Posted February 23, 2012

    Highly recomment!!!

    I read a wide varity and a good western is always enjoyable. This is a good western, an hardly wait to read the next in the series. Thanks B&N.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2012


    If you want a good cowboy read this series is it!! I love the characters. Robert B Parker is one of my favorites. I hope the series continues!!! P.S. If you haven't read Jesse Stone series.

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  • Posted February 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Virgil and Everitt just keeping the peace

    Played to perfection by Ed Harris and Viggo Mortenson in Apaloosa, Virgil Cole and Everitt Hitch are soft hearted dealers of death. Fabulous characters abound. Great dialogue. Only problem is bang for the buck, but I say treat yourslf and try the firt one.

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  • Posted August 8, 2009

    Mr. Parkers Great western series

    I and manyyyyyyy others often talk about Mr Parkers lawmen , we anxiously await the new arrivals and admittedly re-read some, the stories flow, nice and easy, if I and friends want books or stories about rocket science we would buy them, the idea to us is to enjoy the story, with this series we relish the voyage, thank you and please keep them coming.I recently purchased the newest book, knowing I was going to have two procedures on my knee, what I looked forward to is the book which I had saved for my recovery.

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  • Posted July 18, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Good western read

    I love Robert B. Parker and didn't know about the Appaloosa, Resolution and now Brimstone characters until I saw that Brimstone had been published. So, I read the others two first. It's as addictive as Louis L'Amour. The characters remain solid and predictable, but there is an allure that keeps you coming back and wanting more. If there were anything that I would like to add to these books it would be more about the town and the areas around the town. I'll be waiting for the next one!

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  • Posted July 17, 2009


    Good fast read for a hot summer day. Not one of Parkers better books but is fun

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  • Posted July 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not as good as the others

    Slow moving and paints the character as a big wimp for getting back with Allie. I was very disappointed in this novel and felt that Parker was just churning out another book. It will take a lot for me to come back to him after this flop. Where is the book that can compete with "Lonesome Dove"?????

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Ed Harris and Viggo Mortenson need to ride again!

    The third in Parker's series starring Cole and Hitch, the laconic old West town-taming duo, cries for Ed Harris, who turned the first in the series into an excellent oater, starring himself and Viggo Mortenson, to climb back on those horses and get the next two filmed!
    After reading the first book and seeing the movie, I could just picture Harris and Mortenson as I read the words and actions Parker put in their mouths!
    Parker pens worthy successors to Elmore Leonard's western genre!
    Fine reading!

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  • Posted July 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Best Robert Parker Series

    Don't care for the Spencer novels, Jesse Stone is good but Virgil and Everett are the best characters Parker has put into print. Can't wait for the next one to be released.

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  • Posted July 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Old West

    Typical Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch good gunfighter read. If your into westerns you'll enjoy any of the series three stories.

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  • Posted July 4, 2009

    Classic Parker

    Parker's characters are well thought out and always entertaining. Light, but excellent.

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  • Posted June 29, 2009

    Brimstone - more of the same

    Brimstone, like several of Robert Parker's other books - regardless of which series - was rather disappointing. While consistent in terms of the characters presented, the interaction between those characters have become repetitious. Yes, the themes of honor, friendship, the relationship between the sexes, faithfulness, and dealing with infidelity are the makings of a great story. But as repeated story lines in Brimstone or the Jesse Stone novels or for Spenser, they are beocming quite boring. So for those who want more of the same, almost exactly the same, then this will be a satisfying book. But for others, it may be time to give up on this author.

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  • Posted May 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Parker rides again!

    Look, Parker writes a book in one style with gruff dialog, subtle humor and muscular description. I find his books emminently readable. If you like Parker's books, you love this one.
    If you've never read a Parker, or haven't read one recently, then get started on this author. He is a classic of American detective and adventure literature. His forty or so books will give you much pleasure and enjoyment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Engaging western

    First let me say I am a fan of Mr. Parker's "Jesse Stone" Series. I tried Appaloosa when It came out as I love a good western. However, I found "Appaloosa" to be a middle of the road read at best. It just did not come off as authentic to me. I like my westerns to a bit more true to the real old west (or at least the old west as I imagine it) ala "Lonesome Dove."

    I started "Brimstone" with some trepidation but found this reincarnation of Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch much more engaging then "Appaloosa." The story starts off a year after the Marshal and his deputy had put things straight in the frontier town of Resolution. Virgil can't get his mind off of Allie French. Though she has run off with another man, Ms. French has Virgil's heart and he has to find her. Cole and his deputy Everett Hitch make their way across Texas only to discover a crushed Allie working in a frontier brothel. The three of them head north to the town of Brimstone and attempt to start a new life, But things are not the same between Virgil and Allie. But Allie attempts to make her self anew through the local church that is headed by Brother Percival a fire and brimstone preacher who is not as Christian as he outward appearance. Percival rallies against the local Saloons in an attempt to shut them down but he has more on his mind. Of course, Virgil and Everett end up being hired on as the local peace officers and are forced to act when then preacher raises a ruckus and things escalate into murder.

    I really thought this book was an improvement over "Appaloosa," there was more going on here. The tension between Virgil and Allie really added a lot to the typical western story line. And I like how Allie was portrayed not just as a fallen angel but as a survivor, even though she had a lot to work out herself. I am looking forward to the movie!

    For a very cool modern day western check out Across the High Lonesome I picked it up after seeing it praised by Larry McMurtry and he was right!

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  • Posted May 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Plot's a little loose, awful lot of dialog.

    Nobody writing mysteries these days puts less ink on more pages than the redoubtable Robt. B. Parker, and this "Brimstone" is no exception. The almost comically laconic protagonists speak in awfully short bursts, but each utterance takes up a whole line and at least 65% of the tale is told in this fashion. The plot itself is somewhat looser and less probable than its two predecessors and features a sort of Indian buck ex machina who really functions almost entirely outside the central story. Still, it's full of classic Parker repartee, iconic Western figures, blazing pistols and ruined damsels. As such, it's going to satisfy Parker partisans, as it did me. But only for the two hours it took to read it.

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