Robert B. Parker's Ironhorse (Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch Series #5)

Robert B. Parker's Ironhorse (Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch Series #5)

3.8 41
by Robert Knott, Titus Welliver
     
 

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For years, Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch have ridden roughshod over rabble-rousers and gun hands in troubled towns like Appaloosa, Resolution, and Brimstone.  Now, newly appointed as Territorial Marshalls, they find themselves traveling by train through the Indian Territories.  Their first marshaling duty starts out as a simple mission to escort Mexican

Overview

For years, Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch have ridden roughshod over rabble-rousers and gun hands in troubled towns like Appaloosa, Resolution, and Brimstone.  Now, newly appointed as Territorial Marshalls, they find themselves traveling by train through the Indian Territories.  Their first marshaling duty starts out as a simple mission to escort Mexican prisoners to the border, but when the Governor of Texas, his wife and daughters climb aboard with their bodyguards and $500,000 in tow, their journey suddenly becomes a lot more complicated.

The problem is Bloody Bob Brandice.  He and Virgil have had it out before, an encounter that left Brandice face-down in the street with two .44 slugs lodged in him.  Now, twelve years later on a night train struggling uphill in a thunderstorm, Brandice is back – and he’s not alone.  Cole and Hitch find themselves in the midst of a heist with a horde of very bad men, two beautiful young hostages, and a man with a vendetta he’s determined to carry out.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Parker wrote 68 mystery and western novels before he died in 2010; now screenwriter Knott continues Parker’s popular Virgil Cole series of gritty westerns featuring Parker’s two signature western characters: lawmen-for-hire Cole and Everett Hitch. Knott, however, cannot match Parker’s sharp style and careful blend of action, suspense, and dialogue, producing instead a melodramatic hayburner with a high body count and low excitement. Following Parker’s Blue-Eyed Devil, Virgil and Everett are now territorial U.S. marshals riding a train through the Indian Territories. When a white outlaw gang holds up a train, bullets fly, bodies drop, and female hostages are taken. The steely-eyed, cold-blooded marshals vow to save everyone and “rid this train of these thieves.” After a drawn-out gun battle, the few surviving robbers escape with the hostages but not what they were really after. Virgil, Everett, a steady town constable, and a deadly Choctaw pursue the gang, leading to a predictable, sappy showdown in an abandoned mining camp. Knott sticks to Parker’s portrayals of Virgil and Everett as hard-boiled, badge-toting gunmen whose simple solution to every problem is to shoot everybody in sight, but the result is a disappointing knockoff of a previously successful western series. Agent: Helen Brann, The Helen Brann Agency. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
Praise for Robert B. Parker’s Ironhorse

“Hits with the intensity of an eight-gauge shotgun blast. Ironhorse is written by first-time novelist Robert Knott, taking over this series by the prolific Robert B. Parker. Knott was co-writer of the screenplay for the film version of Appaloosa, and it's obvious from Ironhorse that Virgil and Everett's fates are in excellent hands. Local readers will also enjoy the descriptions of 19th-century Oklahoma, as well as the joys and troubles of rail travel during that time, in addition to a rip-snorting tale full of sparse dialogue seasoned with wit as dry as an Oklahoma prairie wind and enough flying bullets and buckshot to fill a caboose.”—Tulsa World

“Robert B. Parker's legion of fans will be thrilled with Ironhorse. Robert Knott, co-writer of the screenplay for Appaloosa—Bob's remarkable western—has penned the next great saga featuring itinerant lawmen Everett Hitch and Virgil Cole. Knott's new novel reads just like vintage Parker and the storyline crackles with all the excitement and humor of what is a perfect continuation of the Hitch/Cole series. Parker fans are going to love it!”—Ed Harris, Academy Award-nominated actor

“Knott effortlessly handles the nonstop plot complications.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Continues the classic Western tradition that the late Robert B. Parker featured in novels such as Appaloosa and Blue-Eyed Devil.”—NewsOK

“[Knott] breathes life back into the characters Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch without missing a beat. He has the dialogue, the timing and the character of the two gunslingers-turned-marshals down. He has a new story. So it makes for a refreshing read. Parker would approve.”—Deseret News

Additional Praise for the Cole and Hitch Novels

Blue-Eyed Devil

“You read Parker because he could tell a story and make you care about his characters. Blue-Eyed Devil…only hones Parker’s legacy as an ace storyteller, in any genre, to the end.”—Chicago Sun-Times

“The dialogue crackles. The writing is as crisp and tight as anything Parker ever wrote. And Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, soft-spoken gunmen who live by a code of honor, are enormously appealing heroes.”—The Associated Press

“Excellent…[Blue-Eyed Devil] continues the saga of gunslinging saddle pals Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch…as they trade wisecracks and hot lead with back-shooting owlhoots and murderous Apaches in the town of Appaloosa….Lean, fast, and full of snappy dialogue, it’s everything a series fan would expect.”—Publishers Weekly

Brimstone

“The story is riveting, but as usual with a Robert B. Parker Western, the great attraction is the writing itself, especially the brilliantly rendered dialogue.”—The Associated Press

“There’s murder and showdowns and lots of great action. As always, Parker’s dialogue is the star of his books, especially the laconic conversations between Cole and Hitch.”—Lincoln Journal Star

Resolution

“The most memorable Western heroes since Larry McMurtry’s…Lonesome Dove…. Parker’s prose is at its very best.”—The Associated Press
“[Parker’s] back with both barrels blazing.”—The Greenville (MI) Daily News

“This novel makes it clear [Parker’s] storytelling skills and great dialogue go well beyond the escapades of the private eye.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Parker applies his customary vigor…a sparse, bullet-riddled rumination on law and order, friendship and honor…Parker’s dialogue is snappy and his not-a-word-wasted scenes suit this Spartan Western.”—Publishers Weekly

Appaloosa

“Pure, old-fashioned storytelling…the work of a master craftsman. Parker captures the West as neatly as he does the streets of Boston.” —The Washington Post

“A classic Western…with a twist.”—Boston Herald

“Tough-guy appeal…Parker provides plenty of action.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Powerfully good…straightforward and entertaining yarn.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Like the Spenser books, it’s a study of Parker’s enduring themes: buddy relationships, the weight that honor and responsibility put on a man, the consequences of violence, the way good can shade into bad and vice versa…a melancholy and sometimes moving tale of a lost but fascinating era.”—The Seattle Times

“Dryly amusing…a conclusion that had to make Parker smile as much as his readers will.” —Los Angeles Times

“A galloping tale…[a] classic Western…magnificent. As always, the writing is bone clean. One of Parker’s finest.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“For…readers with a hankering for the Wild West, including a high-noon shoot-out and all the accoutrements.”—USA Today

“As always, [Parker] is a master…his plot gallops to a perfect, almost mythical ending. Like a great gunfighter, Parker makes it look easy.”—St. Petersburg Times

“If Spenser and Hawk had been around when the West was wild, they’d have talked like Cole and Hitch. Wonderful stuff: notch 51 for Parker.”—Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Not even their creator's death can slow down newly appointed Indian Territory marshal Virgil Cole and his friend and deputy Everett Hitch (Blue-Eyed Devil, 2010, etc.) as they board a train for a routine journey that turns out to be anything but. Virgil and Everett are returning from a trip down south to bring several Mexican prisoners to the Texas border so that they can be summarily executed back home. They don't expect their train to be held up by gunslingers, which are so numerous that the nine they kill barely make a dent in their numbers. What would attract the attention of such a large cadre of lawbreakers? Not just the presence of the governor of Texas and his wife and daughters, but the $500,000 in cash he plans to invest in a business venture, money the robbers have other plans for. Virgil is rarely at a loss, but he's surprised when he realizes that the gunmen include Bloody Bob Brandice, who's just escaped from prison after getting bested by Virgil years before. In addition to being bloody, Brandice is unexpectedly inventive, and the initial robbery turns out to be only the beginning of an increasingly baroque series of maneuvers and countermaneuvers played out first aboard a moving (and eventually a fragmented) train, then in the town of Half Moon Junction, whose leading mercantile establishment is Constable Burton Berkeley's church-turned-whorehouse, and finally, in the back country where only burros and iron men venture. Screenwriter Knott effortlessly handles the nonstop plot complications, doesn't bother to create actual characters and comes a cropper with the laconic dialogue he supplies for Virgil and Everett, who sound like parodies of the strong, silent types Parker created.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307989338
Publisher:
Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/08/2013
Series:
Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch Series, #5
Edition description:
Unabridged
Pages:
6
Product dimensions:
5.28(w) x 5.74(h) x 1.13(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Ironhorse hits with the intensity of an eight-gauge shotgun blast… A rip-snorting tale full of sparse dialogue seasoned with wit as dry as an Oklahoma prairie wind and enough flying bullets and buckshot to fill a caboose... Virgil and Everett's fates are in excellent hands.”
Tulsa World

"Robert B. Parker's legion of fans will be thrilled with Ironhorse.  Robert Knott, co-writer of the screenplay for Appaloosa - Bob's remarkable western- has penned the next great saga featuring itinerant lawmen Everett Hitch and Virgil Cole.   Knott's new novel reads just like vintage Parker and the storyline crackles with all the excitement and humor of what is a perfect continuation of the Hitch/Cole series. Parker fans are going to love it!"                                                                                 —Ed Harris, Academy Award-nominated actor  
 Praise for the Cole-Hitch Series  
 “Parker’s rightly known best for his mysteries.  That’ll happen when you create one of mystery fiction’s most indelible characters – the Boston private detective Spenser….You read Parker because he could tell a story and make you care about his characters. Blue-Eyed Devil only hones Parker’s legacy as an ace storyteller, in any genre, to the end.”
 
                        — The Chicago Sun Times 
 
 
 
“Add Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch to all the great characters that Robert B. Parker created over the decades to give us enjoyment and entertainment.”
 
                                                —BookReporter.com
 
 
 
“Blue-Eyed Devil shines.…a page-turner of the first order, and updated western that feels as fresh as anything out there….Virgil Cole never misses, not when it matters. Parker didn’t either.”
 
                                                —The Boston Globe
 
 
 
“More shifting allegiances, moral dilemmas and characters capable of change than Virgil and Everett’s fans may be used to.” 
 
                                                —Kirkus
 
 
 
“Hitch and Cole, reminiscent of the steely eyed, soft-spoken lawmen Randolph Scott played in the movies, speak volumes to one another with a few words and a nod of the head.”
 
                                                            —Associated Press
 
 
 
“Excellent.”           —Kirkus
 
 
 
 
“Classic Parker—exciting, suspenseful, fast-moving and entertaining.”        —Publishers Weekly

Meet the Author

Robert B. Parker was the author of seventy books, including the legendary Spenser detective series, novels featuring Chief Jesse Stone, and the acclaimed Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch westerns, as well as the Sunny Randall novels. Winner of the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award and long considered the undisputed dean of American crime fiction, he died in January 2010.
 
Robert Knott is an actor, writer, and producer. His extensive list of stage, television, and film credits include the feature film Appaloosa based on the Robert B. Parker novel, which he adapted and produced with actor and producer Ed Harris. This is his first novel.

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Robert B. Parker's Ironhorse 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First of all I loved Appaloosa, both the book and the movie. I've read the other Cole and Hitch novels and generally liked them. I really liked the way Robert B. Parker's characters interacted with each other and the dialog. Ironhorse, as written by Robert Knott, is definitely NOT a Robert B. Parker novel. The characters have the same names but the writing, the dialog and the characterization is sorely lacking. Mr. Knott certainly tried to make the dialog snappy and rich but it just fell flat for me. This book reads like a cheap Made For TV western action movie. Overall I thought the book was OK but I have to say I was disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As an avid fan of Robert Parker I am delighted over how wonderful a story-teller and writer his successor is. I'm riveted by the prose and enjoying every page. Congratulations to Robert Knott.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not up to Robert Parker's snuff.You can tell he didn't write this novel. Some of Virgil and Everetts dialogs are reminiscent of Parker but that's it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not up to the standards of previous Cole and Hitch novels. The dialogue suffered fom the lack of Parker's writing.
RCCnLA More than 1 year ago
My first exposure to Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch was when I randomly watched the movie "Appaloosa", and noted they were Robert B. Parker characters. Then, like a TV junkie, I ordered the rest of the Cole/ Hitch series and binge read them as short novels. They read like screenplays, fairly light on dialogue and long on the boys getting in and out of situations, always with that deadpan chat as background. Having Robert Knott pen the more recent ones has not hurt the franchise as Mr.Parker's style lends itself to "ghosting" by others who like him. It helps to know the sequence of the stories as occasional references are made to past events. All are good reads if you are a Robert B. Parker fan." Ironhorse" didn't dissappoint
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! No need to compare to Robert Parker. This book is excellent in its own right. Can't wait for the next one! Good job Robert Knott. And. thanks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is wonderful in continuing Virgil Cole Everett Hitch series, I would request to anyone who likes this books!
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
The author co-wrote with Robert B. Parker the screenplay for the movie based on The Master’s last western, “Appaloosa”. So he obviously learned at the foot of the creator of Spenser, Jesse Stone, Sunny Randall, and Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch. Short chapters, succinct dialogue and, obviously, a good tight plot. And, to a great extent, succeeds in re-creating it. Returning to Appaloosa by rail, the Marshal and his deputy are confronted by a great train robbery. It appears that the governor of Texas, traveling to Indian Territory with his wife and two daughters, is carrying $500,000 in cash for a business deal. The Pullman car and following wagons are decoupled from the forward cars and engine on a steep rise, allowing them to roll backward. Eventually, Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch unhook the car they are in to give chase. And so begins the tale. While the writing comes close to the Parker style, the almost 400 pages seems a rather lengthy number for a typical Parker novel. And in attempting to emulate the Virgil-Everett conversations a la Parker: close but no cigar. Virgil is hardly a talkative character in previous novels, but in the present one is more voluble. Those comments notwithstanding, it is a well-told story, and is recommended.
00Hagen More than 1 year ago
Great Western with Virgil & Everent making White Smoke. Hagen
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of those books you do not want to put down. I cant express enough how much I enjoyed reading this entertaining story. Thank you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Virgil and Everett ride again, this time on the Iron Horse. A rollicking good read, full of action and adventure. Don't miss it.
booksandwine More than 1 year ago
Robert Knott does a terrific job at the helm of this classic western series. Virgil and Everett are great characters I would love to see in a movie. Knott didn't have as much of the sharp tongued wittiness that Parker did, but it is still humorous and wildly entertaining.
frontman More than 1 year ago
I've now read three of the books written after Robert Parker's death, and though I liked them all, this was the only one that made feel like it was written by Parker himself. The others were good and showed promise, but Ironhorse got the dialogue right, the pacing, and the authentic, gritty feel of the originals. Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch are just right, and I was very quickly lost in the story. In the Ace Atkins and Michael Brandman books, I was always conscious of the fact that these were not written by Parker. Not that they were bad, or I didn't enjoy them, it just didn't feel like the real thing. Not so with Ironhorse. Cole and Hitch have become two of my favorite fictional characters, and I am very relieved that the vision has not been lost or diluted. Can't wait for the next installment!
Stevec50 More than 1 year ago
Recently appointed Marshals, Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch are escorting some prisoners to Mexico when the train they are on is taken over by bandits. They initially assume that it is a simple robbery and only later discover that the Governor of Texas and his family were aboard and they were the target. Cole & Hitch recognize some of the robbers from previous encounters and things go from bad to worse. Knott does a great job of bringing new stories of Parker's western heroes. There's a lot more Deadwood style language and sexual suggestion than you'd find in your average L'Amour novel, but Knott, like Parker is writing for a different age. I love the series and look forward to each addition.
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janis-Alderman More than 1 year ago
I thought that this was written by Robert B. Parker when I purchased it. It was a good read but I could tell by reading it that it was not written by Robert B. Parker. It did not have his usual comments between Everett and Virgil. I expected better. Sorry.
ColoradoBR More than 1 year ago
This novel is definitely not up to the standard that the late Robert Parker set. However, it did still have a few good exchanges between Cole and Hitch and it had a few exciting moments. It just had too many slow points in the story and the ending just wasn't worth the wait. Wind down the series with one more book and give Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch a good send off.
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