Robert B. Parker's Ironhorse : Virgil Cole & Everett Hitch

  • by Robert Knott
  • Narrated by Titus Welliver
  • Series: Virgil Cole & Everett Hitch
  • 7 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 his 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, 12 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Seamless Transition from the Parker Series

It's not completely clear whether this book is all-original by Robert Knott, or his completion of a Robert B. Parker manuscript. The title sure suggests Parker started it, and the text copyright is given as "the estate of Robert B. Parker". But an author interview online makes it sound like Knott wrote the whole thing. Knott does appear to be uniquely qualified to pick up Parker's torch, as he co-wrote (with Ed Harris) the screenplay for Appaloosa, based on the first book in the Parker series.

In any case, if it didn't have Knott's name on it you wouldn't guess it wasn't written by Parker. It's written completely in the style that Parker developed for Marshall Virgil Cole and his Deputy Everett Hitch - tough, laconic, fair-minded, decisive, courteous to the ladies and the bad guys' worst nightmares. A little like having two Gary Coopers in High Noon. Virgil does have a breaking point though. He would normally not kill a man unless he was looking him in the eye, but this one SOB abused horses, so ...

Virgil and Everett are back, wrapped up with train robbers of the meanest sort and damsels in distress of the purest sort. The book's a classic western in the tradition of Eastwood's spaghetti westerns. There's never any doubt that the good guys are going to prevail, but it's a lot of fun to watch them do it.

Titus Welliver has narrated every book in the Cole-Hitch audiobook series, and he's the perfect man for the job. Some of the dialog between Virgil and Everett consists of a series of one or two word statements (they never quite say "yup"); Welliver delivers these lines flawlessly, and you're never aware of the author's "Virgil said" or "Everett said". It's like listening to a dialog in a movie.

Newcomers to the series shouldn't miss out on much by starting with this book or any other in the series - the back-story is suggested but not necessary to enjoy the book. Virgil's girlfriend Allie French doesn't make an appearance, but there are several references to her, none necessary to the plot.

This is a great read. I hope Robert Knott carries right on with this remarkable series.

P.S. One quibble: Virgil and Everett backtrack along a railroad line to find Bloody Bob Brandice, who jumped off a quarter-mile back. When Everett says they walked "about a hundred furlongs or so" that tells me he's never watched a horse race. Maybe a hundred rods, if he wants old English measures.
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- Bull "Doctor Bull"

A happy surprise for Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch

I was really pleased with' Ironhorse.' Robert Knott picks up the threads of Cole and Hitch's story and does a fine job. Parker fans that are nervous about the new writers taking over the established characters will be glad to know that Mr. Knott was a great choice for this series. Titus Welliver brings the characters and action to life with his usual flair. I can't imagine listening to anyone else reading the "Appaloosa" books.
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- Randie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-08-2013
  • Publisher: Random House Audio