Robert B. Parker’s Ironhorse

Written by Robert Knott
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

This is the fifth book in the Cole & Hitch saga, in which lawmen Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch are again faced with capturing bad guys and rescuing damsels in distress. In this story, which probably takes place during the 1880s, Virgil and Everett are aboard a train traveling across Indian Territory. Bandits take over the train and capture the governor and his family, who just happen to be in one of the cars. Also on board is a cold-blooded killer who has vowed revenge against Virgil for putting him in jail several years ago.

Robert B. Parker, who began this series, died in January 2010. Robert Knott produced the movie Appaloosa, based on the first book, several years ago. Because of its popularity, Knott decided to continue the series in Parker’s winning tradition. Even though this is Knott’s first novel, I thought he did a masterful job of re-creating Parker’s unique writing style. One aspect of Parker’s technique which makes this series successful, in my opinion, is the dialog. Parker’s rapid-fire communication between the characters is presented exceptionally well in this book. The story is exciting to the end, with cliffhangers at the end of each chapter. The author places our protagonists in life-threatening situations from which it would seem almost impossible to survive. I sincerely hope Knott continues to write more novels in this series. Highly recommended.