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5.0 out of 5 starsIRONHORSE
Reviewed in Canada on February 28, 2014
Robert knott has captured the dialogue and pace of Parker perfectly.He keeps it simple in the plot but it keeps me interested and I just can't put it down. I am so happy that this series continues.Keep it coming!
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat read. With the loss of Parker we lost ...
Reviewed in Canada on September 8, 2014
Great read. With the loss of Parker we lost a gem. Yes he was an advisor on this book but what an advisor. When I see a book "co-written" I look for the other writers books that he / she has done without the advisor position (see Cussler). Very often the books are not as well written. Ironhorse is an excellent read. Have fun !!
5.0 out of 5 starsThe writer is not Robert B. Parker
Reviewed in Canada on August 9, 2019
The story line was good, the characters of Cole and Hitch, together with several others, including Berkeley, and Jimmy John, were good characters. The dialogue between Cole and Hitch was different, more voluble because Robert Knott does not write in the same fashion, no matter how hard he may try, as Robert B. Parker. The days of yore, in the west of Texas this time, were well drawn with some less than adequate discussion of the trips into the "mountains" on the trains. The trains of the time were not so well described either. All in all, because it is Cole and Hitch, five stars.
1.0 out of 5 starsDon't Buy This Book - You'll Regret It!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 21, 2013
I've been a fan of Robert B Parker for many years and I was looking forward to a continuation of the Cole/Hitch story. I wish I had saved my money. Parker was renowned for the way he could draw a picture with the minimum of words. Robert Knott, on the other hand, seems not prepared to use one simple word where twenty more complcated ones will do. An example - " Virgil opened the loading gate of his Colt. He replaced the spent rounds with lead-filled casings and undented primers as he looked out of the cabin, watching the woods passing by." What's wrong with, "Virgil reloaded his Colt."? I don't need to know the details of which company ran which railways in Texas at the time, or what rolling stock they used. And I don't really care. Does it move the story along? No it doesn't so leave it out. I should have known by the length of the book that it was going to be, to say the least, wordy, but I never anticipated quite how verbose an author Knott is. Ed Harris might have said, "Parker fans are going to love it!" Not this one. Don't make the mistake I did - save your money!
I have been reading,and enjoying,the work of Robert B.Parker since Penguin published the first three Spenser novels in Europe in 1976.Tne quality of Parker's books was a little up and down-which was probably inevitable given the number which he produced.At no time did he ,however,publish a book as weak as Ironhorse.Several people have already commented on it.For me the dialogue was the most annoying factor.It fails hopelessly to capture the Parker voice. Somebody suggested that some more Sunny Randall novels would be welcome.I can only support that - but, please, executors Of R.B.Parker's estate or whoever is making the decisions get a competent writer to provide them.No more Ironhorses please!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 24, 2015
I have enjoyed this series of novels. The dialogue between the two main protagonists is oblique and a little odd but it worked in the film Appaloosa. There is a lot of interesting detail about 1870's American railroads and a believable plot.
Now this book wasn't written by Parker at all, it was written by someone trying to write like he did. There are two main characters, sort of freelance sherriffs, who travel around solving mysteries and righting wrongs. One talks a bit, the other in single syllables, they are tough on the outside and have hearts of gold. Ring any bells? Yes indeed, it's Spencer and Hawk in cowboy boots. Not quite up to standard, a good read, plenty of action, but still... leave our two in Boston and make new characters please!
3.0 out of 5 starsExciting, but not Robert B. Parker
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 17, 2013
This is an exciting western adventure novel and it does recall Parker's characters and some of the time his style. However the style slips at several points, sometimes with the dialogue which can achieve a stilted effect which Parker avoided. Parker's spare dialogue drives the characters forward, Knott's merely reiterates that they are rather taciturn people. The voice of the novel is still meant to be that of Everett Hitch who has now apparently become an expert on modern developments in railway engineering as he can reel off facts about new braking systems. This is obviously meant to make us admire the amount of research, (in the sense of looking things up in books) that Knott has undertaken. Many modern writers engage in this but Parker never did. Unfortunately it takes away from the credibility of Hitch as we already know him. It might have been credible that he would read information from a pamphlet to Virgil, but not that he would know it off by heart. Along with a careful study of railway braking Knott might have looked more carefully at 19th century social attitudes. Parker presented Cole and Hitch as decent men who took people on their merits, Knott's characters would fit well into a 21st century liberal arts college.
Overall, as I suggest in my title, this is a fun read, but on at least every other page one winces at something that is not Robert Parker. I shall be passing this on to a local charity shop and I shall not bother with any others.
3.0 out of 5 starsA New Voice in a Continuing Saga
Reviewed in the United States on February 26, 2018
A New Voice in a Continuing Saga
Having read all of Robert B. Parker’s “Spenser” detective novels as well as his “Cole and Hitch” Westerns, I turned with anticipation to “Ironhorse,” the first continuation of Parker’s Western series now being written by Robert Knott. It may be unfair to simply say that I was disappointed, although, sadly, I was. Knott does a workmanlike job of telling the story of Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, now territorial marshals, riding the rails and blazing away at bad guys as they protect the governor of Texas and his family. Many of the themes of the old novels, including Virgil’s troublesome girlfriend Allie, are dutifully revisited. But the pacing and texture never quite measure up, and the voice – the flat, laconic tone that Parker mastered beyond comparison – is jarringly different. “Ironhorse” may be entertaining enough to pass the time, but it is overly complicated, stilted, and fussy, and never captures the stark beauty that made the original “Appaloosa“ a joy to read.
5.0 out of 5 starsIf you are a Cole and Hitch fan you will love this action packed western novel.
Reviewed in the United States on September 1, 2018
As a fan of the Cole and Hitch series I recently purchased and just finished reading this 374 page hardcover book (Robert P. Parker’s Ironhorse by Robert Knott) and loved it.
In this western tale Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch are newly appointed territorial Marshals whose first assignment seemed a simple one at first. They are to escort Mexican prisoners to the border; however, it is not long before this turns into a complicated and blazing guns situation involving the governor of Texas, his wife and daughters and some of the most ruthless pack of killers they have ever faced. What started out as a train robbery becomes much more bloody.
This novel is packed with various unusual and strange characters and has a plot involving money and land. I never give away too much information when reviewing a novel because I never want to spoil the story for the reader.
If you like westerns and you are a fan of the Cole and Hitch series this is a book you will enjoy reading. There are plenty of shoot-outs and other action in this book. I loved it.
Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Tactical Principles of the most combative systems)
5.0 out of 5 starsDetermined police work in the Old West
Reviewed in the United States on June 10, 2018
Cole and Hitch are lawmen that track down desperados of all sorts through the Old West and they seem to know the vast territories as well as a modern detective may know his city. I enjoyed the clipped short and sparse sentence talk of Cole a real no nonsense man. They are both skilled with the guns , fearless and ready for actions and even outnumbered they know just how and what to do with surgical aplomb. As a history person I enjoyed being transported to this era just to see the routines of daily life and living. The banter between Cole and Hitch is especially entertaining. Knott's ability as a writer and story teller seems to be questioned by other reviewers. I suppose Parker is hard to emulate as an author of the genre but I found the story and "the telling" very entertaining.