Friday, 4 March 2016

Review - Robert P. Parker's Blackjack

G.P. Putnam's Sons; 336 pages; Amazon
The western genre is a dying breed; while there are a few new titles still being published, those books are becoming harder to find.

Now available to purchase in bookstores is Robert B. Parker's Blackjack by Robert Knott, the eighth installment in the Cole & Hitch novels.

The first book in the series, Appaloosa, by Robert B. Parker was published in 2005. The book was adapted into a film of the same name in 2008 starring Ed Harris (he also directed, produced and co-wrote the screenplay) and Viggo Mortensen. Three sequels followed - Resolution, Brimstone and Blue-Eyed Devil, with the latter being released shortly before the author's death in 2010. With approval from the Parker Estate, Robert Knott (co-writer of the Appaloosa film) took over the series in 2013 with the release of Ironhorse. Two more sequels (Bull River, The Bridge) quickly followed.

Blackjack marks the eighth installment in the series and centers on a bounty hunter arriving in Appaloosa to apprehend Boston Bill Black for the murder of Ruth Ann in Denver. Unfortunately, Black's men get the upper-hand and the bounty hunter is shot; resulting in Black going on the run with his men.

The territorial marshals Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch try to protect everyone in Appaloosa, even new arrivals; so they head out on a manhunt for Black; where they eventually catch Black and bring him in for trial. While it might sound like the marshals' job is finished, several twists and turns occur, making them doubt Black's role in the murder of the woman in Denver.

Final Thoughts: The original four Robert P. Parker's novels were about the chemistry between the two lawmen; with more dialogue than action scenes. Robert Knott has tried his best to continue the Cole & Hitch adventures, but sadly his first outing, Ironhorse, just didn't have the same feel that the other books had; however, with each new installment, his stories have gotten better & better. As it turns out, Blackjack is the the best written out of the Robert Knott sequels. The plot is intriguing, the dialogue fits in with the Cole/Hitch language that was established in the other books, and the descriptions kept me turning the pages. Overall, Robert B. Parker's Blackjack is an entertaining read.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy from in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions are my own.

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