Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Quick Read: "Resolution" by Robert B. Parker

Quick Read: Resolution by Robert B. Parker, 2008, 9780399155048.

I read this in about a day. That is unusual for me. I saw the movie version of Appaloosa and started to wonder about the characters from that. I found this one, the next in the series, on the shelf so I grabbed it. Actor Ed Harris does not fit the scant physical description of Virgil Cole but he did such a good job in the flick I don't see that it matters.

Everett Hitch takes a job as a saloon bouncer in the new rough-and-ready town of Resolution visited by miners, lumberjacks, and ranchers. Hitch and his 8 gauge soon make the saloon the safest place in town and Hitch starts to become the de facto cop in the area after defending the local whores. Hitch's boss has plans to take the town over, including his main rival's mine.

Cole shows up in Resolution unsure what to do with himself. He just murdered a guy who ran off with Cole's slut of a wife. Cole, at the core, has always been a gunman. But, Cole has always done that work as a lawman. After that murder he figures he cannot be a lawman anymore so he just hangs out with Hitch while pondering it.

Hitch's boss hires more bad guys, the rival hires more bad guys, Hitch's Boss's bad guys raid and kill the rival and his guys, two leftover professional gunman - Cato and Rose - hired by rival are assisted by Hitch and Cole when Hitch's Boss' other gunman try to kill Cato and Rose. Things happen. Alliances change. People die.

Virgil Cole always seems to move slowly. He walks without sound, sees everything around him, sizes up everyone as a potential adversary, and always seems to draw faster and shoot straighter than his competition. The current incarnation of Cole and Hitch's style is encapsulated by the saying "Fast is smooth, and smooth is fast." Cole never seems hurried.

I'll take a leap and compare Parker to Cole. This book was a quick read and smoothly done. The speed with which I read this novel is, I'm sure, deceptive to the care and skill that Parker put in to it.

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