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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The sky is not less blue because the blind man cannot see it." Danish Proverb
Virgil Cole and Everett Hatch return to Appalossa where they had enforced the law in the past.

Currently, the town is run by Amos Callico, an ambitious, corrurpt, chief of police, and his twelve lawmen.

Callico is always looking for personal gain and his manner of providing justice is to demand kick backs from the businessmen and local...
Published on July 5, 2010 by michael a. draper

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars End of an Era
Blue-Eyed Devil is the late Robert B. Parker's most recent novel in the series following the exploits of Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch. In this one our stoic heroes are back in Appaloosa, but as private citizens maintaining order in saloons rather than badge-wearing law enforcement officials. They continue to avoid trouble whenever possible but, as usual, end up in...
Published on June 5, 2010 by David Pruette


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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The sky is not less blue because the blind man cannot see it." Danish Proverb, July 5, 2010
This review is from: Blue-Eyed Devil (Hardcover)
Virgil Cole and Everett Hatch return to Appalossa where they had enforced the law in the past.

Currently, the town is run by Amos Callico, an ambitious, corrurpt, chief of police, and his twelve lawmen.

Callico is always looking for personal gain and his manner of providing justice is to demand kick backs from the businessmen and local residents.

Virgil and Everett are hired to provide personal security by Lamar Spec, at his saloon, The Boston House. When they do, Callico approaches them and complains that they are taking money that belongs to him. When that doesn't work, he asks if they would join him. He's rebuffed and soon, the two men are providing an honest brand of security for all of the saloons in town.

One day, their friend Pony Flores and his half brother, Kha-to-nay arrive. Pony tells them that his half brother has just killed a corrupt Indian Agent and robbed a bank. The government is after him for the first offense and the Pinkertons for the other.

Parker is a master story teller. As I breezed through the pages I kept thinking of Gary Cooper in "High Noon" and was humming the theme song from the movie.

Parker's visual descriptions and entertaining characters make the reader want the story to go on and on.

I really enjoyed the book and felt as if I was sitting at a ring-side seat as the realistic action was unfolding before me.

Robert Parker passed away recently and all of literature will be sorry that he's not still with us, providing entertaining stories and believable characters who we'd like to emulate.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A last blaze of glory, May 11, 2010
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This review is from: Blue-Eyed Devil (Hardcover)
Some of you may not understand the title but having been a Robert Parker fan all of his publishing days and seriously in love with strong, silent men like Virgil and Everett my heart aches for the passing of a master. This was a good bye novel and you should read the earlier Virgil and Everett novels to pick up the pace and taste of their laid back, calm acceptance of the violence of the world and the cure of it. These men function in a time and place where violence is the cause and cure of many problems. Reading this book was a trip back in time and bittersweet because I know there would be no more. There is no one writing of the caliber of Robert Parker.
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71 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Into the sunset Mr. Parker..., May 4, 2010
This review is from: Blue-Eyed Devil (Hardcover)
A conversation between my ego and my id about this book:

Rubicon: "... you like this book"?

Jason: "I did".

Rubicon: "What about it you like"? A lone tumbleweed passes between us as we sit in front of a worn down, empty saloon.

Jason: "When Virgil kills a man he don't make a speech. Or brag. He don't say much. Gotta `spect a man for that."

Rubicon: "You don't say much. Why"?

Jason: "S'pose, don't have much to say".

Rubicon: "Think the world will miss Robert B. Parker"? Jason thinks about this for a long while. So long in fact that I almost forgot I asked the question.

Jason: "Reckon they better". I wait because years have honed me to his tone, his inflections. He wasn't yet done.

Jason: "Too many writers now-a-days. Too many people with free time and a pen. Too many damn words that don't tell anything". (Another pause as he looks across the dusty, empty street). "Parker could speak more in one sentence that most folks could write in an entire book".

I keep silent. That's the most I done heard Jason talk, at one time mind you, in the seventeen years that I've known him. Once he sighs I know I can continue.

He does.

I do.

Rubicon: "Think they'll be another like him"?

Jason: "Reckon not".

Rubicon: "Wanna' visit the hoar house"?

Jason: "Reckon so". He smiles. I grin.

No, this wasn't your ordinary review because Mr. Parker wasn't your ordinary writer. Parker wasn't just a guy with stories to tell. Stories that needed to be told, sought out Mr. Parker to tell them. And the magic of his storytelling was that he didn't need a lot of words to do it. His brevity of words carries the power of a sawed-off shotgun. Our boys, Hitch and Cole, are back; and they are still as deadly and lethargic as ever. They are an impossible blend of Billy the Kid, Buddha, and Niche. `Blue-Eyed Devil' is a brilliant continuation of `Appaloosa', `Resolution', and `Brimstone'. It was also nice to see a number of characters make cameos to help Hitch and Cole raise a little hell. OK, a LOT of hell.

This is a series where you definitely want to start with the first one because... well... Hitch and Cole are such powerful characters that you need to start off with the beer version before you start pulling shots of corn liquor. Sunset, saddle, and sage. Tipping my hat to you Mr. Parker...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Western, June 4, 2010
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Bookreporter (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Blue-Eyed Devil (Hardcover)
Robert B. Parker was that rarest of writers: a commercially successful author unafraid of taking risks in his craft. The acknowledged "dean of mystery writers," he stepped away from that genre completely in 2005 to start a western series with the publication of APPALOOSA. Now, several months after his death, comes the release of the third book in that series, BLUE-EYED DEVIL.

Parker proves that, had he started a few decades earlier, he could have made Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch as popular as Spenser and Hawk. He also shows that he ranks up there with great western writers like Louis L'Amour and Larry McMurtry. And here we see again what made Parker such an outstanding writer: he makes readers want to spend time with his protagonists.

Parker's writing is so good, so exact, that he has you sitting on the porch in front of the Boston Saloon, eavesdropping on the conversations of Cole and Hitch and totally engaged in their situation. In BLUE-EYED DEVIL, they have returned to the small outpost town of Appaloosa after rescuing the love of Cole's life, Allie, from a brothel in the last installment of the series, BRIMSTONE. Cole and Hitch do itinerant "gun work" and once were the law in Appaloosa. But when they get back, they find that there is a new sheriff in town. Parker describes him on page one: "He was tall and very fat in a derby hat and dark suit, with a star on his vest, and a big black-handled Colt in a Huckleberry inside his coat. Standing silently around the room were four of his police officers, dressed in white shirts and dark pants, each with a Colt on his hip."

Amos Callico is more like Tony Soprano than your typical sheriff, shaking down the saloon owners for protection money. But then again, he has big ambitions. He wants to be President of the United States one day. And in BLUE-EYED DEVIL, he is going to find an opportunity to get there by fighting Indians. Unfortunately, much like that other great Indian fighter who wanted to become President, George Armstrong Custer, his military skills might be somewhat questionable.

Just to make things interesting, his rival for power in the town is General Horatio Laird, formerly of the Confederate States of America, and accused not only of retreating but also of committing war crimes against civilians. But the accusations seem to come from Callico's wife, who has a bit of an interesting past herself. When the saloon owners hire Cole and Hitch to be their own private security force, Callico becomes their enemy. When Cole throws the General's son out of a saloon after he starts abusing a whore, our protagonists find themselves with yet another powerful enemy. Callico says to them, "This is exactly why I don't want no vigilante law enforcing going on. There's a distinguished citizen being insulted by some whores and you side with the whores."

But that's the thing: Cole operates within his own code of right and wrong, which does not take into account what the powerful want. And this series, narrated in the first person by Cole's faithful sidekick, West Point-trained Everett Hitch, is really an exploration of the personal code of honor of the Old West. And, as with all Parker books, it has brilliant dialogue, outstanding in its simplicity.

Besides expertly working in multiple, entertaining subplots, such as Cole's difficult relationship with the untrustworthy Allie, Parker transcends the genre here by returning again and again to the moral dilemma faced by men like Cole and Hitch. In this regard, his work reminds me of the early westerns written by the great Elmore Leonard, such as THREE-TEN TO YUMA.

For despite the fact that they say they do "gun work," that is just a euphemism for what they really do. Cole and Hitch are killers, plain and simple. Hitch says over and over again how fast Cole is with a gun and how he is the best he ever saw. But Cole points out that you can't just kill people because you are faster than them. When he is the law, he has the protection of the badge. But without it, we see him wrestling here with his justification for killing and explaining in detail how he always gives somebody the option of backing down and walking away.

The unstated other side of the coin that Cole must wrestle with is the sure knowledge that someday somebody will come along who is just a little faster that day, or the day will come when Hitch is not around to have his back. But still he goes from fight to fight. According to his personal code, he must act no other way. General Laird brings another hired killer in to even the score with Cole. Again, Parker writes superb dialogue.

Add Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch to all the great characters that Robert B. Parker created over the decades to give us enjoyment and entertainment. In three books, we were just getting to know them. They will be missed. But BLUE-EYED DEVIL is a terrific western. It is the work of one of the greatest writers America ever produced, still working at the top of his game.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars End of an Era, June 5, 2010
This review is from: Blue-Eyed Devil (Hardcover)
Blue-Eyed Devil is the late Robert B. Parker's most recent novel in the series following the exploits of Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch. In this one our stoic heroes are back in Appaloosa, but as private citizens maintaining order in saloons rather than badge-wearing law enforcement officials. They continue to avoid trouble whenever possible but, as usual, end up in situations where they are forced to act. In Blue-Eyed Devil the town's sheriff is a politically ambitious man who is in cahoots with a rich rancher to completely take over Appaloosa and then move on to bigger and better things. The problems escalate until Virgil and Everett are forced to rely on their unmatched skills with guns to settle all of the issues.

I am a big fan of the late Mr. Parker, particularly with his Spenser novels. As any of his readers can tell you, the dialog is the key. In the Spenser books I always find the dialog to be intelligent and full of witty repartee. His Western books also rely heavily on dialog but in a different style. In the previous books, I enjoyed the conversations between Virgil and Everett. They could virtually finish each other's sentences. However, in Blue-Eyed Devil, the conversations were less appealing. I kept looking for more action, but not much really happened until late in the book.

The bottom line is that if you enjoy Mr. Parker's Western novels, you should also enjoy his latest effort. The style is the same. You may just not enjoy it quite as much.
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25 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Nice Diversion, May 10, 2010
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This review is from: Blue-Eyed Devil (Hardcover)
For most Robert B. Parker fans BLUE EYED DEVIL is a chance to (sadly) watch one of our favorite authors ride off into the proverbial sunset. If you've read his westerns then it's familiar ground with the exception that with his passing there won't be any more of the stories or his expansion into the genre. What I appreciate is that he has opened up the western genre to an audience that otherwise might have overlooked it. Thriller writer Elmore Leonard began with some remarkable western stories and novels; Hombre, Valdez is Coming, 3:10 to Yuma,and the Tonto Woman that are well crafted and, quite frankly, better than most thriller novels on the market today.
Parker's strong point was his dialogue and characters we like while forgiving their flaws because we know that they're working to make things right. The same, I think, can be said of Parker's westerns. We overlook the minor flaws in the plot for the same reason.
The three stars are for the familiar storyline but I'd have to give him five stars for his writing style that drew many of us in and kept us around waiting for the 'next' new book, whether it was a new Spenser, Jesse Stone or Sunny Randall story.
The westerns were a nice diversion from the everyday and it was easy to see that Parker was a big fan of westerns and quite probably wrote the books as his own diversion as well.
Judging from some of the wonderful reviews here and with his other books, he'll be missed by many, me included.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful writing and delightful story, May 12, 2010
This review is from: Blue-Eyed Devil (Hardcover)
Robert B. Parker died on January 11, 2010 at age 77 after writing more than 50 novels. I read them all. They were that good. Blue-Eyed Devil, a reference to whites by Indians in this story, is the fourth Virgil Cole-Everett Hitch western that he wrote. Every one of his novels, whether they are about the private detective Spenser, or the police officer Jesse Stone, or the detective Sunny Randall, is a delight to read. Each has Parker's trademark crisp humorous, somewhat manly no-nonsense language. Each has references to prior books in the series, references that add dimension, but which readers who encounter the series for the first time, while missing this dimension, will still enjoy the story. Many, including this novel, have love and desertion by a spouse or loved-one with the remaining spouse still retaining the love.

In this volume, the two heroes, the fast-draw Virgil, who lacks a regular education, but understands reality, who occasionally misuses words, and his devoted follower Everett with his shot-gun and West Point education, return to Appaloosa, where they had served as law men, and find that the city has appointed a police chief who they immediately dislike. Characters from previous novels appear and help the duo in an interesting fashion when they tangle with the police chief and his army of gunmen. One of the principle characters hires a fast draw gunman to kill Virgil and the three have an unusual and unexpected relationship.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blue Eyed Devil, June 1, 2011
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This review is from: Blue-Eyed Devil (Mass Market Paperback)
Really enjoyed this latest western by Parker. The characters are strong and authentic. The dialog is enjoyable and crisp. The story picks up where the last book ended. Only wish the seies could continue.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blue-Eyed Devil, May 31, 2010
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Peter Woll (WESTON, MA, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blue-Eyed Devil (Hardcover)
Robert Parker's Western novels are an original genre. They are Parker at his best, creative, imaginative, dramatic, fun, humorous, sexy, and all they wonderful Parker attributes. I've read about all of his detective novels and his Western Front novels (three) including Blue-Eyed Devil rank with his best works, that that's really saying something!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars End of a legacy, February 21, 2011
This review is from: Blue-Eyed Devil (Audio CD)
Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch have quite a history together. They kept the peace as deputy U.S. marshals in a town called Appaloosa, where Virgil fell in love with a woman named Allie. Then Everett left Appaloosa (for the obvious reason) and settled in Resolution, where he kept the peace in town on a less formal basis for basically the only local businessman. Virgil came along later on (after Allie left him) to visit and help out. Eventually the duo was aided by another pair of gunmen known as Kato and Rose.

Subsequently, the pair moved on to Brimstone, after hearing that Allie's last beau hadn't worked out and she'd gotten herself involved in prostitution. There they worked as deputy sheriffs until they rescued Allie from herself, in addition to helping out a young girl, a selective mute who will only choose to talk to Virgil, much to Allie's chagrin. At the end of Brimstone, the gang is headed back to Appaloosa.

Blue-Eyed Devil, the first novel in the series not to be named after the town in which it is set, begins on their third day back in Appaloosa, when chief of police Amos Callico lets them know in no uncertain terms that he is the one in charge. But he also offers them jobs working for him. When they decline Callico, they know he'll be trouble, and he is because Callico is running a "protection" racket, and those who don't want to pay look to Cole and Hitch for help.

Author Robert B. Parker approached Westerns in the same way he did his other novels: with long strings of dialogue and short chapters. This makes them not only fast reads -- though the laconic delivery of the characters can make them seem longer -- but also highly accessible to readers who may think they don't like Westerns. Actually, Virgil and Everett have a similar friendship as Parker's mystery heroes Spenser and Hawk: Everett is the narrator and main filter for the action, the relatable one, but Virgil, like Hawk, is the more mysterious and therefore more intriguing character.

Virgil Cole's skill with a firearm is legendary, and Parker gives it a mythic spin. Always calm and relaxed, Virgil's draw looks leisurely, but it is always faster than anyone else's. But my favorite aspect of the characters is that Virgil is well-read while Everett is well-educated. (Virgil regularly refers to Everett's time at West Point.) Neither is both, which means they often share knowledge with each other, and consequently with us. From the philosophy of Rousseau to the viability of the Macedonian phalanx in modern warfare, there is a lot to learn in Parker's Westerns in addition to terrific reads.

Blue-Eyed Devil is likely the final Parker Western, and that's too bad because these four novels have been some of my favorite reads of his. They are also some of the most readable modern Westerns available, and when an author of Parker's stature publishes a Western, it gives the genre some much-needed attention. The story as told comes full circle with new beginnings and old familiarities, but I wouldn't mind seeing the series continued by other hands.

The first name that comes to mind is that of Robert J. Randisi. Parker and Randisi share a skill with dialogue that says more than it seems to, and Randisi has also written his fair share of private-eye novels. Also, they both seem to follow the popular Strunk and White dictum to "omit needless words," resulting in the abovementioned brevity of dialogue and chapter. Because of these similarities, I think Randisi would be able to take over the series with little disruption, and I hope the publisher (and the author's estate) will consider this option to continue the Cole and Hitch stories.

Blue-Eyed Devil and the other three books in the series are read on audiobook by Titus Welliver, probably best known to Western fans as "Silas Adams" on the series Deadwood. Welliver has the perfect voice for these intelligent, confident, understated men: he stays out of the way and lets Parker's hardboiled Westerns speak for themselves and shine just like they do in print. Welliver's reading reminds me of that of the prolific Scott Brick's signature dysthymic delivery (see Vendetta), and he should translate well to other genres in the same way Brick does.
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Blue-Eyed Devil
Blue-Eyed Devil by Robert B. Parker (Mass Market Paperback - May 3, 2011)
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