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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on August 2, 2010
After devouring the first three novels in the Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch series, I approached the fourth and final one with hesitation not wanting it to be over. Unfortunately, once I started the book, I wanted my reading to be over. It wasn't just that the story wasn't as enjoyable as the previous ones but a lot of continuity of characters, situations, etc, seemed to slip past the writer and editor, as some other reviewers have mentioned. This made for distractions in my reading.

The book seemed rush in its plotting and writing. Though I'm sure Mr. Parker finished it long before his death, given the timetables of writers handing in a draft and publication, the fourth and last book almost felt as if he had left it unfinished and another writer stepped in to complete it.

Also, Virgil Cole's character seemed to change over the course of the series, really deteriorating into a lack of morality in this last book. Perhaps Parker's intent was to show that that was Cole's true nature all along.

Whatever the intention, perhaps Parker himself lost interest in the characters and had a difficult time tieing up loose ends. That said, I wish I had stopped at book 3 and left the future of Cole and Hitch to my own imagination.

Though the writing this time fell a bit short, Parker's accomplishment with this series and these characters will live for a long time and hopefully be discovered by new generations of readers.

RIP Mr. Parker and thank you for a mostly entertaining series that only you could have written.
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on August 27, 2013
My first Robert Parker novel and probably my last. The characters just seem one dimensional. He could have killed them off in the first chapter ( if you can call 30 short lines a chapter) and I wouldn't have cared. On the plus side, it's the perfect thickness to level out the living room chair.
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on June 3, 2014
Very light read and didn't have much at all to engage the reader. Not very realistic. Understated to the point of boring.
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on November 11, 2012
This is not a book for anyone who likes exposition. The book is almost entirely made up of dialogue between two very inarticulate men. The dialogue is of the "yep" and "nope" variety. Even when the point-of-view character describes action, the description is terse, hard to believe, and lacking in detail. More efficient layout would have enabled this book to use a lot less paper, but it would have been so thin no one would have bought it. You can easily read it in one sitting. Good if you have nothing better on a plane trip from Baltimore to Denver.
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on December 15, 2014
I read a lot of westerns and I don't care for this one. Too slow and the language was offensive.
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This book has not been checked out since it arrived at the library. I have several western readers and they are not interested.
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VINE VOICEon May 22, 2010
I'm a big fan of Robert B. Parker's early Virgil & Everett westerns (APPALOOSA,RESOLUTION, etc.) but the latest, BLUE EYED DEVIL, is Parker at his worst. For starters, it's hardly a book at all, more like a long short story fattened up with large fonts, three-page chapters, and lots of white space.

Professional gun hands Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch return to Appaloosa, the setting for the first (and best) book in the series and spend most of their time sitting on one porch or another sipping whiskey and talking about how smart, skilled, capable, and all around marvelous they are. Occasionally, they get up and shoot someone. The plotting is episodic, improvised, and often inept. For example, at one point, their old friend Pony Flores, a inscrutable and wise half-breed Indian, shows up on the run from the law with his silent brother but isn't worried about being caught because, like Virgil and Everett, he's so damn good.

"Anybody on your trail?" Virgil said.

Pony shook his head.

"Only man can track Pony Flores," he said, "is me."

"Good," Virgil said.

But a few pages later, the law shows up looking for him anyway. Virgil quizzes the trackers.

"What makes you think he's here?" Virgil said.

"Folks in Van Buren spotted them, couple weeks back, heading south. This is the next town."

Virgil nodded.

So Pony's brilliant, untrackable method for eluding pursuers is to go in a straight line from one town to the next, making sure that he's seen. But Virgil and Everett continue to regard Pony as a master tracker and eluder anyway.

An editor might have caught that bit of insipidness and, perhaps, also the half-dozen repetitions of the phrase "when the balloon goes up" throughout the book, but it's been a while since anybody has bothered editing Parker...and that disinterest and laziness continues even after his death.

Parker relies on all of his tropes in this book, repeating banter that I swear I've read in all of his books and lifting situations whole from previous entries in the series (for instance, once again Everett finds a sweet, warm-hearted, still beautiful hooker willing to have sex with him for free because she gets so hot hearing him talk about how competent and marvelous he and Virgil are)

Parker has succeeded in killing this series with his own disinterest the same way he did with the Jesse Stone books. Both series started out great and then he seemingly gave up making any effort, letting them become thinly-written and loosely conceived parodies of themselves. It's a sad thing to see and even more painful to read. At least it's over fast. I doubt BLUE EYED DEVIL is even 30,000 words.

I truly hope that the two upcoming SPENSER novels that Parker finished before his death are a return to form and not, as I fear, a sad coda to a once-great writer's career.
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