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Brimstone Hardcover – May 5, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Parker's gunslinging saddle pals Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch return for their third adventure, in which the two lawmen-for-hire exchange snappy dialogue and hot lead with assorted owlhoots, deadbeats and unwashed baddies in south Texas. Here, Virgil and Everett rescue Allie French, Virgil's former sweetie who ran off to become a prostitute, and head to Brimstone, where the two gunmen sign on as deputy sheriffs. Brimstone, however, doesn't exactly provide a quiet respite for this trio. Virgil and Allie have a hard time getting over his hurt and her shame, a mysterious Indian is killing local folks and leaving taunting messages, and brutal saloon owner Pike and corrupt preacher Brother Percival are headed for a showdown. Virgil and Everett settle on a tricky solution that involves a talented tracker, a bribe, a double-cross, a noxious cloud of gun smoke and a pile of perforated bodies. The result is classic Parker—exciting, suspenseful, fast-moving and entertaining. (May)
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About the Author

Robert B. Parker was the author of more than fifty books. He died in January 2010.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (May 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399155716
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399155710
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) has long been acknowledged as the dean of American crime fiction. His novel featuring the wise-cracking, street-smart Boston private-eye Spenser earned him a devoted following and reams of critical acclaim, typified by R.W.B. Lewis' comment, "We are witnessing one of the great series in the history of the American detective story" (The New York Times Book Review). In June and October of 2005, Parker had national bestsellers with APPALOOSA and SCHOOL DAYS, and continued his winning streak in February of 2006 with his latest Jesse Stone novel, SEA CHANGE.

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Parker attended Colby College in Maine, served with the Army in Korea, and then completed a Ph.D. in English at Boston University. He married his wife Joan in 1956; they raised two sons, David and Daniel. Together the Parkers founded Pearl Productions, a Boston-based independent film company named after their short-haired pointer, Pearl, who has also been featured in many of Parker's novels.

Parker began writing his Spenser novels in 1971 while teaching at Boston's Northeastern University. Little did he suspect then that his witty, literate prose and psychological insights would make him keeper-of-the-flame of America's rich tradition of detective fiction. Parker's fictional Spenser inspired the ABC-TV series Spenser: For Hire. In February 2005, CBS-TV broadcast its highly-rated adaptation of the Jesse Stone novel Stone Cold, which featured Tom Selleck in the lead role as Parker's small-town police chief. The second CBS movie, Night Passage, also scored high ratings, and the third, Death in Paradise, aired on April 30, 2006.

Parker was named Grand Master of the 2002 Edgar Awards by the Mystery Writers of America, an honor shared with earlier masters such as Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen.

Parker died on January 19, 2010, at the age of 77.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Wayne C. Rogers on May 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brimstone by Robert B. Parker is the third in a series of western novels dealing with the characters of Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch (see the movie, Appaloosa, starring Ed Harris & Viggo Mortensen). Cole and Hitch are gunslingers that move from one town to another, taking jobs as sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, and even as lookouts in the local bar, keeping an eye out for trouble and then dealing with it.

Continuing where Resolution left off, Brimstone follows Cole and Hitch's search across the state of Texas for Ms. Allie French, who seems to have a problem saying no to any man with a sexual itch. Though Cole doesn't abide by Allie's actions, he is in love with the woman and is determined to give her another chance. Hitch as usual is along for the ride and to protect Cole's back. After a year of searching, the two men find Allie working as a prostitute in a low-life saloon that's in a no-name town and she's just about at the end of her rope. They have to kill four men to get her back. The three of them then ride further and take up residence in Brimstone, where Cole and Hitch become deputy sheriffs and Ms. Allie takes up playing the organ for the Church of the Brotherhood that's run by the charismatic Brother Percival. It isn't long, however, before Ms. Allie is doing more than playing the organ. As if Cole didn't have enough to deal with, there's also an ex-outlaw named Pike, who runs the best saloon in town and has plans for taking over the community and running it his way. Finally, there's an Indian named Buffalo Calf, who's killing settlers in the area and appears to have a grudge against Pike, who used to be an Indian fighter for the Army before he changed to a more profitable career.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Robert Busko VINE VOICE on May 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I just finished Brimstone by Robert B. Parker. I may be at a disadvantage in that I haven't read the two prior novels, Resolution and Appaloosa so there may be points in Brimstone that deal with the back story that I was completely oblivious to. However, I didn't feel that I enjoyed Brimstone any less because of this, and I have something to look forward to in reading the first two novels.

I can't remember when I've enjoyed two characters more than I did Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch. Parker does a masterful job in scripting the dialog between these two individuals, making the banter seem natural and organic. The storyline is also natural. Allie French has Cole tied up in knots emotionally. Cole finds Allie doing what is necessary to survive, and watch Cole deal with this is interesting and adds a very human string to the story.

As the characters make their way to Brimstone with the hope of settling down to a more normal life, you just seem to know that that ain't happening.

With wonderful characterization, great and natural dialog, and a terrific story you can't go wrong in investing your time reading Brimstone.

I'm looking forward to the movie.

Peace to all.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hancock on May 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Picking up a year after the events of "Resolution," "Brimstone" follows the continuing adventures of Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, the two guns-for-hire as they search for Allie French, the woman who stole Virgil's heart in the town of Appaloosa. After finding her in a town brothel, the trio heads to the Texas town of Brimstone. But it ain't long before trouble finds them yet again.
A better-handled sequel than "Resolution," "Brimstone" returns some of the funny banter between Hitch and Cole, while creating a great story with great heroes and villains, strong character development, and several twists and surprises that will keep readers entertained until the climax. Fans of Robert B. Parker's previous novels will find much to enjoy in "Brimstone."
Grade: A-
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mel Odom VINE VOICE on June 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Brimstone is the third book in Robert B. Parker's Appaloosa Western trilogy. Normally known for his "Easterners," particularly those starring Spenser, Parker steps into the Old West and successfully claims some of the dusty streets and cow towns as his own. The books don't read like Louis L'Amour or Larry McMurtry novels, nor do they really spend a lot of time in the hard country where much of the danger comes from the savage land. These books mostly take place in towns where the ideas of law and justice are vague things.

The trilogy revolves around two men, Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch. Virgil and Everett had been friends for years and have become legendary town tamers. Virgil works on self education and maintains himself through rigid iron discipline. Everett trained at West Point as a military officer, then went his own way and tends to accept things as they come.

This friendship is the cornerstone of these books. I love the way it shows up in their conversations and in the way they face down different dangers together. I love tough guy books and these are two of the toughest you'll find.

The first novel, APPALOOSA, was made into a movie starring Ed Harris as Virgil and Viggo Mortensen as Everett. Renee Zellweger stars as Allie French, the conniving woman who winds up getting Virgil all twisted up inside for the first time in his life.

The second book deals with the reconciliation between Virgil and Everett after the events of the first novel. But the third book has them finding Allie working as a prostitute in a small town. Even after freeing her, Virgil doesn't know what to do with her.

I don't much care for Allie as a character. She's too manipulative and shallow to interest a man like Virgil Cole.
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