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Robert B. Parker's Ironhorse: A Robert B. Parker Western Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

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Robert B. Parker's Ironhorse: A Robert B. Parker Western + Robert B. Parker's Bull River: A Cole and Hitch Novel
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Product Details

  • Audio CD: 6 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; Unabridged edition (January 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030798933X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307989338
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.1 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (289 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #775,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Since Robert B. Parker’s death, various authors have tried to revive his Spenser and Jesse Stone mystery series with decidedly mixed results. Knott, who adapted the movie version of Parker’s Appaloosa, does better with the author’s western series starring maverick lawmen Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch. The pair’s latest assignment seems routine enough: escort some Mexican prisoners from Texas to the border. That part goes fine, but on the return trip, the train is hijacked by a band of desperadoes led by the notorious Bloody Bob Brandice, with whom Virgil has some history. Turns out the governor of Texas is on the train with his wife, daughters, and $500,000. Echoing Elmore Leonard’s Hombre (1961), Knott throws Cole and Hitch into one of those existential situations typical of the best westerns. Trouble arrives out of nowhere, and it’s up to the guys with the quickest wits and fastest guns to get out of it. Knott may not quite catch the staccato beat of Cole and Hitch’s understated dialogue, but the plot careers along just fine, nicely augmented by the wealth of nineteenth-century railroad detail. --Bill Ott --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Praise for Robert B. Parker’s Ironhorse

“Hits with the intensity of an eight-gauge shotgun blast. Ironhorse is written by first-time novelist Robert Knott, taking over this series by the prolific Robert B. Parker. Knott was co-writer of the screenplay for the film version of Appaloosa, and it's obvious from Ironhorse that Virgil and Everett's fates are in excellent hands. Local readers will also enjoy the descriptions of 19th-century Oklahoma, as well as the joys and troubles of rail travel during that time, in addition to a rip-snorting tale full of sparse dialogue seasoned with wit as dry as an Oklahoma prairie wind and enough flying bullets and buckshot to fill a caboose.”—Tulsa World

“Robert B. Parker's legion of fans will be thrilled with Ironhorse. Robert Knott, co-writer of the screenplay for Appaloosa—Bob's remarkable western—has penned the next great saga featuring itinerant lawmen Everett Hitch and Virgil Cole. Knott's new novel reads just like vintage Parker and the storyline crackles with all the excitement and humor of what is a perfect continuation of the Hitch/Cole series. Parker fans are going to love it!”—Ed Harris, Academy Award-nominated actor

“Knott effortlessly handles the nonstop plot complications.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Continues the classic Western tradition that the late Robert B. Parker featured in novels such as Appaloosa and Blue-Eyed Devil.”—NewsOK

“[Knott] breathes life back into the characters Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch without missing a beat. He has the dialogue, the timing and the character of the two gunslingers-turned-marshals down. He has a new story. So it makes for a refreshing read. Parker would approve.”—Deseret News

Additional Praise for the Cole and Hitch Novels

Blue-Eyed Devil

“You read Parker because he could tell a story and make you care about his characters. Blue-Eyed Devil…only hones Parker’s legacy as an ace storyteller, in any genre, to the end.”—Chicago Sun-Times

“The dialogue crackles. The writing is as crisp and tight as anything Parker ever wrote. And Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, soft-spoken gunmen who live by a code of honor, are enormously appealing heroes.”—The Associated Press

“Excellent…[Blue-Eyed Devil] continues the saga of gunslinging saddle pals Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch…as they trade wisecracks and hot lead with back-shooting owlhoots and murderous Apaches in the town of Appaloosa….Lean, fast, and full of snappy dialogue, it’s everything a series fan would expect.”—Publishers Weekly


“The story is riveting, but as usual with a Robert B. Parker Western, the great attraction is the writing itself, especially the brilliantly rendered dialogue.”—The Associated Press

“There’s murder and showdowns and lots of great action. As always, Parker’s dialogue is the star of his books, especially the laconic conversations between Cole and Hitch.”—Lincoln Journal Star


“The most memorable Western heroes since Larry McMurtry’s…Lonesome Dove…. Parker’s prose is at its very best.”—The Associated Press
“[Parker’s] back with both barrels blazing.”—The Greenville (MI) Daily News

“This novel makes it clear [Parker’s] storytelling skills and great dialogue go well beyond the escapades of the private eye.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Parker applies his customary vigor…a sparse, bullet-riddled rumination on law and order, friendship and honor…Parker’s dialogue is snappy and his not-a-word-wasted scenes suit this Spartan Western.”—Publishers Weekly


“Pure, old-fashioned storytelling…the work of a master craftsman. Parker captures the West as neatly as he does the streets of Boston.” —The Washington Post

“A classic Western…with a twist.”—Boston Herald

“Tough-guy appeal…Parker provides plenty of action.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Powerfully good…straightforward and entertaining yarn.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Like the Spenser books, it’s a study of Parker’s enduring themes: buddy relationships, the weight that honor and responsibility put on a man, the consequences of violence, the way good can shade into bad and vice versa…a melancholy and sometimes moving tale of a lost but fascinating era.”—The Seattle Times

“Dryly amusing…a conclusion that had to make Parker smile as much as his readers will.” —Los Angeles Times

“A galloping tale…[a] classic Western…magnificent. As always, the writing is bone clean. One of Parker’s finest.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“For…readers with a hankering for the Wild West, including a high-noon shoot-out and all the accoutrements.”—USA Today

“As always, [Parker] is a master…his plot gallops to a perfect, almost mythical ending. Like a great gunfighter, Parker makes it look easy.”—St. Petersburg Times

“If Spenser and Hawk had been around when the West was wild, they’d have talked like Cole and Hitch. Wonderful stuff: notch 51 for Parker.”—Kirkus Reviews
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

I'll look forward to reading the next book.
The dialogue was right-on between the two but I felt that there was too much detail which slowed the story down.
Joseph H. Race
Mr. Knott has done a great job continuing Robert Parker's legacy with the Cole and Hitch series.
James B. Engle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 56 people found the following review helpful By C. Williamson VINE VOICE on January 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Yep, you read it right -- 113 *very* short chapters. I was really looking forward to this continuation of the Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch series, since they've been my favorite Robert B. Parker books, even more so than Spenser. Ace Atkins' solid and fun continuation of Spenser boded well, but I've seldom been as disappointed in a book as in IRONHORSE. The action moves at a snail's pace, and the most delightful part of the previous novels, Virgil and Everett's laconic dialogue, is replaced by two frontier chatterboxes, who just yammer on and on at each other and everyone around them, saying what they're going to do, exactly how they're going to do it, and what the results might be once they do. When the dialogue finally stops, the narrative tells us again in detail how they're doing what they just said they were going to do. In short, this feels like a novella excruciatingly padded to novel length. The sequences of moving trains and train cars go on like a slow freight, with Knott seemingly using every bit of research that he's so assiduously gathered, to soporific effect. Even the moments of violence, so sharp and shocking in their simplicity in the actual Parker novels, are lifeless. With its dreadful pacing and cardboard characterization,it's almost like an *anti*-Parker. This iron horse travels in iron shoes, and provides a flat and charmless ride.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. Grossman on February 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While reading this on my Kindle, I was struck by how chatty Virgil has become. He comments on anything and everything, and appears to be morphing into "Spenser". Sadly, this series has not survived the passing or Mr. Parker. Dialog is off, there are profanities and obscenities that are out of character (and wrong for the period), and the magic is gone. It's still an entertaining read, but nowhere near the quality of its' predecessors.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. Warner on March 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I've read every Robert B. Parker book so I admit to bias but I suspect many people looking at this book are in a similar situation. Evey year I'd wait for Spenser, Jesse Stone, and Virgil & Hitch. Each year it was like an old friend(s) coming to visit. So far Jesse Stone has been adequate with potential. Atkins' Spenser was terrific. But Ironhorse is easily the worst.
First off, this story just doesn't fit into the timing of the other books. It's like some weird alternate timeline. I had to go to Wikipedia just to verify I was right. Thought I might have forgotten something.
Second, I'm pretty sure Virgil Cole has more dialogue in the first five chapters of this book than he does in all of Apaloosa on the whole. Virgil says what he needs to in as few words as necessary. He's a straightforward man that does what he says. He just rambles in this book. And as for Hitch, he feels more like a second rate sidekick simply there to tell the story rather than actually help move it along. No, these are not the characters I've come to know and love. Their "voice" is totally off. It's as if this book was written previously and they simple used to Find/Replace to put in Cole's and Hitch's names.
I certainly hope they find a different author if there is to be another novel. No offense to Mr. Knott but he just doesn't seem to get the they speak, who they are and most importantly why they do what they do.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By DLB on January 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was hesitant about purchasing, and reading, the continuation of a series... by a unknown (to me) author... begun by the ever beloved (by me) Robert B. Parker. I have read every single book in every single RBP series. That being said, Mr. Knott has certainly done Mr. Parker proud! The continuation of the Cole/Hitch series is excellent. Ironhorse, the latest adventure of Marshal Virgil Cole and Deputy Marshal Everett Hitch, will have you chuckling, shaking your head, stomping your feet in anger at the bad guys and rooting for our fearless Western duo as usual. I sincerely urge you to make the purchase, give it a read and give Mr. Knott a chance. If you love this series, you will NOT be disappointed. I am so glad that two of my favorite characters will continue on thanks to Robert Knott. I hope to visit with Virgil and Everett again soon!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Annie on January 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I have read all of Robert Parker's books about Jesse Stone, Sunny Randall, and Virgil and Everett. I have less than a dozen Spenser books left to read. I was sad to see Parker die, but very pleased with Ace Atkins, Michael Brandman, and now Robert Knott for continuing the series. Of all of the Parker series, there was no question for me that Parker's westerns were the slowest. Knott changed that with 'Ironhorse.' I couldn't put it down and read it quickly over the weekend. It is a great story of Virgil and Everett chasing the bad guys and coming out, once again victorious. I hope this one will be made into a movie like Appaloosa was. I don't remember that Parker used the 'F' word in his western books. If I could have changed anything, it would be that Knott could have left out that word. Other than the unnecesary use of the 'F' word, it was a great story that anyone could read.
I would really like to see the Parker family find someone to continue the Sunny Randall series as well. Ace, Michael, and Robert, you have made Bob proud. Keep 'em coming.
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