Robert B. Parkers Revelation, by Robert Knott ISBN 9780399575341
Five out of five stars
There has been a mysterious breakout at an isolated prison, several of the most brutal killers managed to escape, killing two guards in the process. The news reaches territorial marshals Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch in Appaloosa and it is clear from the beginning that they will be part of the operation to hunt them down. The town is in the midst of a boom, a big money man from the east named Vandervoort is bankrolling the construction of many new building and civilization is overtaking the town. Yet, not all is as it appears to be.
The two marshals are men of few words, often one of their complete sentences is the single word, “Is.” Yet, they are men dedicated to upholding the law, so when there is news of the escaped men’s location, they do not hesitate to mount up and move to face the danger. Through it all there is the history of Virgil and one of the escapees that goes back to the wars against the Native tribes, one of the men they are hunting often killed innocent victims just because he could.
The story moves at a swift pace, as do the men they are hunting. Two of the men are particularly ruthless, one kills immediately while the other is an educated man that operates in a much more subtle manner. It is hard to determine which man is the more dangerous. Determined to kill or capture both men, Cole and Hitch press forward in their goal.
There are many twists in the plot, hints are given, but most are subtle, leaving room for reasonable doubt. It is a great story in the Parker tradition, his westerns rely more on the characters than the gunplay.