For years, Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch have ridden roughshod over rabble-rousers and gun hands in troubled towns like Appaloosa, Resolution, and Brimstone.  Now, newly appointed as Territorial Marshalls, they find themselves traveling by train through the Indian Territories.  Their first marshaling duty starts out as a simple mission to escort Mexican prisoners to the border, but when the Governor of Texas, his wife and daughters climb aboard with their bodyguards and $500,000 in tow, their journey suddenly becomes a lot more complicated.

The problem is Bloody Bob Brandice.  He and Virgil have had it out before, an encounter that left Brandice face-down in the street with two .44 slugs lodged in him.  Now, twelve years later on a night train struggling uphill in a thunderstorm, Brandice is back – and he’s not alone.  Cole and Hitch find themselves in the midst of a heist with a horde of very bad men, two beautiful young hostages, and a man with a vendetta he’s determined to carry out.

From the Compact Disc edition.
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