Robert B. Parker
#1 in the Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch Series
Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch are partners and have been for quite a while. They are lawmen who go wherever a quick gun is needed to protect the people. Virgil is a man of few words but the few he does utter are mighty powerful. Everett and Virgil have been together so long that Everett usually knows what Virgil is thinking before he even says it.
When they arrive in Appaloosa, they find a small, dusty town. The citizens there are being bullied and abused at the hands of renegade rancher Randall Bragg, a man who has so little regard for the law that he has taken supplies, horses, and women for his own and left the city marshal and one of his deputies for dead. Cole and Hitch have a reputation for cleaning up lawless towns so they have been hired by the aldermen to do whatever needs to be done. Unfortunately for Virgil, he falls in love with a local woman, which means that for the first time that Everett can remember his ability to uphold the law has been compromised. Before the two of them even gets Bragg behind bars, trouble comes in the form of hired guns, who threaten to undo everything that Cole and Hitch have accomplished – and maybe get them killed in the process.
Normally, I am not a western reader, but this was a quick and fun read. Short chapters and lots of action mean that the plot moves along at a breakneck speed, not unlike riding a horse on the open prairie. I have to admit I never thought I would enjoy a western, but I liked this one so much that I’m planning on reading the rest of the series. So, saddle up, pardner, and pack one of these in your saddlebag when you go on your summer adventure.
Robert B. Parker has numerous books to his credit. Check for other titles at mesalibrary.org!
Other western series you may enjoy:
Page Murdoch Novels by Loren D. Estlemen
(First book in series) In 1847, Deputy Page Murdock is sent into Montana's Bitterroot Mountains. He quickly finds himself diverted from his original assignment to hunt down Bear Anderson. Although Bear's one-man campaign of vengeance against the Flathead Indians has been silently applauded, President Grant now hopes to prevent a war which the Flatheads promise will come if Bear is not stopped.
Sidewinders by William W. Johnstone
(First book in series) Scratch Morton and Bo Creel, two pals, drifters, and veterans of cowboying, cattle drives, drunken brawls, and shoot-outs, find trouble in the Arizona Territory when they get caught up in a battle between two stagecoach lines while dallying with a beautiful widow.
The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry
(First book in series) The youth of a small town in mid-twentieth-century Texas search for ways to escape boredom and experience life and love.