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This was entry number three in Robert B. Parker's western series featuring hero partners Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch. Sometimes you can come into the middle of a series and not miss much; that's not the case here. You really should have read Appaloosa and Resolution first.

As the book opens, Virgil and Everett are in search of Virgil's ex-sweetie, Allie French, who has skedaddled to parts of Texas unknown. No big deal, and I don't think it will spoil much to tell you that she's found by page 17, and rescued from her desperate situation by page 20. After that, it's off to the next adventure.

Which is a gig as lawmen in the town of Brimstone, an up-and-coming little place with plenty of saloons/whorehouses. The nicest one is run by Pike, an ex-desperado looking to go straight. There's also Brother Percival, a holy roller looking to shut down such places of iniquity. And, just to make things a little more complicated for our guys, a rogue Indian is on the rampage, killing man and beast, kidnapping and defiling women.

And Allie is still far from the ideal lifemate.

Robert B. Parker is sorely missed, and every book I read is a bittersweet reminder that there are only a few more in the pipeline.

Last Modified 2012-10-03 9:02 AM EST