A Book Spy Review: ‘Robert B. Parker’s Revelation’ By Robert Knott

robert-b-parkers-revelationWhen a group of killers escapes from Cibola prison in Arizona, U.S. Territorial Marshal Virgil Cole and Deputy Marshal Everett Hitch head out into the Wild West to find and capture them.

Things had just cooled down for Virgil Cole when Donnie “Driggs” Lonnigan, who was being held in a Mexican prison, was transferred to the United States. Driggs’ presence shakes up things inside the prison walls. Due to his gargantuan size and dark, cold eyes, Driggs is an intimidating man who makes everyone around him, including the guards and warden, nervous.

Spending most of his time in the Tomb, an isolated sweat box set apart from the rest of the penitentiary, with nothing but a bible to keep him company, Driggs’ legend took on a savior-like figure to the overcrowded inmates.

Well-educated, smart, and a natural killer, Driggs wasn’t cut out for prison. It might be where he belongs, but he has bigger and better plans. Prison, it seems, is just a bump in the road.

At the time during which Driggs and other inmates manage to escape the prison’s confines, Virgil Cole is just going about living his quiet life in Appaloosa. His longtime lover, Allie French, has taken advantage of the recent increase in population by opening her own dress shop. While sitting across from her shop with Everett Hitch, Cole is summoned by Sheriff Chastain, who needs his help.

Just after receiving word of the prison escape, Sheriff Chastain received a note about a shooting at a mill in another nearby town called Yaqui. Two men were killed, but the note said at least four prisoners escaped.

Later, Hitch identifies Driggs, who, unbeknownst to him or Cole, was part of the escape from Cibola. At first, Hitch isn’t sure Driggs is the man he thought he knew. In fact, he’s convinced it can’t be because the man he knew wasn’t supposed to be alive.

As the plot unravels, Knott reveals more about Driggs’ and Hitch’s backstory. Before long, a standoff turns into an all-out chase across the desert as Virgil Cole vows to find the escapees and bring them to justice.

Robert Knott does a terrific job of catering to fans of Westerns, while at the same time avoiding some of the stereotypes and pitfalls that cause casual readers to skip similar types of stories. The dialogue, which is spot-on, adds an authentic feel to the setting and is one of the book’s strengths. But by modernizing the plot ever so slightly, Revelation will appeal to a wider range of readers. Fans of Craig Johnson’s Longmire series will connect well with Cole, who shares many personality traits with the fictional sheriff from Absaroka county.

Less about investigating and more about the pursuit of bad guys, with plenty of shootouts along the way, the latest entry in Robert B. Parker’s Virgil Cole series is a fun, entertaining adventure that will leave readers counting down the days until the next book comes out. A must-read for anyone craving a juicy Western novel to sink their teeth into!

Book Details

Author: Robert Knott
Series: Virgil Cole #9
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0399575340
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: February 7, 2017 (Order Now!)

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