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Brimstone - Robert B. Parker In the third novel in the series featuring Virgil Cole and his sidekick Everett Hitch, Virgil is looking for his former ladyfriend Allie French, even though she had betrayed him previously. They wind up in the town of Brimstone, where Allie is working as a prostitute. Virgil and Everett work as deputies in the town, and naturally trouble begins to brew. Front and center is Brother Percival, who comes to town preaching fire and brimstone, and tries to shut down all of the saloons and places of ill repute. Pike, who owns the biggest saloon in town and has designs on running the town, is on the other side. Everett and Virgil sit in the middle.

This novel was short and quick-paced with few wasted words. I appreciate Parker’s brevity. I also enjoy the characters. Virgil and Everett are easy-going and easy to like. My biggest problem with this novel is that everything comes too easily for Virgil and Everett. They set out to do something and accomplish it. There is never any point where they are in danger. The outcome is never in doubt. All of this creates a lack of tension. I knew exactly what would happen at the beginning of every scene, because it always goes as they plan it. There are never complications or major obstacles they have to overcome. In the end, this was a fun read but not overly engrossing.

Carl Alves – author of Two For Eternity