More shifting allegiances, moral dilemmas and characters capable of change than Virgil and Everett’s fans may be used to....

BLUE-EYED DEVIL

Now that they’ve cleaned up Appaloosa, Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch have to contend with its new police chief in their fourth and presumably final adventure.

All white men are blue-eyed devils, but Amos Callico is more infernal than most. No sooner has he settled in as Appaloosa’s new chief of police, his authority bolstered by a retinue of 12 officers, than he begins to extort protection money from Lamar Speck, who owns the Boston House saloon, and Buford Posner, of the Golden Palace. Callico, who has his eyes set on the governor’s mansion and then on the White House, wastes no time in attempting to neuter the opposition by offering jobs to Virgil and Everett, now living a frontier version of domestic life with Allie French, the lover Virgil rescued in Brimstone (2009), and the traumatized former Indian captive Laurel, who won’t speak to anyone but Virgil. Naturally, the two gunslingers turn Callico down and promptly sign on as bouncers at the Boston House. The stage is clearly set for a climactic confrontation between the corrupt police chief and his minions and the unsullied heroes. Before that can happen, though, Virgil’s half-breed friend Pony Flores comes to town with his brother Kha-to-nay in tow. Pony has helped Kha-to-nay escape from prison, and trouble is sure to follow the pair. Despite the arrival of Pinkerton agent Dell Garrison, however, that trouble doesn’t take the form most readers will expect. Instead, Kha-ton-nay will ally himself with a party of wily Apache braves, and retired Confederate General Horatio Laird, whose no-account son Nicholas Laird killed in the early going, and his hired gunman Chauncey Teagarden will assume central roles. Rest assured that Virgil will get more opportunities to live up to his assertion, “Killing don’t bother me…Long as I follow the rules.”

More shifting allegiances, moral dilemmas and characters capable of change than Virgil and Everett’s fans may be used to. It’s a shame that this youngest of the late Parker’s franchises has to end so soon.

Pub Date: May 4, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-399-15648-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2010

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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH

While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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