Knott (Robert B. Parker’s Ironhorse, 2013) spins another tale that unites Parker’s two chosen genres, the Western and the crime story.
No sooner have Territorial Marshal Virgil Cole and his deputy, Everett Hitch, hunted down “Captain” Alejandro Vasquez so that he can be locked in the San Cristóbal jail than there’s a ruckus across town. According to unimpeachable eyewitness testimony, Henry Strode, president of the Comstock Bank, has made off with $200,000, most of it on deposit for Strode’s father-in-law, St. Louis tycoon Jantz Wainwright. The search for Strode ends abruptly when he’s discovered, beaten, breathing and broke, on the porch of Slingshot Clark’s Cottonwood Springs whorehouse. It turns out that more than Wainwright’s money has been taken; his daughter Catherine, Strode’s wife, is gone as well. Clearly, there’s more to this robbery than meets the eye, but Virgil and Everett are stunned to hear Alejandro Vasquez announce that he knows who the real robbers are and where they can be found. Can they trust the bandito accused of multiple thefts and murders to lead them to the culprits—especially once the trail leads to Mexico, where the federales are just as eager to clap Alejandro into prison as the Americans? And what will happen if, against all odds, Virgil and Everett actually catch up with their prey?
The questions are a lot more interesting than the answers. But Knott pays out the complications with a sure hand en route to a denouement that provides fans exactly what they’re looking for and not a smidgen more.