Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch are a pair of fast guns-for-hire duo that feature as the main characters in the Cole & Hitch series by Robert B. Parker. The first novel in the series featuring this duo was released in 2005 and titled ‘Appaloosa’. The four series feature elements within the mystery, American West, crime-fiction, thriller and adventure genres.
Order of Virgil Cole & Everett Hitch Series
|5||Robert B. Parker's Ironhorse||2013|
|6||Robert B. Parker's Bull River||2014|
|7||Robert B. Parker's the Bridge||2014|
The central characters, Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch are partners that do work gun work. Set in the American West, they encounter multiple hoodlums and lawlessness which they attempt to clean up. Though they try to stay within the limits of the law, they also create laws for themselves.
Virgil is the boss and is depicted as an ideal Western hero; he is reticent, tough and extremely proficient with guns. He loves what he does and abides by an honour code. Even though he is illiterate, only reading and writing with difficulty, he is courageous and ready to do what is necessary.
Everett, is Virgil’s deputy and he is the one who tells the stories in first person. He is a former Army Officer but he felt constrained by military duty, choosing to leave and adopt the position of gunslinger. He is very handy with guns, educated enough to tell the stories, modest and fiercely loyal to Virgil.
The first novel in the series ‘Appaloosa’ is depicted in a Western fictional town, Appaloosa. It opens with a prologue that tells of a brutal rancher, Randall Bragg who has been terrorizing the town’s citizens. Jack Bell, the town’s marshal comes to arrest Randall on account of rape and murder, but is instead murdered by Randall. Cole and Hitch are hired to take care of Bragg and they soon arrive in the town.
Once they arrive, they quickly establish their position, incurring the enmity of Bragg. Cole, however falls in love with Allison French, a clever but promiscuous woman who quickly worms her way to whomever is the top dog in town. Bragg notices this affection and ultimately uses it against Cole when the duo arrests him. He hires a pair of lethal gun slingers, the Shelton brothers and conflict ensues between Cole, Hitch and these hooligans. The plot twist comes when it is discovered that Allie is secretly dating Bragg. In order to protect Cole’s honour, Hitch then challenges Bragg to a gun duel.
Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch Books into Movies
The Appaloosa was adapted into a movie in 2008, and cast Ed Harris as Virgil Cole, Viggo Mortensen as Everett Hitch and Renée Zellweger as Allie French. The movie was in keeping with the book, both in title and plot, with only minor deviations. The film was on the critics’ top ten lists of the best films of 2008 and gathered a 77% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Best Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch Books
The Appaloosa was one of the best book of the series, expressing true Western-style ideologies and thoughts. The dialogue was crisp, intense and fast-paced.
Resolution, the sequel to Appaloosa soon became a favourite with the Western genre. In this book, Everett leaves Cole, who has settled with Allie, in Appaloosa. He arrives in a town named Resolution and begins working as a gun lookout in Amos Wolfson’s Blackfoot Saloon. He quickly establishes himself as a ladies’ protector, and begin fighting off other gun lords. However, as tension mounts, he is relieved when his friend, Virgil shows up. Allie ran off with another man, and Virgil murdered him. Breaking his own ethical code, Virgil returns to meet a more confident Everett and soon the roles are reversed with Virgil becoming Everett’s sidekick. Of course, this soon corrects itself with Virgil assuming the original commanding position. The duo goes on to fight off more goons.
The third book, Brimstone, shows the duo back to practicing within the law as deputies in the town of Brimstone. They fight off rival gangs, crazy preachers, a wild and vindictive Comanche, and several other hoodlums. The plot of the book circles around these gun duels but returns to Allie, who is in a brothel in Brimstone. She promises Virgil that she is a reformed woman but inevitably, falls short. The book brings all three back to Appaloosa and sets the stage for the final book – Blue- Eyed Devil.
OTHER BOOK SERIES YOU MAY LIKE
Other Western and crime fiction titles that Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch lovers can enjoy are Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry, True Grit by Charles Portis, and titles by Cormac McCarthy. The “Spenser” series by Robert Parker are also other fan favourites.