This is the second book in what Parker is calling "the Appaloosa trilogy," and it picks up just after the first book (Appaloosa) concludes. Everett Hitch is now in a town called Resolution, located somewhere in Parker's mythical West, where an open-pit copper mine and a timber operation exist side by side. Hitch takes a job as bouncer in a saloon. Pretty soon he's joined there by Virgil Cole, whose romantic interest, Allie, has split for Texas. Cole and Hitch are going after her, but not until their business in Resolution is finished.
And what business is that? Well, there's the power-mad saloon owner and the homesteaders. Need I say more? I guess I should, since there's more to it than that and since the plot does have a few twists and turns. Hitch and Cole are, at first, on the side of the saloon owner. But things change.
There's plenty of discussion of what a man's gotta do, as you'd expect in a Parker novel, and plenty of shooting, all handled matter-of-factly. Parker must have watched Deadwood, since there's also plenty of cussing. Plenty of short sentences, short paragraphs, and white space, as well. Very few question marks, though. Maybe it's a style thing.
The book's nearly 300 pages, but you'll finish it in a jiffy. Nothing wrong with that, and I've admitted before that I'm an unabashed admirer of Parker's work (though there are some who would like to abash me for that). I liked this one, too, and I eagerly await the one where Cole and Hitch take on Texas.