Monday, June 4, 2018

Parker Heads West

Appaloosa (Virgil Cole & Everett Hitch, #1)Appaloosa by Robert B. Parker
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There's a new marshall in Appaloosa and his word is law.

Virgil Cole and his dependable sidekick Everett Hitch are lawmen hired to settle a podunk town out west. Bad guys abound. A woman shows up looking for love in all the wrong places. Trouble's a'brewin' boys!

This is a new-school western framed perfectly in the old school style. Robert B. Parker (better known for his Spenser detective series) seems to have been made to write this leather-hide rough action-adventure stuff.

Oh the brooding! So much brooding! This is all about tough guys talkin' tough, being tough and takin' no guff! Yeah, there's a woman or two here to represent the sex, but they're mostly whores, or shrews seeking men. This is not to say Parker seems to have anything against women, he just portrays his distant western setting as a place that "good" women wouldn't go.

Appaloosa's not high literature. It's a nice, quick fix for your "old west" needs, and as such, it's actually quite well-written comparable to some others I've read. So, thumbs up from me and I'll probably be reading another one of Parker's Cole & Hitch books on some future day when I want to feel like the Marlboro Man. Yeehaw!!!

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Agatha Christie's After the Funeral

After the Funeral (Hercule Poirot, #29)After the Funeral by Agatha Christie
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I used to make fun of Scooby Doo and how the gang would unmask the villain at the end, specifically how the villain would inevitably and hurriedly admit to the crime. Then I started reading Agatha Christie's books and I realized where they picked up the habit.

Now, don't get me wrong, Christie's mysteries are wonderful reads. So much fun! I especially love Hercule Poirot. It's a shame it takes such a long time for him to show up in After the Funeral. Much of the groundwork is laid out by a lawyer before Poirot arrives on the scene to tie it all up neatly.

The body of this book is quite good. The murderer is nicely disguised. The red herrings are well-stocked. But then comes the end. It's a satisfactory end as far as solving a crime goes, however, here again the murderer blurts out the truth. Certainly Poirot has the person cornered and it would just be a matter of a trial to have the person convicted, but then that wouldn't be as dramatic, would it? No. It would be more realistic though, and that's the problem with such endings. They somewhat tarnish an otherwise fairly believable story.

But that is a minor point as far as my enjoyment of the entire book goes. Yes, I have spent a good portion of a rather short review going on about it, but honestly, everything else about After the Funeral is a good read through and through!

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