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Book review: 'Revelation' by Robert Knott

"Revelation" by Robert Knott (Putnam, 324 pages, in stores)

The adventures of territorial marshals Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch continue in Robert Knott's latest book, "Revelation," which features the characters of Robert Parker, who died in January 2010.

Knott was chosen by Parker's estate to carry on the Cole and Hitch series of Western novels, and “Revelation” is his fifth novel in the series.

Of course, Parker's first novel featuring Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch was “Appaloosa,” which was turned into a movie featuring Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen. Knott adapted the book to screen and helped produced the movie with Harris.

Now it's nearly impossible to read a Virgil Cole book without hearing Ed Harris' voice in my head, but that's not a bad thing.

Actually, it's a voice in my head that I would have liked to have heard more of in “Revelation.” There is more focus on the villain in “Revelation” and less on the lawmen than in the other Cole/Hitch books.

“Revelation” also contains more graphic violence, sex and language than Knott's previous Cole/Hitch novels which has disappointed some fans of the series.

But there is a good mystery in “Revelation.” A jail break at a New Mexico territorial prison has Cole and Hitch leaving Appaloosa to join the hunt, not realizing that it puts the town and their friends in danger.

The prison break was not all it seemed to be, as the lawmen soon discover. One prisoner had a very personal reason for escaping, and it turns out he is someone from Hitch's past.

The lawmen are unaware when they begin their chase that the escaped convict has a score to settle with someone in Appaloosa. While they are on the hunt for escapees across the territory, a brutal killer is roaming the streets of Appaloosa.

The novel is a mystery as well as a Western and there are many plot twists, but its abrupt ending falls flat. Overall, “Revelation” is a decent addition to the Cole/Hitch series, but it is a notch below the previous books.

— Ed Godfrey, The Oklahoman

Ed Godfrey

Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more... Read more ›