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Friday, June 26, 2015

RESOLUTION (Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch #2) (audiobook) by Robert B. Parker

Published by Random House Audio in 2008
Read by Titus Welliver
Duration: 4 hours, 40 minutes

At the end of Appaloosa, the first book in this series, Hitch and Cole have parted ways. Hitch ends up in the town of Resolution, a mining/lumbering town with some small unsuccessful ranches/farms scattered around.

Hitch is hired by the owner of a local hotel/saloon to keep the peace inside the saloon. Soon enough, Cole shows up. He is on the outs with his girlfriend again. She has issues - she just has to throw herself at the most powerful man in the room and Cole had finally had enough of it and killed a man she was with. For Cole, this is devastating. He has always followed the law, even if it is arbitrary law that he has written himself. Killing this man broke the law and Cole is now a man who cannot follow his own code. So, Cole just hangs out with Hitch and ponders the meaning of laws and rules and the Social Contract for half of the book.

In the meantime, Hitch is offered the chance to switch sides in a range war that is just beginning to start. It will be the miners vs. the lumberjacks vs. the ranchers/farmers vs. the hotel/saloon owners and Hitch has to decide where he is going and Cole has to work his way through his issues before the lead starts to fly...

There are a few common themes that run through most westerns - the stranger(s) that come into town to rescue the heart-of-gold widow with a ranch (like Tom Selleck's Crossfire Trail) and the stranger(s) that come into town to stop the local bad guys (like in The Magnificent Seven ). Parker, if nothing else, was a master of taking the established format of a genre and then tweaking it - the familiar then becomes something different, but still feels like the same old comfortable story.

In this story, the strangers are Hitch and Cole. As the story progresses, Parker mixes the story of the the woman who needs to be rescued with the story of the town being rescued from the local bad guys, with a twist, of course.

The title, Resolution, is interesting because as the book goes along Cole resolves his issues. He reads and discusses John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau and hits on the idea that laws come out of the social contract between the person in power and the people who are under those laws. Basically, Cole cheats the idea a bit to ease his existential crisis and allow him to be Cole again. Parker sure loved all of this deep psychological stuff. I find it amusing to have professional gunslingers sitting on the front steps of a saloon discussing the theory of the Social Contract.

The audiobook is read by the actor Titus Welliver. I like Welliver's work and his voice is smooth and mellow - just about perfect for Hitch, who tells the story.

I rate this audiobook 4 stars out of 5.

This audiobook can be found on Amazon here: Resolution

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