Appaloosa is a western by Robert B. Parker, the author of the Spenser novels.
Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch had worked together for fifteen years as lawmen in a lot of towns when they were hired by the board of aldermen of Appaloosa to take their town back from Randall Bragg, a rancher who acted like his hands and he owned it. They took what they wanted without paying and when three of his men killed a young man and raped his wife, the sheriff and three deputies rode out to arrest them. Bragg shot the sheriff and one deputy, the second escaping and disappearing, though Bragg denied they’d ever made it to the ranch.
Cole had a set of laws he applied whenever hired to a town. Strict, no nonsense. Three of Bragg’s gunhands died before that got through. The missing deputy reappears and agrees to testify, Cole and Hitch engineer an arrest of Bragg, who’s convicted and sentenced to hang, three hired gunmen kidnap Cole’s girl friend and force him to let Bragg go.
The rest of the novel is taken with Cole and Hitch in pursuit of Bragg, his men, and the kidnap victim.
An entertaining book, Parker knows how to tell a story. There really is nothing new here, though, but it made for a pleasant few hours of reading. The story is told in first person from Everett Hitch’s point of view.
Ed Harris has diected and stars with Viggo Mortensen in the movie and, watching the trailer, most of the dialogue shown is word for word from the novel. It looks promising.