Book review: 'Ironhorse' by Robert Knott

Oklahoma author Robert Knott keeps Robert B. Parker's characters alive in “Ironhorse.”
BY GENE TRIPLETT etriplett@opubco.com Published: January 13, 2013

Having written a screenplay based on one of those Westerns doesn't necessarily qualify one to write a novel that rises to Parker's standards, and Knott tries a bit too hard to keep the dialogue and descriptive writing clipped and snappy, with two- and three-page chapters that divide short scenes into too many pieces.

Still, the depth of Knotts' historical research lends sharp realism to a story one wants to stick with to the end (his detailed descriptions of the train, the rail system, the 19th-century Oklahoma landscape and other period minutia are fabulously vivid), and it's easy to see this narrative being turned into a screen sequel to “Appaloosa,” which Knott has said he's determined to make happen. This book could make a terrific movie if Harris and Mortensen climb aboard again.

— Gene Triplett