Monday, April 29, 2019

Resolution by Robert B. Parker

Rife with resonant observations

“I bet I’d feel a lot safer with a gun,” Billie said.
“And you’d have reason to,” Virgil said. “But you ain’t brave without a gun, you ain’t brave.”

Or this one…

“Or at least calm,” Virgil said. Calm’s probably better than quick, and scared don’t make you calm.”

Or this one…

“It’s funny you know? If you boys are right, then the way you know a guy’s not scared if he don’t start trouble. And the way you know if he is he does.”
“Some truth to it,” Virgil said. “You know what you can do, and you know that you’re willing to do it, and you don’t have to show anybody anything. It’s kind of calming.”

Or this…

Virgil sat alone near the back of the saloon sipping a beer, looking at nothing, and seeing everything, the way he did.

Or this…

Swann continued to meet Virgil’s stare. But it was a waste of his time. Virgil was probably unlike anyone Swann had ever seen. Virgil didn’t care if you met his stare or not. He didn’t care if he intimidated you or not. He was just gathering information.
“You got any plans, Cole?” Lujack asked.
Without taking his eyes off Swann, Virgil said, “I’m forumlatin’.”
“And you heard me,” Lujack said, “About not hanging around too long.”
“I did,” Virgil said.
“Hope you’ll keep it in mind,” Lujack said.
He continued to look at Swann.
“Would,” Swann said to Virgil, “I was you.”
“One of the things I’m real happy about,” Virgil said, “is you ain’t me.”

Those brief passages illustrate the tight compact nature of this narrative. What can’t be conveyed without reading is how beautifully the author conveys the power of silence, the strength of pregnant pauses in the midst of tension.

These sections often say more than words or actions themselves.

A beautiful work.

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