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I have always marveled at Lawrence Block's ability to make reader's like, even love, Keller, a professional hit-man. Yet, Block has done that, through five books in this engaging, and educational, series.
Keller is living in forced retirement from the job of killing people. He has not trouble living an ordinary life, because Keller is, well, ordinary. He has a wife he loves, a daughter he adores and a passion for philately-collecting stamps. And here Block shows his brilliance at telling a story by making philately seem interesting. Amazing, I always thought it oddly boring. Anyway, Keller has been in the building trade in New Orleans but business has slowed. Keller is not really hurting for money. He spends his days with his family and his stamps. Then, unexpectedly, the phone rings. It is Dot, his former handler. The old banter of their long time friendship/partnership resumes. Listening to Dot and Keller talk is as entertaining as hearing Keller ruminate about stamps or how to kill his target. Dot and Keller pick up as if they had not been forced into early retirement. Keller is excellent at killing people, but not because he enjoys it, but because he has a certain work ethic Keller's wife is aware of what her husband does(he saved her life by killing a man and that's how they met) and she is fine with it. Keller accepts Dot's first assignment and just like that, he is killing again.
Don't pass this up, even if you have not read/heard the first four books. Hit Me can stand on its own. Not every series leaves me wanting more, much less praying for more. But I hope and pray for more Keller stories.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
I enjoyed the first Keller's stories. They are about the unusual character of a professional killer who spends most of his money in collecting rare stamps. Keller is after all a nice guy (well groomed and low profile), a gentle sociopath who does his job with the mix of duty and boredom of a bank clerk ..
This unusual setup and Laurence Block's good writing skills make Keller stories good for a while, but they clearly start getting repetitive .. It is difficult to add new dimensions to the main character or change credibly the routine of a professional killer... In this last book Keller is married (with a wife who knows of his profession and is also a "nice" sociopath") and tries to make killing a part-time job along with stamps dealing...It is getting boring.
Richard Poe does a great job and kept me awake...
2 of 2 people found this review helpful