The New York Times bestselling author and master of the modern mystery returns with a fierce and poignant new novel featuring his acclaimed killer-for-hire, Keller
John Keller is everyone's favorite hit man: a new kind of hero for a new, uncertain age. He's cool. Reliable. A real pro: the hit man's hit man. The inconvenient wife, the aging sports star, the business partner, the retiree with a substantial legacy. He's taken care of them all, quietly and efficiently.
Keller's got a code of honor, though he'd never call it that. And he keeps the job strictly business. "What happens is you wind up thinking of each subject not as a person to be killed but as a problem to be solved. Now there are guys doing this who cope with it by making it personal. They find a reason to hate the guy they have to kill. I don't know what's a sin and what isn't, or if one person deserves to go on living and another deserves to have his life ended. Sometimes I think about stuff like that, but as far as working it all out in my mind, well, I never seem to get anywhere."
But while Keller might be a pragmatic and crack assassin, he's also prone to doubts and loneliness just like everybody else. There was a psychotherapist once. A dog. Even a woman. And though he's got Dot, his wisecracking contact and sometimes confidante, and his precious stamp collection, these days, it doesn't seem to be enough.
Keller's been at this business a long while. Just maybe it's time to pack it in and find a nice little house in the desert. Only problem is, retirement takes money. And to get money, he's got to go to work. . . .
Hit Parade, the third novel featuring the fascinating Keller, displays the hallmarks that distinguish Lawrence Block's award-winning fiction: the intelligence, the clever plotting, the humor, the tricky twists and ironic turns, the darkness and emotional complexity -- and, above all else, the humanity.
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Keller is friendly. Industrious. A bit lonely, sometimes. If it wasn't for the fact that he kills people for a living, he'd be just your average Joe. The inconvenient wife, the troublesome sports star, the greedy business partner, the vicious dog, he'll take care of them all, quietly and efficiently. If the price is right.
Like the rest of us, Keller's starting to worry about his retirement. After all, he's not getting any younger. (His victims, on the other hand, aren't getting any older.) So he contacts his "booking agent," Dot, up in White Plains, and tells her to keep the hits coming. He'll take any job, anywhere. His nest egg needs fattening up.
Of course, being less choosy means taking greater risks—and that could buy Keller some big trouble. Then again, in this game, there are plenty of opportunities for some inventive improvisation . . . and a determined self-motivator can make a killing.About the Author:
Lawrence Block is one of the most widely recognized names in the mystery genre. He has been named a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America and is a four-time winner of the prestigious Edgar and Shamus Awards, as well as a recipient of prizes in France, Germany, and Japan. He received the Diamond Dagger from the British Crime Writers' Association—only the third American to be given this award. He is a prolific author, having written more than fifty books and numerous short stories, and is a devoted New Yorker and an enthusiastic global traveler.
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