For years now Keller's had places to go and people to kill.
But enough is enough. Just one more job—paid in advance—and he's going to retire. Waiting in Des Moines for the client's go-ahead, Keller's picking out stamps for his collection at a shop in Urbandale when somebody guns down the charismatic governor of Ohio. Back at his motel, Keller sees the killer's face broadcast on TV. A face he's seen quite often. Every morning. In the mirror.
Keller calls his associate Dot in White Plains, but there's no answer. He's stranded halfway across the country, and every cop in America has just seen his picture. His ID and credit cards are no longer good, and he just spent almost all of his cash on the stamps.
While in Des Moines for one last job in MWA Grand Master Block's solid fourth Greatest Hits thriller (after Hit Parade), hit man John Paul Keller takes to the road. He's been accused of assassinating the governor of Ohio, who was in Iowa preparing for a presidential bid. By the time Keller gets back to his New York City apartment after too many days of fast food, his prize stamp collection has been stolen. With the governor's real killer still hot on his trail, Keller travels to New Orleans, where he rescues a woman, Julia Roussard, from a rapist in a local park. As Keller and Julia's relationship develops, he considers leaving the old life behind, but knows he must clear his name and settle the score. Block's trademark blend of humor and violence is a good fit for the deadpan Keller. While some fans may be disappointed to see Keller headed toward retirement, hope remains that this won't be the last outing for one of the crime genre's most unusual antiheroes.
I enjoyed the book. I did think the Keller’s final killing of Wheeler was disappointing. Not enough detail in the hit. If I had paid full price for the novel, I would not have been pleased.