Keller is your basic urban Lonely Guy.He makes a decent wage, lives in a nice apartment.Works the crossword puzzle. Watches a little TV. Until the phone rings and he packs a suitcase, gets on a plane, flies halfway across the country...and kills somebody. It's a living. But is it a life? Keller's not sure. He goes to a shrink, but it doesn't work out the way he planned. He gets a dog, he gets a girlfriend. He gets along.
Keller, the protagonist of this smoothly integrated story collection, is a gun for hire. Every so often a mystery man in White Plains, N.Y., calls him through an amiably efficient assistant, Dot, and arranges for him to go somewhere and, for a fee, kill someone. Block, author of the Matt Scudder and Bernie Rhodenbarr mysteries, describes Keller's labors with an absolute minimum of flash and gore. A quiet, thoughtful man, Keller is very good at his job, but it gives him a great deal of time for reflection. In the opening story, "Answers to Soldier," Keller goes to a little town in Oregon in pursuit of a man who seems perfectly harmless and decent and gets to wondering what it might be like to settle there, perhaps marry the waitress in the little restaurant where he takes his solitary meals, buy a home. He meets and takes a fancy to other women along the way; at one stage acquires a dog (and an attractive dog-walker to care for the animal while he's away on his "business" trips); and eventually takes up stamp collecting as a hobby. On one occasion, he kills the wrong man and has to set things to rights; on another, client and victim are the same person; when Keller decides to go into analysis, it doesn't end well for the analyst. The stories are ingenious, constantly surprising and, because of the startling originality of the idea, oddly unsettling. All Block's narrative skills, and his matchless ease with off-center conversations, are on display, and the collection--which contains both previously published and unpublished stories--is a splendid way to get a Block fix while awaiting the next Rhodenbarr or Scudder.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Picked it up and read it twice.
I read this book 5 years ago. And after a few moves I lost it. I searched and searched for the book and could not remember the name and would google the plot and different things until I finally found it. And I read it again. This book is so interesting and unique and not like anything I have ever read. It was worth the search.
Hit man is a great book. It keeps you constantly contemplating what Keller will do next or how he will solve his current predicament. It's impossibly hard to put down