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Hit Parade | [Lawrence Block]

Hit Parade

The New York Times best-selling 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. He's cool. Reliable. A real pro: the hit man's hit man. The inconvenient wife, the business partner, the retiree with a substantial legacy. He's taken care of them all, quietly and efficiently.
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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling 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. He's cool. Reliable. A real pro: the hit man's hit man. The inconvenient wife, 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. But while Keller might be a pragmatic and crack assassin, he's also prone to doubts and loneliness just like everybody else. And though he's got Dot, his wisecracking contact and sometimes confidante, 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. 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 twist and ironic turns, the darkness and emotional complexity, and, above all else, the humanity.

©2006 Lawrence Block; (P)2006 HarperCollinsPublishers

What the Critics Say

"Well-crafted....With dry wit." (Publishers Weekly)
"Block's legion of fans will savor his subtle wit, his consummate narrative skills, and his idiosyncratic method of celebrating the lives of working folks in America." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (254 )
5 star
 (102)
4 star
 (79)
3 star
 (38)
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Overall
4.2 (76 )
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (76 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Mark Huntington Beach, CA, United States 06-17-08
    Mark Huntington Beach, CA, United States 06-17-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    "Not as good as the original"

    I fell in love with Keller in Hit Man but this one just doesn't take his character as far. Still a fun read but misses the mark. Block is not as good of a narrator as the one in Hit Man. The individual stories are not quite as intriguing and quirky. Seems to ride the coat tails of Hit Man without being as fun.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay Morris Burlington, VT, USA 12-01-07
    Jay Morris Burlington, VT, USA 12-01-07 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    23
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    "Disappointment"

    This short story is a let down after Block's prior work. The voice of this book's reader is very annoying.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Woodstock, GA, USA 05-16-08
    Chris Woodstock, GA, USA 05-16-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    4
    1
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    "The narrator makes all the difference"

    Ouch!! It hurts to listen to this book. I listened to the first eddition in this series as fast as I could. It was great, and the narrator really gave Keller & Dot a personality. He picked up on the author's humor and gave the book some life. This new narrator speeds through the story like he's got something better to do, & puts the inflection in the wrong part of the sentences. Doesn't get the authors humor, and stumbles over Kellers quirky thoughts so bad their not funny anymore. Can I get a refund??

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Houston, TX, USA 09-16-06
    Nancy Houston, TX, USA 09-16-06 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    5
    3
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    "Narration Ruins the Book"

    This book is an excellent reason why authors should not read their books. As a narrator, Mr. Block exhibits no voice modulation abilities nor is his voice particularly pleasant to listen to.

    The narration ruins this book -- I don't think that I'll be able to complete the book because it is just so difficult to figure out who is speaking.

    What a shame . . .

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    laura NYC 07-25-06
    laura NYC 07-25-06 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terrible!"

    I was a great fan of the previous two Keller books (and the fantastic readings by--I believe it was--Robert Forster) but in this one Block has basically phoned it in--in the writing AND the reading. It's rambling, boring and pointless. Listen to the previous 2 and skip this one. A major disappointment.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra JULESBURG, CO, United States 07-04-13
    Sandra JULESBURG, CO, United States 07-04-13 Member Since 2003

    Retired high school English teacher. I liked and worked with the at-risk student. Interested in about everything, but I love a good story.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narration was awful!"

    I couldn't make it through the book because the nasality of Mr. Block's voice was so grating. Ordinarily I love his books because they're well-plotted, innovative, and well-written, but just can't make it through this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Manhattan Beach, CA, United States 01-03-12
    James Manhattan Beach, CA, United States 01-03-12 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Needs to be read by Forster"

    I love Lawrence Block as a writer. Not so much as a narrator. In this case, his voice doesn't do his writing justice. This should have been narrated by Robert Forster (the original Hit Man voice and the bail bondsman in Jackie Brown).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    12-03-09
    12-03-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    52
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    "Bad listen"

    Mr. Block does a terrible job reading his own work. Unable to listen to this story after the wonderful job Forster does with "Hit Man"

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Avery Wade 12-18-07
    Avery Wade 12-18-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    108
    6
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    "Dry sense of humor"

    This is a fabulously funny book in so many ways and yet it's also deadly serious. I disagree completely not only with people who object to the author's voice (it's perfect for Keller) but to those who wanted more splatter. This is a character study, not a thriller. One of the reasons Keller DOESN'T dwell on the gory particulars is because a) killing is his job, not his thrill and b) he's emotionally incapable of it. The author does a great job of bringing Keller, slowly, into the realm of human experience by giving him things and people to begin to care about. I've never heard the other books in the series, but I do intend to listen. I'm not sure that *I* will be able to shake Block's voice; he's a perfect Keller.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Staats Brentwood, tn United States 09-06-06
    Dave Staats Brentwood, tn United States 09-06-06 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    159
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    480
    48
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    "Laura says it for me."

    This may only be the second audio book I have not finished. I am 51 minutes into it and it just plain s*cks. I have read/heard 80% of Block's stuff and never said anything like this before. It is almost as bad as that Patricia Cornwell book where she tried to be funny...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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