So he carries it out with his usual professionalism, and he heads home, but guess what? One more job. Paid in advance, so what's he going to do? Give the money back?
In Des Moines, Keller stalks his designated target and waits for the client to give him the go-ahead. And one fine morning, he's picking out stamps for his collection (Sweden 1-5, the official reprints) at a shop in Urbandale when somebody guns down the charismatic governor of Ohio.
Back at his motel, Keller's watching TV when they show the killer's face. And there's something all too familiar about that face....
Keller calls his associate, Dot, in White Plains, but there is no answer. He's stranded halfway across the country, every cop in America's 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.
©2008 Lawrence Block; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers
José M. Batista
A great new (final? - I hope not) Keller book. Took me a while to get accostumed to the narrator: a little bit harsher and faster than the previous which I find more "kellereske".
I don't know what my problem is lately with book choices but I seem to pick out turkeys disguised as ... Some bird that's more interesting. First thing is the narrator's voice. I couldn't shake it as an old Marlboro man, 50-60 years old. The character is mid-forty.
Now the story. It just wasn't that interesting. I kept waiting for some mystery, double-crossing and/or real intrigue and it never materialized. Instead you get a really straightforward tale with a lot of steady eddy moving to and fro by the main character. What kind of car and how he got it, what motel, where'd he eat, what did he eat, went to a movie, drive to New Orleans where he just happened upon a really lucky break by rescuing a damsel in distress who offers him her house and affection within hours of meeting and discovering he is a mysterious maybe killer. I love those coincidences (not really).
The final act is to go right a wrong by killing someone to even the score. He pretty much hit the road, dialed a few phone numbers, caught up with a wise-guy, got what he needed out of him and proceeded to his target. All very uneventful. Can you tell I was disappointed?
I have been reading books by Lawrence Block for a while and he is fun and intelligent. This is the first review I make, because I really like the twist this book has!
Like this author a bunch but this book seemed like a writing assignment that had to reach a certain word number to be turned in. The story line is good, but not great. The twists were okay but not startling. The solution was mundane and anti-climatic. Not one of his best efforts.
Never too busy for a good book!
This is a great read for anyone, who likes suspense. I really enjoyed the way the main character gets into a fix, without realizing it, until it is too late and constantly having to use his street smarts to keep from getting caught. With many unexpected events, it definitely kept you on the edge of your seat.
Primarily is a summary of all the other Keller stories to date, lacking the wit and humor in the series and the narration is flat.
Yes, he just Is not right for this character, he was fine for the Richard Ford series which I also have
A better developed plot with more characters.
Yes, I usually like Lawrence Block.
A real disappointment for Lawrence Block fans. The reader was good, but he could do just so much with the inferior material. This purchase was a waste of good money.
Avid reader. Native Baltimorean. Older male. College-educated.
The story involves a very different twist, a hit man who is set up for a murder he didn't do. As the title foretells, the hit man runs. Although the ending is fairly predictable, I still enjoyed this story and I do recommend it. The narrator does a good job, except his imitation of a busy phone signal is grating. All in all, well worth the price!
The unexpected twists.
When Dot and Keller captured Taggart and made him believe they killed his dog.
No, but it did keep me interested throughout.
I really enjoyed the previous two Keller stories by Lawrence Block, especially the first book Hit Man. Robert Forster read the first story and I had an initial impression of Keller based on the narrator's rendering of the character which was very good, especially given his New York accent. Lawrence decided he would read the second book (Hit Parade) and I don't think that was such a wise idea since although I really enjoy him as a writer, narrating is not his forte. I found his narration to be distracting from the story line and perhaps it would sell better if he was able to remake the story using Robert Forster as the narrator.
Then the third book Hit and Run came along and Richard Poe narrated the story. He too has a kind of gravelly voice which fit the story OK, but to be honest, I like Robert Forster a little better as the narrator. Nothing against Richard Poe as a narrator though since I still think he did a good job and I didn't ding the book due to him as the narrator. His narration as Dot was certainly very good.
I enjoyed this book, although at times, and it seems to be Keller's style, I got a little tired of Keller over-thinking situations. There's a point where his over-thinking becomes annoying such that I found myself near the end of the book saying out loud - just call the darn phone number and cut it out already. It was a novel idea in the first book (Keller over-thinking things), and it wasn't too bad in the second book, but his over-thinking in this book went a little further than I liked since if it wasn't about stamps, it was about a girlfriend, or Dot, or should he check his apartment, or a stolen car, or any number of things that would pop up.
I think that if Lawrence was to reel back the over-thinking by perhaps 50% for each situation in this book it would've been just right. Perhaps as part of the character development he sees Keller as wanting to get out of the hit man business and it's Keller over-thinking things that has become more extreme, and suggesting that yes, he should probably get out of this line of work. I hope Keller doesn't exit the hit man business since he's an interesting hit man that seems to have an impulsiveness that is timely and quite brutal when the time arrives.
I think the book could've headed towards the final stretch a little more smoothly around the final character that had caused so many problems for Keller. Surely "just call me Al" deserved the "attention" that characters less worthy received.
The characters are sympathetic even though I get a bit of a emotional jolt when I hold up to culturally expected standards. I like them all, and thankfully the author doesn't present the victims as either completely victimized nor totally abhorrent. I enjoy books that make me sit back and take a look at my reactions without getting all emotionally manipulative about it. I am also glad that it is more entertainment than scary/thriller/bump in the night stuff. Not my first Lawrence Block book, and will not be my last, either.
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