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*Starred Review* Aficionados of Block's stamp-collecting contract killer will remember that in Hit and Run (2008), Keller was set up to take the fall for the assassination of a charismatic governor who was bidding to become president of the U.S. Life, as Keller knew it, was over, and Block ended the book with Keller foiling an attempted rape in New Orleans. Hit Me picks up the story several years later. Keller is married to Julia, the woman he saved from being raped. He is father to Jenny and co-owner of a small company that has done well rehabbing homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina. But the Great Recession has flattened his business, and Keller, somewhat reluctantly, returns to his lethal-but-lucrative former trade. His first assignment is to do away with the arrogant abbot of a monastery in Manhattan, whose testimony will convict a pack of corrupt Jersey pols. Keller, however, seems to have lost his murderous mojo to the simple joys of family. It's easy to imagine Block grinning as he reinvents his always fascinating character. Keller 2.0 is also more passionate about his hobby, and Block writes so appealingly about the world of philately that some fans might decide to take up stamp collecting. Hit Me is a delightful change of pace.--Gaughan, Thomas Copyright 2010 Booklist
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MWA Grand Master Block's highly enjoyable, episodic third novel featuring philatelist and killer for hire John Keller (after 2008's Hit and Run) finds Keller living in New Orleans under a new name with his wife, Julia, and their baby daughter. Despite having a legitimate job in real estate, Keller can't resist resuming his old life after hearing from Dorothea "Dot" Harbison, who often gave him his assignments in the past. In inventive ways, Keller deals with a cheating wife in Dallas, a "felonious monk" in New York City, a cruise ship in Florida with a protected witness aboard, and a wandering husband in Denver. Meanwhile, he continues to build his "worldwide, to 1940" stamp collection. At times casually ruthless in snuffing out targets, Keller is also honest and ethical in his business dealings. A final assignment involving a child suggests that Keller may even play an unfamiliar white knight role, hopefully in the near future. Agent: Danny Baror, Baror International. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Retirement was never in the cards for hit man Keller, who is living as married father Nicholas Edwards in New Orleans, where he rehabs real estate. But his legitimate business has tanked post-Katrina, and the account he uses for serious stamp collecting could use an injection of funds. So Keller is ready to take a contract when Dot, a voice from his past, calls with an offer. Even a mistake on his first time out-contract cancelled too late, not his fault-doesn't dissuade him, especially when he can combine his passion for philately with his sideline of killing for profit. VERDICT In the fifth entry in the Keller series (after Hit and Run), the appealing antihero with his own moral code continues to dig into the motives of his distant employers and make his own decisions about who deserves to die. But stamp collecting is more than just a secondary theme here, and Block's discourses about the history behind stamps are vivid enough to pique the interest even of those not at all inclined toward the hobby. Master mystery writer Block is at the top of his form here. [See Prepub Alert, 8/3/12.]-Michele Leber, Arlington, VA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.