Hit Me

Hit Me

3.4 22
by Lawrence Block
     
 

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BESTSELLING AUTHOR AND GRAND MASTER LAWRENCE BLOCK RETURNS TO HIS DEADLIEST HITMAN

A man named Nicholas Edwards lives in New Orleans renovating houses, doing honest work and making decent money at it. Between his family and his stamp collection, all his spare time is happily accounted for. Sometimes it's hard to remember that he used to kill people for a living.

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Overview

BESTSELLING AUTHOR AND GRAND MASTER LAWRENCE BLOCK RETURNS TO HIS DEADLIEST HITMAN

A man named Nicholas Edwards lives in New Orleans renovating houses, doing honest work and making decent money at it. Between his family and his stamp collection, all his spare time is happily accounted for. Sometimes it's hard to remember that he used to kill people for a living.

But when the nation's economy tanks, taking the construction business with it, all it takes is one phone call to drag him back into the game. It may say Nicholas Edwards on his driver's license and credit cards, but he's back to being the man he always was: Keller.

Keller's work takes him to New York, the former home he hasn't dared revisit, where his target is the abbot of a midtown monastery. Another call puts him on a West Indies cruise, with several interesting fellow passengers-the government witness, the incandescent young woman keeping the witness company, and, sharing Keller's cabin, his wife, Julia. But the high drama comes in Cheyenne, where a recent widow is looking to sell her husband's stamp collection...

In HIT ME, legendary Edgar Grandmaster and New York Times bestselling author Lawrence Block returns to one of his most beloved characters. Welcome back, Keller. You've been missed.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
Aside from their ingenious methodology, what makes these amuse-bouches so delectable are the moral dilemmas Block throws up to deflect his philosophical anti-hero from a given task.
Publishers Weekly
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.)
Entertainment Weekly
One of the finest in the entire Scudder series ... highly recommended."
Time Magazine
A Great American Crime Novel ... good to the last drop. Totally gripping. The perfect introduction to Scudder's shadow-strewn world and the pleasures of Block's crisp yet brooding prose, [and] a bracing distillation of Block's powers.
Wall Street Journal
"Moving ... elegiac ... right up there with Mr. Block's best."
NPR
"Sometimes you open a novel and you just know you're in the hands of a master. In the case of Lawrence Block's latest Matt Scudder mystery, the tipoff is a brazenly simple plot premise, faultlessly executed...Like a lot of great mystery fiction, A Drop of the Hard Stuff is also a ghost story. Matt's attempt to exorcise his phantoms results in a classic tale about the stubborn persistence of memory and regret."
New York Times Book Review
PRAISE FOR A DROP OF THE HARD STUFF:

"Block is a mesmerizing raconteur ... elegiac ... a lament for all the old familiar things that are now almost lost, almost forgotten."

Time
"A Great American Crime Novel ... good to the last drop. Totally gripping. The perfect introduction to Scudder's shadow-strewn world and the pleasures of Block's crisp yet brooding prose, [and] a bracing distillation of Block's powers."
Marilyn Stasio
"Despite claiming he's retired, Lawrence Block can't seem to resist taking a few swigs from the poisoned cup ... Aside from their ingenious methodology, what makes these amuse-bouches so delectable are the moral dilemmas Block throws up to deflect his philosophical anti­hero from a given task."
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
"A fine finale for a writer who never stopped growing, and who allowed some of his series characters the same privilege of changing."
Michele Leber
"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."
Thomas Gaughan
"It's easy to imagine Block grinning as he reinvents his always fascinating character [Keller]. 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."
Associated Press Staff
"In the hands of a lesser writer, the philately passages would be insufferable, but Block makes them interesting in their own right as well a window into the soul of a hit man who can dispatch innocent bystanders without remorse but won't cheat on his wife and insists on being scrupulously honest in the buying and selling of collectible stamps."
The Columbus Dispatch
"Block plays like a master on the consciences of his readers, raising moral dilemmas and then whisking them off behind a diverting bit of dialogue or drama."
The Times-Picayune
"It's a mark of Block's storytelling skill that he can make lengthy philatelic interludes as fascinating as cloaks and daggers ... It'd be a shame to hear no more from one of the most entertaining and unusual characters in the history of crime fiction, now that he's back on the job."
--- NPR
"Sometimes you open a novel and you just know you're in the hands of a master. In the case of Lawrence Block's latest Matt Scudder mystery, the tipoff is a brazenly simple plot premise, faultlessly executed...Like a lot of great mystery fiction, A Drop of the Hard Stuff is also a ghost story. Matt's attempt to exorcise his phantoms results in a classic tale about the stubborn persistence of memory and regret."
—- NPR
"Sometimes you open a novel and you just know you're in the hands of a master. In the case of Lawrence Block's latest Matt Scudder mystery, the tipoff is a brazenly simple plot premise, faultlessly executed...Like a lot of great mystery fiction, A Drop of the Hard Stuff is also a ghost story. Matt's attempt to exorcise his phantoms results in a classic tale about the stubborn persistence of memory and regret."
From the Publisher
"Block plays like a master on the consciences of his readers, raising moral dilemmas and then whisking them off behind a diverting bit of dialogue or drama."—The Columbus Dispatch"

In the hands of a lesser writer, the philately passages would be insufferable, but Block makes them interesting in their own right as well a window into the soul of a hit man who can dispatch innocent bystanders without remorse but won't cheat on his wife and insists on being scrupulously honest in the buying and selling of collectible stamps."—Associated Press"

It's a mark of Block's storytelling skill that he can make lengthy philatelic interludes as fascinating as cloaks and daggers ... It'd be a shame to hear no more from one of the most entertaining and unusual characters in the history of crime fiction, now that he's back on the job."—The Times-Picayune"

A fine finale for a writer who never stopped growing, and who allowed some of his series characters the same privilege of changing."—The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel"

Despite claiming he's retired, Lawrence Block can't seem to resist taking a few swigs from the poisoned cup ... Aside from their ingenious methodology, what makes these amuse-bouches so delectable are the moral dilemmas Block throws up to deflect his philosophical anti­hero from a given task."—Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review"

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."—Michele Leber, Library Journal (starred review)"

It's easy to imagine Block grinning as he reinvents his always fascinating character [Keller]. 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."—Thomas Gaughan, Booklist (starred review)

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."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

PRAISE FOR A DROP OF THE HARD STUFF:"

Block is a mesmerizing raconteur ... elegiac ... a lament for all the old familiar things that are now almost lost, almost forgotten."—New York Times Book Review

One of the finest in the entire Scudder series ... highly recommended."
Entertainment Weekly"

A Great American Crime Novel ... good to the last drop. Totally gripping. The perfect introduction to Scudder's shadow-strewn world and the pleasures of Block's crisp yet brooding prose, [and] a bracing distillation of Block's powers."
Time"

Moving ... elegiac ... right up there with Mr. Block's best."
Wall Street Journal"

Sometimes you open a novel and you just know you're in the hands of a master. In the case of Lawrence Block's latest Matt Scudder mystery, the tipoff is a brazenly simple plot premise, faultlessly executed...Like a lot of great mystery fiction, A Drop of the Hard Stuff is also a ghost story. Matt's attempt to exorcise his phantoms results in a classic tale about the stubborn persistence of memory and regret."
—- NPR

Kirkus Reviews
After a full-length novel starring John P. Keller (Hit and Run, 2008), Block retreats to the form he prefers for his peripatetic hit man's outings (Hit Parade, 2006, etc.): a cycle of loosely linked stories. Times are tough for Keller. The squeeze in the real estate market has hurt the rehab construction business he and his partner, Donny Wallings, run in New Orleans, and there's his family to think of: his wife, Julia, who knows about his past even though he married her as Nicholas Edwards, and their daughter, Jenny, who's too young to know a thing about Daddy. So, when a phone call from his old scheduler, Dot Harbison, offers him a job in Dallas just as he's wondering how much he can afford to bid on a rare postage stamp he's got his eye on in the same city, he accepts with scarcely a ripple, and he's back in business again. Like the four commissions that follow, this one, the best of the five, seems simple but is rife with unexpected complications. Once he's hit his stride, and the target, Keller is ready to take out a Catholic abbot who got caught selling black-market kidneys, a wealthy informant headed for the Witness Protection Program, and in the longest and most intricate of these tales, a Denver stamp collector whose house burns to the ground with him inside before Keller can make his move. But can he break his own moral code and kill a likable 14-year-old philatelist whose scheming relatives have their eyes on his trust fund? "Keller's Obligation," the one serious letdown here, ends as it must but not in a way that's going to please the hit man's legion of fans. As usual, the most perceptive insights here depend on the interplay between what's said--endless discussions of early postal variations--and what's pointedly left unsaid time after time.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780594674153
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
02/12/2013
Pages:
337
Sales rank:
65,193
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

Lawrence Block is a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, has won multiple Edgar and Shamus awards and countless international prizes. The author of more than 50 books, he lives in New York City.

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