Transgressions: Keller's Adjustment/Forever

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New York Times bestsellers Lawrence Block and Jeffrey Deaver each provided a brand-new, never-before-published tale for this unique collection of stories edited by New York Times bestselling author and mystery legend Ed McBain.

"Keller's Adjustment," by Lawrence Block: Block returns to everyone's favorite hitman, Keller, from his bestsellers The Hit Man and The Hit List. In the Aftermath of 9/11, Keller is questioning his life and the choices he's made, dealing out philosophy and murder on a meandering road trip ...

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Transgressions Vol. 1: Keller's Adjustment/Forever

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New York Times bestsellers Lawrence Block and Jeffrey Deaver each provided a brand-new, never-before-published tale for this unique collection of stories edited by New York Times bestselling author and mystery legend Ed McBain.

"Keller's Adjustment," by Lawrence Block: Block returns to everyone's favorite hitman, Keller, from his bestsellers The Hit Man and The Hit List. In the Aftermath of 9/11, Keller is questioning his life and the choices he's made, dealing out philosophy and murder on a meandering road trip from one end of the America to the other.

"Forever" by Jeffery Deaver: Talbot Simms is an unusual cop. He's a statistician with the Westbrook County Sheriff's Department. When wealthy county resident's begin killing themselves one after another, Simms begins to believe that there is something more at play. And what he discovers will change his life . . . forever.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Veteran crime writer Ed McBain has done a bang-up job selecting the contents of Transgressions, an anthology of ten original novellas by some of the top names in the mystery/suspense field. McBain says, "Except for length and a loose adherence to crime, mystery or suspense, I placed no restrictions upon the writers who agreed to contribute." The results of that challenge are varied and outstanding, including Donald E. Westlake's Dortmunder caper, McBain's own dramatic 87th Precinct story, a chilling psychological suspense offering by Joyce Carol Oates, and Stephen King's short and anything-but-sweet post-9/11 tale. By the time you add powerful stories by Lawrence Block, Jeffery Deaver, John Farris, Sharyn McCrumb, Walter Mosley, and Anne Perry, you've got a volume that any self-respecting suspense fan would consider it a "transgression" to miss. Sue Stone
Library Journal
Transgressions are not normally viewed as opportunities, but this eponymous collection of novellas by Stephen King, Lawrence Block, Walter Mosley, Anne Perry, and more offer a superb opportunity for readers of mystery, crime, and suspense fiction. Compiled by perennial best-selling author McBain, these ten tales, three to four times longer than a typical short story, provide just enough vital depth to entrap readers, as well as the requisite brevity to fit them into one collection. From the disaffected teenager in Joyce Carol Oates's "The Corn Maiden" to the haunted 9/11 survivor in King's "The Things They Left Behind" to the reluctant grave robber in Sharyn McCrumb's "The Resurrection Man," this assortment of stories and characters does not disappoint. Although the ten novellas analyze a variety of topics and situations, they all exhibit the level of quality expected from such a stellar collection of writing talent. Highly recommended for all fiction collections.-Ken Bolton, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
What's a novella? McBain says, 10,000 to 40,000 words-and adds, "It ain't easy." Still, a marquee list takes a shot at it here, including the editor himself. The range is wide, the success rate high, and the degree of pleasure on offer remarkable. John Farris's engrossing "The Ransom Women," in which a tough cop, a lovely girl and a famous painter collaborate in a lethal Faustian bargain, may be the best, though Sharyn McCrumb's grim, heart-rending, beautifully modulated "The Resurrection Man" is close behind. McCrumb's improbable hero, a gravedigger, finds redemption through suffering, courage and Ghandi-like adherence to principle. McBain in "Merely Hate" and Donald E. Westlake in "Walking Around Money" add worthwhile installments to long-running sagas: Steve Carella and his 87th Precinct buds have what may be a series of hate crimes on their hands, while Dortmunder, pricklier than usual, has thieves falling out on his. "The Corn Maiden" is Joyce Carol Oates's disturbing portrait of a monstrous 12-year-old girl, a spooky distaff echo of Leopold and Loeb. Stephen King tells the chilling, though strangely moving, tale of a 9/11 survivor to whom survival becomes a burden. Lawrence Block's deft, cheeky "Keller's Adjustment" is 9/11-themed, too, after a fashion, in its focus on a lonely hit man's career change in the wrenching aftermath. Anne Perry's "Hostages" revisits the Troubles in Northern Ireland a bit melodramatically, and Jeffery Deaver's take on cloning in "Forever" is a bit dull. But Walter Mosley's "Archibald Lawless, Anarchist at Large" is the only real disappointment here: such great prose, so little story. McBain himself doesn't quite make the point, but the best of theseperformances do: The novella, once called the novelette, may be the ideal form for most crime fiction, if only there were a market for it. $200,000 ad/promo budget
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765347503
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 8/1/2006
  • Series: Transgressions Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 866,944
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.67 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Lawrence Block, a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, is a four-time Edgar Allan Poe and Shamus Awards, as well as a recipient of prizes in France, Germany and Japan. He also recieved the Bristish Crime Associations prestigious Cartier Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievemant in crime writing. The author of more than fifty books and numerous short stories, he is a devout New Yorker and an enthusiastic world traveler.

Jeffery Deaver is the New York Times bestselling author of eighteen novels of suspense, including The Bone Collector, which was made into a feature film. A two-time recipeint of the Ellery Queen Reader's Award for best short story of the yea, he has been nominated for five Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America and an Anthony award. Mr. Deaver lives in California and Virginia.

Ed McBain was also know as Evan Hunter. His writing career has spanned almost five decades, from his first novel, The Blackboard Jungle, in 1954 to the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds to Candyland, written in tandem with his alter ego, Ed McBain, to his most recent novel, The Moment She Was Gone. He is the first American ever to receive the Diamond Dagger, the British Crime Writers Association's highest award. He also holds the Mystery Writers of America's prestigious Grand Master Award. His last 87th Precinct novel was Fiddlers. Evan Hunter / Ed McBain passed away in Fall 2005.

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Read an Excerpt


About Jeffery Deaver

Jeffery Deaver has had a rapid and much-deserved rise to the top of the bestseller lists. His novels have always been riveting reads, especially those he wrote about Rune, a woman living and working in New York City. Seen through her eyes, the urban landscape is a wondrous—and sometimes frightening—place indeed. Fans of his work know that this is to be expected, or he can take the most commonplace career or event—news reporting, marriage—and turn it upside down with one of the surprising plot twists that have become his trademark. These days, he writes such bestsellers as Praying for Sleep, A Maiden's Grave, Hard News, and The Bone Collector, featuring the brilliant quadriplegic detective Lincoln Rhyme and his assistant Amelia Sachs. The Bone Collector was the basis for the successful movie of the same name starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. His readership expands with each new novel, and with each new short story he writes. His most recent novels are The Cold Moon and The Twelfth Card.

Copyright Acknowledgments

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Table of Contents

Introduction 7
Walking around money 11
Hostages 75
The corn maiden : a love story 131
Archibald Lawless, anarchist at large : walking the line 223
The resurrection man 311
Merely hate 375
The things they left behind 451
The ransome women 481
Forever 603
Keller's adjustment 725
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Interviews & Essays

Ransom Notes Interview with Ed McBainRansom Notes: How did you decide which authors (and how many) to invite to participate? Ed McBain: I knew from the start it would be ten. Ten best, right? Besides, the length of each individual entry dictated that there not be more than ten or the book would become too bulky and in fact somewhat forbidding. Choosing the writers was the easy part: I just made a list of writers I love to read. And (fingers crossed) I began asking them to contribute.RN: Who was the first author you invited? EM: Many moons ago, at different stages of our careers, Don Westlake, Larry Block, and I each worked as "editors" at the Scott Meredith Literary Agency. During our separate apprenticeships there, we learned how to write (for pay) short stories, novels and -- yes -- novellas. I knew that both Larry and Don were familiar with the form, and I knew that if they promised to deliver, they would. They were the first people I contacted. Happily, they each had an idea and the time to write it for me.RN: Who did you think was least likely to participate? EM: Both Sharyn McCrumb and Anne Perry, whose work I love but whom I had never met. Actually, these two stories were obviously something each author had been wanting to write for a long time, and -- luckily -- I just happened to be strolling by.RN: Which story was the first one finished? EM: Don Westlake was the first to deliver his story -- a good omen in that it was a total delight and a harbinger of what was to come.RN: What was the biggest challenge as you shifted roles from contributor to editor of Transgressions?EM: Daring to tell writers of such stature how I felt a scene or a paragraph or even a line could be made better. But these are all professionals. Timidly, I approached. Reassuringly, they said, "Ahh, yes, Done." RN: What prompted you to make your own entry an 87th Precinct story? EM: A novella is always challenging -- which is why I guess most writers stay away from them. But the very form of the 87th Precinct novels (successive interviews with suspects or witnesses with explosive points of action) actually made writing a novella easier. In fact, by plotting as if I were about to write a novel, I found myself with an overabundance of scenes from which to choose. RN: Which story would you say is closest to a traditional mystery? EM: I'd say my own story is closest to the traditional form. After that, either Jeffery's or Don's. Three of the most offbeat novellas in the collection are by the women writers I asked to join me.
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Customer Reviews

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