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Hit Parade (John Keller #3)

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,863 Ratings  ·  129 Reviews
Keller is friendly. Industrious. A bit lonely, sometimes. If it wasn't for the fact that he kills people for a living, he'd be just your average Joe. The inconvenient wife, the troublesome sports star, the greedy business partner, the vicious dog, he'll take care of them all, quietly and efficiently. If the price is right.

Like the rest of us, Keller's starting to worry abo
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 29th 2007 by Harper (first published July 3rd 2006)
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Books With Heroes/Heroines Who Are Assassins
131st out of 765 books — 3,382 voters
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Kickass Assassins
54th out of 71 books — 55 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,631)
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Dan Schwent
Keller continues his career as a hit man, killing such targets as an aging baseball player, multiple sides in a love triangle, and a fellow stamp collector, as well as dealing with his feelings about 9/11, adding to his stamp collection, and discussing various things with Dot, his broker.

As it always is with the Keller books, Hit Parade is more about Keller between jobs than about the actual killing and therein lies the charm. Keller deals with his feelings, wondering if he's a sociopath on one
Kerri Thomas
Dec 15, 2009 Kerri Thomas rated it liked it
Who would have thought that reading a chronicle of a hit man's life would be like taking a leisurely stroll on a summer's day? But that is what Block's Hit Parade feels like. As Keller, the hit man in question, bumps off one unfortunate human being after another, there is no sense of violence, or anger, or angst of any kind. He dispatches them from this world with quite cold blooded calculation, so it is rather surprising to learn how much time he spends actually thinking about what he does for ...more
Sep 23, 2014 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of crime noir
Recommended to Mark by: somebody with excellent taste.
The third novel about Keller and his contact Dot, and how they continue to make a living on the death of others. A great novel by Lawrence Block on his not so moral occupation of contract killer Keller. The stories as always are not about the killing but the observations that surround these acts. The deads are never gruesome but always feel like an afterthought to a story. Lawrence Block keeps his killer fresh and interesting. The book while being one big story are divided in shortish stories th ...more
Mar 27, 2010 Kemper rated it really liked it
Lawrence Block has always embodied New York to me in a lot of ways. He’s a guy who writes about the city with casual flair and great affection. I saw Block at a book signing a few months after 9/11, and he politely asked the crowd that no one ask about his reaction to the World Trade Center attack because he had lost friends, and it was still too raw for him to talk about. He’d go on to write Small Town which had a cast of fictional New Yorkers dealing with the aftermath of the attacks in varyin ...more
Andy Plonka
Dec 27, 2013 Andy Plonka rated it it was amazing
Shelves: src
Block is one of the few writers who can take an improbable hero and make him loveable as he does with Keller, an assassin for hire. Funny and yet sad.
Sep 09, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it
I love this series. This book is similar to the previous two, comprised of several individual episodes covering Keller's assigned contract kills. Somehow Block finds a way to put a little different spin on each kill, finding inventive ways to approach the basic premise of Keller's assigned contract hits. Of course Keller does his share of soul searching and stamp collecting along the way. The overall idea here is that Keller decides that he needs to start thinking about retirement and providing ...more
Nov 02, 2010 Yeva rated it it was amazing
I'm starting to feel more a part of Keller's "life." At one time, I, too, collected stamps, and it was fun to read that one of Keller's victims had a beginning collection similar to mine.

I am still impressed with the character Dot. She tends to Keller's interests and is a devoted but lethel friend. This was a good read.
Aug 28, 2014 Roger rated it really liked it
Shelves: src_oyster
RATING: 3.75 out of 5.0 rounded up to 4.0

SUMMARY: In most respects, this is really a collection of short stores. Each story is a different hit job that Keller gets. There are some threads that run through the collection of the stories. For example, in several of Keller and Dot talk about needing to earn more money to save for retirement. And a previous hit may be discussed during the current hit. But in general, you could read any of the hit stories in the book without reading the rest of them a
Leon Aldrich
I'm a huge fan of the T.V. series "Monk", "Psych" and "Columbo". This hitman Keller's quirkiness is right up the same alley.

I cannot get enough...
Will Byrnes
Oct 19, 2008 Will Byrnes rated it it was ok
Keller is a hit man. These are his stories. I suppose it is disturbing how normal Block makes this morally reprehensible character. Then again it is interesting to see how he lives, how he plies his craft, what he thinks about, what are the other flaws in his character. This is not the first Keller book Block has written. I am interested in reading what came before. Block has a very readable style. The tales cruise along. The first hit is of a Dave Kingman-type player, a selfish lout. Keller tak ...more
Elizabeth K.
Jul 23, 2009 Elizabeth K. rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008-new-reads
This is the third in his series about Keller the hit man. The first book is brilliant, this current one is like the second in many ways -- it's fine and entertaining for people who want more stories about Keller, his partner Dot who does the contracting, and Keller's stamp collection. Moreso than the previous two books, the tone of this one is a little more in your face with the intrinsic conflict between Keller as a sympathetic character and Keller as a cold-blooded killer, and as a result, som ...more
Perry Whitford
Oct 07, 2015 Perry Whitford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third in the Keller series, which is Block's best from what I have read (which includes epidodes of Matt Scudder, Bernie Rhodenbarr and Chip Harrison also, though not any of the Evan Tanner's yet).

This is not a single story, it's a collection of individual "hits", all squeamishly hilarious in their way, but there is something of a thematic frame too, as Keller does some soul-searching in that marvelously off-hand way that makes you really believe that a cold-blooded hitman could indeed have
Mike (the Paladin)
If you have followed my reviews or happened to have read the reviews of the two Keller books before this you will know that I pretty much opened them with the same statement.

I'm surprised each time that I like these books. This is Keller's third outing... Following the story of a hired killer isn't what I would have considered a good read up until I accepted the recommendation to try these. The story here builds believably on the ones that went before. Block lays out an interesting mental and em
Not the best of Block's Keller books, but definitely not the worst, "Hit Parade" falls right in the middle. The first Keller book - "Hit Man" - was a compilation of Keller stories that Block had written over the years. Each of the chapters in "Hit Man" is memorable. Too bad my memory's so shot that I can't remember any of them. Keller gets a dog - his shrink's dog, the shrink he killed, that is - gets a girlfriend, buys her some earrings, rediscovers his childhood love of stampcollecting. Where ...more
Jason Edwards
Feb 23, 2013 Jason Edwards rated it liked it
Hit Parade picks up where Hit Man leaves off, which is not saying much, really, as the impression you get at the beginning is simply that Keller’s still around, so his exploits might as well be chronicled. Not that they’re all that amazing. Keller’ just this guy who kills people, a contract killer, not a serial killer. What the difference? One’s a job, the other’s a hobby.

Keller does have a hobby, though: his stamp collection, which has given him enough reason to keep his day job as to make up f
May 09, 2016 Gina rated it really liked it
The third of Block's Keller books seems to complete an arch began in book 1. Keller is unsatisfied. He tried therapy (book 1), but we know how that turned out. He got a dog and a steady girlfriend, but now he has neither. He became an avid stamp collector, a hobby he continues to enjoy. He finds small ways to fill his time until Dot calls him to come over for iced tea on the porch, aka she has a "job" for him. The feelings of loss felt after 9/11 have driven Keller to retire, but first he needs ...more
Mar 16, 2014 Ananda rated it liked it
The series is starting to wear a little thin, but the internal narration of a professional killer is still pretty interesting. The parts where Keller wonders whether he's a sociopath, what that means, and whether it matters are thought-provoking. Block does a good job of sublimating the rationalizations Keller makes for what he does, so much so that the reader has to look carefully to see the logical cracks.
Jul 21, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it
#3 in the Hitman John Keller series.

Keller, a professional hit man, appears in a series of stories that have previously appeared in anthologies and magazines. They have presumably been slightly edited with cross references to make the segments tie to each other. The actual hits do not hold the spotlight; his adventures and ruminations while setting up the hit are entertaining.

Mark Neumayer
Jun 04, 2013 Mark Neumayer rated it liked it
Nice writing, not that I expect anything else from Lawrence Block, but ultimately repetitive and a bit unsatisfying. That might be due to the nature of the work because what you have here is a series of chronologically ordered vignettes masquerading as a novel. I didn't see that anywhere on the book jacket, though.

The problem for me is that the stories don't build enough on each other to work as more than a lightly connected series of tales. Yet by not setting them apart more and laying them ou
Apr 23, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it
April 2013
back to reading and re-reading Block.
quirky is an understatement.

April 2011
like his style. i got off track with the western stuff that was mostly crap writing. I was lulled by Robert Parkers wonderful westerns. Can't lump all into same situation.
I'm looking for more Block.

This is an original premise - the protaganist is an ASSASSIN. Yes, a paid killer. go figure. feels like a bunch of short stories tied together. assassin John Keller is back for more highly unusual contract hits, wry s
Ada Iaboni
Jan 13, 2015 Ada Iaboni rated it did not like it
One of the worst books I've ever read!
It was actually painful to get to the end.
Since this was my first book by the author, I wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt, but NOTHING redeemed this book.
The dialogues was stupid and insipid. The characters were not likable at all, and had no redeeming qualities.
You can read this only if you have trouble falling asleep!!
Oct 20, 2014 Kirk rated it liked it
My first Keller book was the latest, Hit Me, and I thought it a lot more satisfying than this one. Some of the chapters seemed thin. The best, in my view, was about the two women who hire Keller to kill a dog.
Virginia Markhart
Nov 12, 2015 Virginia Markhart rated it it was ok
This book was interesting. It was about a man who is a professional hit man. Made me stop and think about how easy it is for someone to be killed. Not supposed to worry about the man doing the killing, but there it is. Looked like he was going to retire and the end but he didn't. Very strange book.
Sep 08, 2015 Ron rated it really liked it
Keller is back in fine form. Block's hitman seems to find (and solve) ethical dilemmas where no one else can. What's the right thing to do when you've been paid to kill A by B and also aqccepted a contract from B to kill A? It's fun and also a nice reflection on the difference between morals and ethics.
Sherry Fundin
Jun 04, 2012 Sherry Fundin rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, library
John Keller is the hit man's hit man. He has a code of honor that would seem twisted to us. He looks at it as his job, a problem to be solved and doesn't take it personally. He is quiet and efficient. His thoughts of retirement are daunted by the money he spends on his passion for collecting stamps. Dot, his contact who sets up the jobs for him, knows of his doubts and loneliness.

Murder mysteries are one of my favorite genres and I love the character of John Keller. Makes the thought of a hit ma
May 15, 2011 David rated it liked it
Not another book trying to make someone’s job sound interesting! How they spend the day. What motivates them. How tough their life is. What their hopes are for the future. What they fear. What effect it has on their relationship...... The difference here is that it is a book about a hit man. And the jobs he has to take to make a crust (or fill his stamp album). The writing is of a clinical style – there is little warmth, but why should there be? – and this adds to the surreal experience. Overall ...more
Jan Woodhouse
Lawrence Block is one of my favourite mystery writers. His main character Keller, who is a hit man, has the nonchalance of a mailman. The dialogue between Dot and Keller is witty and always enlightening. This reads like a collection of short stories that needed a bit more substance. A fun and quick read.
B Shea
Jan 25, 2016 B Shea rated it liked it
Shelves: keller
I liked this book. Although I did not like Keller's occupation, I found it very interesting how he went about his various jobs and how he rationalized each hit. He is actually very intelligent and a somewhat sympathetic character in the end.
Oct 13, 2008 Ben rated it it was ok
I think I liked this one better than Hit Man, partly because it had a more cohesive plot. Keller (our hit man protagonist) is tired of the guilt he feels after each job, but has spent all his retirement money on a fledgling stamp collection (?), so he decides to quickly scrape together a million bucks, creating a nest egg off whose interest he can live comfortably the rest of his life. The irony, of course, is that in order to get out of his career as professional murderer, he must kill even MOR ...more
Gabor Nyiro
Feb 28, 2016 Gabor Nyiro rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
Talán nem ez a legjobb Keller könyv, de nekem mégis nagyon tetszett. Szerintem egyre kiforrottabb a főszereplő karaktere, és az biztos, hogy meglehetősen egyedi. Az egyik nagy erőssége a szerzőnek, hogy úgy képes fenntartani a hősünk iránti figyelmet, hogy közben alig csepegtet valamit róla, a múltjáról, vagy akár a kinézetéről. Viszont továbbra is zavar Dot modorossága, és az, hogy a párbeszédei tökéletesen valószerűtlenek.
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Received the Shamus Award, "The Eye" (Lifetime achievment award) in 2002.

From his web site:

I'm told every good author website needs a bio, so here's mine:

"Lawrence Block's novels range from the urban noir of Matthew Scudder (A Drop of the Hard Stuff) to the urbane effervescence of Bernie Rhodenbarr (The Burglar on the Prowl), while other characters include the globe-trotting insomniac Evan Tanne
More about Lawrence Block...

Other Books in the Series

John Keller (5 books)
  • Hit Man (Keller, #1)
  • Hit List (Keller, #2)
  • Hit and Run (Keller, #4)
  • Hit Me (Keller, #5)

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