Rosemary's Reviews > Hit Man

Hit Man by Lawrence Block
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Jul 14, 2011

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Read in July, 2011


This is not the sort of book I ever would have picked up. But it was cheap, I was bookless...stranger relationships have started this way, I suppose.

This is a book about a hit man, told from the hit man's point of view. That often leads to a certain level of "sympathy" for the devil, which is why writer's do it. By the time I finished this book I flat out liked the protagonist. And the people he worked for. What????

Yes. Liked them.

Of course, that is part of the beauty of fiction. You get to meet, and associate with, all manner of people you wouldn't in real life--and I'm not just talking about the ones with furry feet or from Cardassia. Hit men, and spies, and all manner of other types that our day to day lives don't bring us into contact with.

One of the things that I liked (to my surprise) about this book is that it is episodic. Each chapter is its own story, reasonably intact. In fact, each one reminds me of a James Bond film, without so many explosions or one-night stands (though there are some of the latter). And as I thought about it, this hit man is no more amoral than James. He even has an M and a Moneypenny, though you never get the sense that Dot yearns for Keller as Moneypenny does for 007.

Still, when I finished the book, I found myself a bit...troubled at how much I liked Keller, and what that said about my moral character, finding myself going to miss the company of a killer for hire. That, of course, will not stop me from looking for the next volume--and apparently there is a next volume. Of course, given the world we live in, finding types of people that other people want dead is not exactly going to be a problem for Mr. Block--that's a well that won't ever run dry, as long as people are people.

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