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Hit and Run (John Keller #4)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  2,112 Ratings  ·  234 Reviews
For years now Keller's had places to go and people to kill.

But enough is enough. Just one more job—paid in advance—and he's going to retire. Waiting in Des Moines for the client's go-ahead, Keller's picking out stamps for his collection at a shop in Urbandale when somebody guns down the charismatic governor of Ohio. Back at his motel, Keller sees the killer's face broadcas
ebook, 304 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published June 24th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dan Schwent
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike (the Paladin)
If you have followed my reviews of the first three Keller books you will have noticed a change in this rating compared to them. The others were good solid 4 star reads, maybe even 4.5 but I wasn't willing to give them a 5. This one crossed into the "zone" of personal enjoyment I reserve for that last fifth star. I like it, I recommend it. (even though he does take a slightly low blow attack at conservatives...which won't bother you if you aren't conservative of course. I am, and i still liked th ...more
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A library book. Oooh, this is so good, better than _Sinner Man_. I stayed up until after 3:30 a.m. on New Year's Eve, devouring this story!
It seems counter-intuitive to root for a hired killer, but I guarantee you will in this book. When the killer becomes the stalked, the tale gets even more exciting. I could almost give this book five stars because it was such a quick and enjoyable read.
Jul 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
They say that all good things must come to an end, and apparently Lawrence Block decided to follow that conventional wisdom regarding his stories about the stamp collecting and slightly lonely hit man, Keller.

Retirement has been on Keller’s mind going back to the first book, but now that his friend and booking agent, Dot, has parlayed the earnings from contract killing into big stock market gains, it looks like Keller may finally be really getting out of the hit man business. However, a job that
Excellent conclusion (?) to the Keller "Hit" series. Hard not to cheer for this bad guy who is only trying to make a living, retire and focus on his stamp-collecting hobby. Drawback is the plot behind the Iowa action is tissue-thin. Still liked the book and the characters. 3 Stars
Aug 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
First of all, I shouldn't have read this as my first Keller book, since it's kind of like reading the last chapter in a novel before reading the beginning. I think if I had more background history of the character, I would have enjoyed the book more.
The plot is quite intriguing; A hit man on the run after being set-up for a hit he didn't commit. Since I had no connection with Keller from the previous novels, I kept thinking he should have been better prepared for the possibility of having to g
Fred Forbes
Dec 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had read the Bernie the burglar series and enjoyed that so when I happened upon this book in our community library I picked it up. A stamp collecting professional assaassin? Since I collected stamps as a kid, I thought this might be interesting! Love the wisecracks and asides - "Can't take my tweezers on the plane? Why, are they afraid I might grab a stewardess and pluck her eyebrows?" Tough to warm up to a professional killer but it was enjoyable watching him work his way out of a prickly sit ...more
Nov 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fast-paced caper by Keller, the stamp-collecting hit man from NYC. Not overly violent and funny in places.
Jun 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-reads
PROTAGONIST: John Paul Keller, hit man
SERIES: 4 of 4
RATING: 4.25

Lawrence Block took a risk when he created the character of John Paul Keller, a hit man. Normally, a person who is an assassin isn't likely to engender much sympathy or caring on the part of the reader. Block has managed to achieve that remarkable feat by creating a man who views his job as just that. He does it well, and we as readers get to look on while he finds creative ways to eliminate his victims. Somehow, despite the necessa
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of crime noir
Once more Keller at his last job before retirement, and from the beginning it all feels wrong. When a governor gets killed and his photograph appears in the media as being the face the killer, Keller knows he made some smart choices by trusting his instincts and gradually starts moving back to the big apple where he considers his home to be. It is only when he finds out about a house fire in which a dead body is found, shot twice, with its occupant identified that Keller knows that the good old ...more
Jan 13, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This latest installment of Lawrence Block's series about hitman Keller has a nice Hitchcockian twist, at least at the beginning. Keller, sent to Iowa to kill some hapless shlub, instead finds himself set up to take the fall for the assassination of the charismatic governor of Ohio (who happens to be young, black, a gifted public speaker and running for President).

Hmm - wonder where he got that from?

Anyhoo, Keller has to go on the run. The cops want him, the bad guys want him, and he can't trust
Mary JL
May 17, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any mystery fan
Recommended to Mary JL by: received as gift from a friend
Shelves: mystery-horror
This was the very first novel by Lawrence Block I have ever read. Based on this, I will be reading more. (Just what I need--more books to add to the to be read pile....)

The summary given above from the book jacket tells you all you really need to know. I found the idea of 'hitman as hero' a bit disturbing. However, once started I could not stop as I had to see how he get Keller out of his predicament.

I found it a quck paced read, lots of interesting asides and I liked his style of dialogue. A ve
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was beginning to wonder where this series/character could go as there are only so many ways that an assassin can do his job and the series was beginning to get a bit samey but this one takes it in a new direction. Keller becomes the hunted rather than the hunter. He also starts a new life of ordinary domesticity (for a while). This feels like it could be the last book in the series but there is one more to go so will be reading that as soon as I can get hold of a copy. Very enjoyable series alth ...more
Ryan St george
Aug 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book! It's extremely easy to follow and supremely fun to read. Only issue I had was with one of the fight scenes, it was very silly and unrealistic, I've been doing martial arts for over 15 years. So poorly scripted fight scenes bother me. Other than that, this book is basically perfect!
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mike by:
It's a shame Block elected to once and for all retire Keller -- or maybe not. He is a great character -- right up there with other great fictional hit men. Do read the series from the beginning. It's like one continuous story line.
Sep 27, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Elmore Leonard fans, Lawrence Block fans.
Recommended to Michael by: Tony Marks
Lawrence Block brings back John Keller in "Hit and Run." Keller is a hit man on assignment. He's picked up at the airport by his contact and given two guns to choose from for his hit. He looks at both and picks he one he likes. Then he's dropped off at his hotel.

The next day he reads that Gov.John Longford of Ohio has been assassinated. In addition, the killer used a Glock automatic, the same type he had in his hands the day before. He had a preminition and it proves true when he sees his photo
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
In what is the first true Keller novel (not episodic, totally linear), he is hired by the mysterious “Al” from the previous book, only to be set up as the fall guy for a very public assassination, the mayor of the city he’s in town to do the job for. (It’s more or less the same set-up as the movie Shooter). In a series of bold moves and clever instances of covering his tracks, Keller flees by car back to New York, where he finds that his apartment has been tossed, his stamps and computer stolen, ...more
Fred Seibert
Aug 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lover of good writing and good American mystery fictionl.
"Hit & Run" is the last (probably?) and best of four in Block's series of 'The John Keller Mysteries', the story of the middle class, middle brow, stamp collecting, New York City hit man known as Keller. The only one of the series conceived and written as a novel (the others were loosely joined short stories for Playboy, rewritten with fresh connective tissue) and has a deeper emotional pull, at least for me it does. Fun, as usual, it probably digs more deeply than some of Block's other wond ...more
Feb 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Lawrence Block. He is, without question in my mind, one of the best writers going out there. I think I'd pay to read his grocery list.

Hit and Run appears to be the final Keller book. Keller is a hit man who has been eyeing retirement for a couple of books now. (He's also an avid stamp collector.)

This is the story of his "last" job, in which he's set up to take the fall for the assassination of a presidential candidate. He escapes only to realize his former life and the quiet retirement he wa
Hugh McBride
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If, as it appears, this is our final encounter with JP Keller, then kudos to Lawrence Block for achieving the difficult-if-not-seemingly-impossible task of crafting a truly satisfying conclusion that is fresh & new, yet consistent with the previous three entries in this series.

"Hit and Run" differs from Block's first three Keller novels in at least two significant ways: It is focused on one through-plot, rather than the "collected adventures" that were the hallmarks of previous versions; an
Sep 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is apparently the last of the four Keller novels. Keller is a hit man. He's very good at the job, but it's just a job, like being a carpenter or a bus driver. He's a very prosaic person, as his hobby (stamp collecting) shows. He's only got one relationship in his life, and that's with Dot, who arranges his jobs and invests his money.

Keller takes a job in Des Moines that ends up being a way of setting him up as a patsy for the assassination of a presidential candidate. How Keller lear
Stephen Terrell
Dec 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
Not sure what to think about this book or how to review it. Keller is a paid assassin. He kills people without regret for money. And sometimes he kills the lowly convenience store cashier because he identified him as wanted by the police, or maybe the inconveniently timed Jahova's Witness ringing the wrong doorbell at the wrong time. But it's lucrative. He's stashed away $2.5 million and an extensive stamp collection from the proceeds of his kills.

In short, this is the guy that in 99 percent of
May 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fourth and originally meant to be the last of the Hit Man series featuring our favorite stamp collecting contract killer, Keller. (There is now a book 5.) Keller has been framed for a high profile assassination of a governor/presidential candidate and realizes life as he knows it is over. With no money or support, he struggles to make his way back to New York only to realize home isn't a safe place anymore. So where does he go? You'll have to read to find out. This is my favorite of the books so ...more
Jan 20, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Don't bother. John Keller, killer-for-hire, is going to do "one last job" before he retires for good, but instead gets set up in the assassination of Iowa's governor. Sounds promising, right? Almost nothing happens in this book. The first half is just a narrative of Keller's thoughts and movements as he moves around the country thinking he's being pursued by the police and/or the anonymous people who hired him and set him up. The reader never gets to know what's happening, if anything,outside Ke ...more
Aug 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, suspense, action
If this is your first Keller book, you'll want to read another. If you've read another Keller book you'll want to read this one.

Not the end of Keller, a big change however. He gets to a new place. Still collecting stamps. People are dying. He's a hit man after all. And this time part of it is very personal.

So, chère sit back and enjoy the ride. Keller is going to take you coast to coast.
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can't say enough about this series. As the lovable contract killer, Keller might be one of my favorite literary characters. In this story, Keller is framed for the assassination of a governor, and has no choice but to become a fugitive, eating in his car and sleeping in movie theaters until he figures out what to do. A few kills along the way, but not what you might expect. The dialog between Keller and Dot, his 'broker' is priceless. Fun stuff. Hate to see this series end.
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Not sure why I started with #4 in this series but sure did enjoy getting to know Keller.
Keller's a hit man!
when suddenly, the hit he was suppose to do, was "done" but not by him and he was burned in the process.
Having to disappear while he tries to find out who burned him and why he finds himself in New Orleans.
Trying to stay off the grid and out of the news, he meets a woman..yes..and it goes from there.

What a great character! Definitely will look for more of Keller to read.
Mike French
Oct 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another very enjoyable book by Lawrence Block. I must have read over 30 of his books and I am never disappointed'
Andrew Mcdonald
Feb 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice Keller read.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Block again showcases how he is a master at weaving a tale while throwing the standard plot off course. The narrative weaves in what to expect and pace fluctuates as you are spellbound at what happens to our antihero.
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Lawrence Block has been writing crime, mystery, and suspense fiction for more than half a century. He has published in excess (oh, wretched excess!) of 100 books, and no end of short stories.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., LB attended Antioch College, but left before completing his studies; school authorities advised him that they felt he’d be happier elsewhere, and he thought this was remarkably perceptiv
More about Lawrence Block...

Other Books in the Series

John Keller (5 books)
  • Hit Man (Keller, #1)
  • Hit List (Keller, #2)
  • Hit Parade (Keller, #3)
  • Hit Me (Keller, #5)

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