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Hit Parade (John Keller #3)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  2,191 Ratings  ·  160 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
ebook, 336 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published July 3rd 2006)
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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
Pamela Mclaren
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Is it bad to enjoy reading about a paid assassin as he goes about his business? Well, yes, if it wasn't written as well as this book has been by Lawrence Block. Keller is a friendly seemingly normal person who gets into the craziest situations when trying to do his job. He is no sociopath nor is he mad. Every story makes a sort of sick, but thoroughly enjoyable read and all along you are in total sync with him. He has a code and he pretty much sticks to it.

If there is any downside to this story
Oct 16, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I started the John Keller series with installment #4, which was excellent! It's been downhill since then finishing off the 5 book series. This was #3 in the series, and totally a waste of my time -- it was all over the place and very disjointed. Had I not read Hit and Run (#4) first, I might not have made it that far -- 1 through 3 and 5 were definitely less than stellar. This story was narrated by the author, Lawrence Block, and definitely took away from the story as all character voices sounde ...more
Kerri Thomas
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
Apr 09, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is kind of disturbing to enjoy reading books about a "good guy" hit man. That being said, I really like Keller even if he is a hit man that doesn't think twice about snuffing out unknown people for cash. I liked how he let the aging baseball player get to 3000 hits and 400 home runs before talking him out. I'm gonna say 3 1/2 stars
Jun 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My other readings of Keller "executing" his job were layered in complex contrasts that were very satisfying. This collection of stories leans heavily toward stark and even flat between comic dialogue with Dot (the lady who gives him his assignments) and some amusing characters collected along the way at ballparks and race tracks. There are a couple stories that deserve four and a half stars, and we get to see Keller volunteering after 9/11 to provide food. An uneven collection that would not hav ...more
Jun 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 12, 2013 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
Elizabeth K.
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
Andy Plonka
Dec 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lawrence Block and his Keller stories never fail to entertain.
Will Byrnes
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
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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...
Douglas Lord
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Job description: candidate must be a diligent self-starter, comfortable working independently. Must be able to exercise good judgment. Cautious yet able to take risks when needed. Confidentiality a must. Also, able to kill people in a variety of ways, including bare-handed. In other words, holy shit I just discovered writer Block through Hit Parade, the third book in this series about a hit man who receives assignments from his friendly contact named Dot. This compendium of short tales sees Kell ...more
Virat hooda
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Keller series has become a way to chill out. The books are short and light, for a hitman series that is. But the matter of fact way that Keller goes about his job, killing people, really never makes you think that something sinister is going on or that he is a monster, though in this one he does entertain the probability of being a psychopath or a sociopath.
Keller as usual is fed up with his work, or at-least he thinks he is. So, to fatten up his retirement kitty he takes one job after another,
Terence M
Audio Book - 1.0 star out of 5.0 - DNF
I seem to have read a number of "good guy hitman" type novels lately and I simply could not get into this book. Maybe I am the problem, not the book - I don't know so I'll put it on the "try again" shelf and perhaps give it another shot down the track. (I know almost certainly that it will stay there because I have so many books on my "to read" shelves before I fall off the twig and my "try again" shelf is already over-loaded, but it makes me feel better ;-)
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. This was really just more a collection of short stories or ideas that never became full novels all pulled into one book and thinly connected. I found the first half a bit disappointing but the second half brought in some longer and more congruent stories.
The main attraction here is Keller and his relationship with Dot, his "agent / friend / confidant. This quasi-sociopath is a rather likeable killer, which, in and of itself, is testament to the genius of author Block.
A decent additi
Daniel McTaggart
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Keller's thinking about retirement. Trouble is, he spends too much money on stamps for his collection. So he tells Dot to book as many hits as possible. He needs to beef up his IRA. And that's what Keller does. The book is essentially a connected series of short novellas. Killing people is a simple enough chore for Keller. But what happens when the people who hire him want to kill him too? The real fun lies in finding out!
Tami Vogel
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series
I bailed. Apparently there's only so much Keller you can read, and I hit my limit. Didn't even read them back to back, still just too much of the same thing.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american, thriller
I like Block's Burglar series best, but this was enjoyable. Audio book and good for that purpose!
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun, often amusing and a very chilled read.
Maryjo Oconnor
3 1/2 stars
Redwine not narrate your own books....please !
Just keep writing........
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An oddly adorable eccentric sociopathic hitman.
Amber Foxx
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a strange book. It’s not a mystery. We know who done it. Keller, the protagonist, is a professional hit man. It’s not a thriller. There’s suspense, but there are few details of his hits. In fact, most of them take place offstage, and if they’re described at all, it’s through Keller’s conversations with his booking agent (I don’t know what else to call her) Dot, after the fact. Block transitions skillfully in and out of scenes that show Keller traveling to each job, planning, scouting, and t ...more
Jun 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third collection of stories about Block's Hit Man Keller. The first collection of stories, "Hit Man" was excellent (4 stars). The second collection "Hit List" was not nearly as good (2 stars). I'd say that the 3rd collection is a bit better than the 2nd but still lacks the punch that the first group of stories had. Block retreads many things we have seen before and does constant recapping of events within a couple stories as if the reader had forgotten what happened 20 pages before. ...more
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
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
If someone asked me to define irony by example, I would suggest they read THE AGE OF INNOCENCE. If I were asked the same question about dark humor, I would loan them my copy of Lawrence Block's HIT PARADE. This is, if I recall, the second book in the series about a professional hit man named Keller and his business manager Dot. It's a collection of stories of varying length, the shortest being only a few pages, the longest not quite making it to what I would consider novella length. Some of the ...more
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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 and Run (Keller, #4)
  • Hit Me (Keller, #5)

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