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Hit Parade

(John Keller #3)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  2,441 ratings  ·  190 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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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  2,441 ratings  ·  190 reviews

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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
Jun 30, 2009 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
In the third installment of his John Keller series, author Lawrence Block brings his readers another collection of short stories showcasing the humble hit man for hire.  This go-round we see Keller tasked with striking out a star baseball player, playing both sides of jilted lovers and even being forced to take out a fellow stamp collector.

While the above stories entertain well enough, my favorite moments deal with Keller’s feelings about the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent effect they have on h
Pamela Mclaren
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 15, 2009 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
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
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
An interesting installment in the Keller Hitman series, this is more of a collection of stories and Jobs for Keller which provide a nice insight into the mind of this unique antihero ! The story highlight here in my opinion is the one about the dog - pure comedy ! The interaction between Keller and Dot continues to make me laugh and I'm looking forward to reading the remaining couple of books in the series. Recommend.
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.
Jul 23, 2009 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
Jan 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Block's affable, nice-guy, stamp-collecting contract killer is back in another collection of stories. I find the character charming, and while the whole concept of the series totters somewhere between absurd and morally repellent, somehow Block pulls it off. HIT PARADE is the third book in the series, and like the first book it's a collection of somewhat interwoven stories. As the second book in the series, HIT LIST, proved, Keller works much better in short story than novel form. HIT PARADE isn ...more
Andy Plonka
Dec 25, 2013 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.
Jun 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lawrence Block and his Keller stories never fail to entertain.
Karla Huebner
I picked this up at the used-book exchange as I had pleasant memories of other books by Lawrence Block--he's a good writer with a wild imagination and a sense of humor. While this set of adventures of a professional assassin did not prove to be a book I raced through (it begins with Keller stuck in various sports-related situations and for awhile I was afraid that each chapter would involve yet another sport with fans who just had to engage Keller in conversation about something that he was not ...more
Michael crage
Jan 04, 2020 rated it liked it
This is another book containing several episodes of Keller going out to assassinate someone. They are all different so it is interesting. Keller collects stamps and so he often combines his assassination trips with buying stamps. One story I especially like was when he was given an assignment to kill a person that was going to be at an auction in San Francisco that Keller was already planning on going to. He had already bought tickets rented a car and a hotel room in his own name. Usually he use ...more
Donald Schopflocher
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: noir
Bubble gum for the eyes!
Will Byrnes
Oct 19, 2008 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
Sep 05, 2014 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
Oct 28, 2010 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.
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...
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I am a fan of Lawrence Block and I enjoy his reading of his own books. I had not read a book with this character, Keller the hit man. Enjoyable, but also kind of grisly.
The second collection of short stories featuring everyone's favorite assassin for hire, this was a fun set (especially "Keller the Dog Killer," which was absolutely absurd). Things get a bit morbid near the end, when Keller targets a fellow stamp collector and ends up thinking about his own mortality; the fact that he has nobody who's a constant in his life, save Dot. That made me sad enough to knock off a star.

But honestly? It's everything else, besides the jobs, that make these stories so fasc
Douglas Lord
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 Block¹ 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 Kel ...more
Virat hooda
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
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,
Jul 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Hit Parade offered some fascinating insights into the life of a hit man. I was taken by the things a professional killer must keep ahead of as he prepares for his jobs. For example, he never killed anyone who lived near his home turf out of concern for getting seen too often in possible connection with the victim.
I liked the individual scenes depicting the "jobs" the killer, Keller, got from his "boss" who gave him his assignments; however, I really wanted the story to start making more connect
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm starting to get in to these Keller stories now, starting to get the hang of him, enjoying the interconnected storyness of it all, and his witty banter with Dot goes a long way to making him approachable as a protagonist, and even more fun than the interaction between Bernie and Carolyn. I get the feeling that there's a certain amount of Lawrence Block showing off with these books, happy to play with genre and the readers expectations, gleefully finding interesting and entertaining ways to in ...more
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Terence M (Restored Disposition :))
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 ;-)
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Keller series is a strange (and enjoyable) animal. It appears that the character was originally from short stories that were combined into the first volume. Then the second volume continued the episodic feel with a more direct story arc. This third volume seems to fall between the two of them: episodes heading toward the final destination. There is darkness. There is droll comedy. There are stamps. I think the first episode in the volume is my favorite: Keller is hired to kill a baseball pla ...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

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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