Created by Lawrence Block
''Ethics? What do I know about ethics?''
-Keller ponders a moral dilemma
A riddle wrapped up in an enigma, and packing a rep as one of the best hitmen around, Lawrence Block's JOHN KELLER is always a fun read. Keller's an affable loner, a nice, easy-going kinda guy, with steady hands, cool nerves and perfectly honed professional skills, going through a bit of a midlife, midcareer crisis, who likes travelling to new places, meeting and getting to know interesting new people, and then killing them. Poor guy. He yearns for a girlfriend, a therapist or even a dog --really, just some semblance of a normal life.
Not a private eye, not by a long shot, but there's something in the ironic tone and confessional content, not to mention Keller's more whimsical moments, that make these stories so much fun.
And make no mistake -- they are stories. Short stories, that go down in tasty little chunks. Hell, the "novels" might more accurately be categorized as collections, since most of the chapters can stand alone (and indeed many of them first saw print as short stories).
The first batch of Keller stories appeared mostly in Playboy, and proved popular enough to collect, and present as a rather episodic, but entertaining and engaging novel, Hit Man, in 1998. The success of that volume has led, in turn, to other adventures for the eternally confused hit man.
Although I do believe he's getting better. In later books, he turns to stamp collecting, which seems to given him some sort of purpose, and eventually he even quits the business, changes his name, marries a nice girl, fathers a child and moves to New Orleans, although not necessarily in that order, and not necessarily for good.
Somehow his old life continues to follow him, and sometimes, some people just need killing...
-- Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
Originally appeared as opening sequence of the Keller novel Hit and Run
Just what it claims to be -- a sampler of the series, containing standalone stories from each of the "novels."
The official site, irreverent as all hell, and fun as all git out, full of vital info about the author, his books, his short stories, his newsletter, his upcoming projects, his seemingly endless book tour and everything else. And you can also buy autographed copies here (credit cards gleefully accepted). Although, you know what they say -- the rare Block is the unsigned copy.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
| Home | Detectives A-L M-Z | Film | Radio | Television | Web Comics | Comics | FAQs | Search |