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DanSchwent

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Hit Me - Lawrence Block When his finances get into trouble, Keller finds himself back in business with Dot and dispatching targets in the only way he knows how.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received this ARC from Lawrence Block in exchange for reviewing it. Hell, when your favorite living crime writer gives you an ARC, you drop what you're doing it and read it.

First off, I loved the way Hit and Run ended and thought maybe bringing Keller back was a mistake. However, the way Block did it, with Keller's business flipping houses tanking, made perfect sense, and Keller's new family dynamic added some extra twists. Block's writing is as it has been for the duration of the Keller series; breezy but still powerful. He even made me care about stamp collecting for a couple hours.

In this outing, Keller starts a business, brokers a deal on an amazing stamp collection, goes on a cruise, and kills some people. I phrase it like that because, for me, the Keller books are more about what Keller does when he isn't out on a job. His relationships with his wife Jule, his daughter Jenny, and the ever-present Dot, as well as his wrestling with ethical and philosophical issues, keep the stories fresh and show the man behind the murders.

The jobs are interesting too. Keller has to take out a man's wife before he divorces her, return to New York to take out an abbot, kill a young bride's much older husband, and tries to find out who made an attempt on a targets life before he had the chance, all the while busying himself with family and philately.

That's about all I have to say. If you're looking for a view behind the curtain of the murder for hire business, give Lawrence Block's Keller series a try. Hit Me may be the best one yet.